Helen Sheridan Memorial Scholar
The Helen Sheridan Memorial Scholar position was created with a generous bequest to the Economics Department from Mildred S. Barber '43 to honor her aunt, Helen Sheridan. The Sheridan Scholar is normally appointed for three years and engages in a combination of teaching and research connected to his/her area of specialty.
Stephen Resnick, UMass Amherst economics professor emeritus begins his term as the Helen Sheridan Memorial Scholar in fall 2011. During his three year appointment he will engage in two research projects.
The first aims to theorize the connection between Marx's value of labor power for workers and their benefits received. The focus will be on three kinds of benefits: social security, private pensions, and medical insurance. While relatively unimportant in Marx's day, these have become far more important to workers today. The question is how to conceive of these and sill other benefits in value terms. Part of the research will also study the impact on business of paying workers benefits, especially relevant because of rising medical costs. The initial title of the research paper is Class and Workers' Benefits.
The second project aims to extend value and surplus value analytics to international trade and capital flows, a project intended, but never completed, by Marx. This likely will become a book project with several chapters. One will extend Marx's value categories to include exports and imports of commodities. A second chapter will examine international competition. Capital flows will form a third chapter and foreign exchange rates a fourth. The presence of monopoly power in the international economy will be the subject of a final chapter. Comparisons will be drawn throughout the book between the Marxian analyses presented and the contending neoclassical and Keynesian approaches to the same questions.
James R. Crotty
James R. Crotty, UMass Amherst economics professor emeritus, served as the first Helen Sheridan Memorial Scholar from 2007 until 2011. During this time Crotty wrote several papers explaining the underlying causes of the financial crisis and has offered ideas on how to re-regulate financial markets to avoid future disaster.
Crotty and his colleague, Gerald Epstein, are the recipients a grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). Their project, How Big is Too Big? What Should Finance Do and How Much Should It Be Cut Down to Size?, will attempt to identify the socially desirable size and character of the financial system.
On April 15, 2011, Professor Crotty presented the first Helen Sheridan Memorial Lecture titled, The Battle Over Austerity: What Caused the Fiscal Crisis and Who Should Pay?