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Study shows investment in public higher ed will boost economy

A recently completed study urges state leaders to increase spending on public higher education to address the immediate financial crisis accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic and to build a more just and equitable economy in the Commonwealth.
 
“It would be difficult to identify investment, public or private, that offers greater short-run and long-run benefits,” writes University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Michael Ash in “An Economic Analysis of Investment in Public Higher Education in Massachusetts: Recovering from the COVID-19 Crisis and Laying Foundations for the Future.”

Statement on Racist Violence and Social Exclusion

Black Lives Matter. We declare and affirm this truth in the face of any verbal or material attempt to deny it. The current tragedies and structures of violence, exclusion and exploitation of Black people were made by human actors.  They date back to colonial times and slavery but persist to today. Teaching and research in the economics profession have often served to legitimize such structures portraying them as the outcome of the free and fair play of the market. The UMass Economics Department has a long tradition of research dedicated to uncovering structures of oppression, exploitation, exclusion and violence. This tradition must be rethought and adapted to place racial injustice at the center, as a dimension that should not be overlooked.

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Cheap, consistent, clean? Changing the models for sustainable electricity access

Sustainable Electricity Access for Africa Network – SEN-Africa, a multidisciplinary network of scholars from UMass Amherst (Economics, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering), Carnegie Mellon, University of Ghana, University of Cape Town, University of Nairobi and Argonne National Laboratory, is leading the debate on modeling approaches for achieving affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy (SDG Goal 7) in Africa, using innovative stakeholder consultation-based approaches.

 

M.V. Lee Badgett Makes “The Economic Case for LGBT Equality” in New Book

Book cover economic case for LGBT equalityFinding that homophobia and transphobia cost 1% or more of a country’s GDP, University of Massachusetts Amherst economist M.V. Lee Badgett argues in a new book that in addition to moral and human rights reasons, we can now also make a financial argument for LGBT equality.

“The economic case works,” Badgett says. “In the U.S. we’ve seen it help us move toward marriage equality. The ability to marry was good for the economic well-being of LGBT families, and also brought new opportunities to local businesses. That example can be applied in many other parts of the world.

Lynda Pickbourn Selected as 2020-21 Lilly Fellow for Teaching Excellence

Lynda Pickbourn, lecturer, economics

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has announced the selection of the 2020-21 Lilly Fellows for Teaching Excellence, including Lynda Pickbourn, lecturer, economics. 

Established in 1986, the Lilly Fellowship for Teaching Excellence has fostered leadership in teaching by training over 240 faculty members, many of whom have gone on to win Distinguished Teaching Awards and College Outstanding Teaching Awards, chair departments, and serve in other leadership positions across campus. 

The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrative

Samuel Bowles is an American economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he continues to teach courses on microeconomics and the theory of institutions.

Like the Great Depression and WWII, the COVID-19 pandemic (along with climate change) will alter how we think about the economy and public policy, not only in seminars and policy think tanks, but also in the everyday vernacular by which people talk about their livelihoods and futures.

Robert Pollin Publishes Two Op-Eds in 'The Nation' on the Government Deficit and Green New Deal

Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of Economics.

Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of Economics, published two op-eds in The Nation on April 9, 2020: "The Deficit Is Exploding! And That’s a Good Thing" and "Wanted: Shovel-Ready Projects for a Green New Deal."

The first piece explores the deficit spending that is necessary to fund the economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lack of political animus in expanding the deficit for this cause. The second piece looks at the first types of projects that should be approached under the Green New Deal. 

Ina Ganguli is Part Of Campus Team Awarded NSF Grant to Develop Tool to Aid Workers

Ina GanguliA campus team led by research professor Beverly Woolf of the College of Information and Computer Science (CICS) recently received a one-year, $838,722 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Convergence Accelerator Program to support their project to create a tool for workers to analyze their profiles and skills and identify training and education to aid their career paths.

Faculty team members in addition to Woolf are Andrew Lan and Shlomo Zilberstein, CICS, Tom Juravich, sociology, Andrew Cohen, psychological and brain sciences, and Ina Ganguli, economics. For this project, they will develop algorithms and software to help companies and workers be successful in an evolving workplace. 

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