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. 

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. 

UMass Economics in the News

Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), comments on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a focus on sustainability proposed by presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Pollin says Buttigieg’s plan is “going in the right direction,” but “a lot hinges on where you come up with the money.” He says Sen. Elizabeth Warren “does a much more serious job of going underneath the surface than he does.” (South Bend Tribune, 1/14/20)

A news story about calls by the mayors of London and New York for cities to divest their pension funds from fossil fuel producers notes that a 2018 report co-authored by Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor in economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, says the divestment movement has not substantially impacted fossil fuel share prices or reduced carbon emissions. (Reuters, 1/8/20)