Faculty Book Release: Informal Women Workers in the Global South - Jayati Ghosh

Policies and Practices for the Formalisation of Women's Employment in Developing Economies. This book examines the varying trajectories of formalisation and their impact on women workers in five developing countries in Asia and Africa: India, Thailand, South Africa, Ghana and Morocco. They range from low- to middle-income countries, which are integrated into global financial and goods markets to differing degrees and have varying labour market and macroeconomic conditions.  Formalising employment is a desirable policy goal, but how it is done matters greatly, especially for women workers. Indeed, formalisation policies that do not recognise gendered realities and prevailing socio-economic conditions may be less effective and even counterproductive.


The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) awards the 2020 Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award to UMass Economics PhD candidate Leila Gautham

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award, Leila Gautham, a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award is named in honor of the founder of Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women), a U.S.-based gender research institution that merged with ICRW in 2016. Mariam was a leader in shaping and launching the women’s studies academic and research movements in the United States and around the world. Through the Mariam K. Chamberlain Dissertation Award, Mariam’s work fostering high-level scholarship and promoting mentorship continues through its support of a first-generation doctoral student conducting research to advance gender equality and social inclusion.

Professor Emeritus James Crotty Awarded the Japan Society of Political Economy Routledge Book Prize

The Japan Society of Political Economy Routledge Book Prizei was awarded to University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Emeritus James Crotty for his book, Capitalism, Macroeconomics and Reality: Understanding Globalization, Financialization, Competition and Crisis: Selected Papers of James Crotty 2017/04/28, Edward Elgar Pub. --- with special reference: James Crotty, Keynes Against Capitalism; His Economic Case for Liberal Socialism. The prize encourages members of the JSPE to publish their work in English and to challenge the growing dominance of orthodox neo-liberal economics among economists and policy-makers. It also promotes studies in heterodox economics all over the world.


UN Global Sustainable Solutions Winter School

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme teams undertaking river restoration in Kerala. Photo by Sudmeier-Rieux/UNEP, 2019UMass Amherst graduate students are invited to apply for the UN Global Sustainable Solutions Winter School, a free, ten-week course focused on water security, ecosystem-based climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The course is a partnership between the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy, McMaster University, and the United Nations University.
The course will run from December 3 to January 26. Students will take part in weekly seminars via Zoom, where they will hear from guest speakers from the United Nations, governmental agencies, NGOs, and other international organizations. The ninety-minute sessions will also include class discussions.
“Students will learn from international experts about water security and ecosystems for disaster risk reduction,” said Professor Marta Vicarelli at UMass Amherst School of Public Policy and Department of Economics, who is organizing the course with Nidhi Nagabhatla of the United Nations University and McMaster University.

Partisan Shocks and Financial Markets: Evidence from Close National Elections

In an article published on "American Economic Journal: Applied Economics", Daniele Girardi (economics) documents the politics of financial investment. Using data from national elections worldwide, he finds that left-wing electoral victories cause downturns in financial markets. On average, a left victory is associated with a drop by more than 10 percentage points in stock market values. This reaction reflects the expectation of policies that decrease post-tax profits for listed firms, relative to what would have happened under conservative governments. This study is part of a research program that seeks to understand the way markets interact with politics in capitalist democracies, and the constraints they might impose on elected governments.


To Resist the Pandemic, A Vaccine Is Needed, and So Are Taxes

Africa once thought it had escaped the worst. But the coronavirus pandemic seems to have caught up with the continent, although the number of deaths remains very limited, in comparison to other regions. Hypotheses abound on the reasons for this resilience, and on its sustainability, but one thing is certain: On the economic front, Africa is already a victim of the pandemic. One of the positive aspects of this appalling pandemic is that it has reminded everyone that public services are precious. Everywhere, we have seen doctors fighting to save lives and teachers competing creatively to keep in touch with their students. Women’s workloads have increased even more… More than ever, it is urgent to provide states with enough resources to rebuild more resilient and equitable societies.

Could the US and Chinese economies really 'decouple'?

Talk of a new cold war is everywhere. Yet the economic context of the confrontation between the US and China is fundamentally different from the days of the iron curtain. The US and the Soviet Union had created competing globalisations, dividing the world into separate economic blocs. The two sides of the present divide are tied together as one “Chimerica” – with China as the global “workshop” and the US as the tech “headquarters” of the world. The old hope that this economic interdependence would prevent political conflict has been shattered. Instead, deep economic integration has increased the stakes: the core of the world economy could fall apart.

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.

Continue reading the full statement

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)