News

Professor Lisa Saunders – In Memoriam

The Department of Economics recently lost a deeply appreciated and loved member of our community. Prof. Lisa Saunders passed away unexpectedly this May. Lisa set an outstanding example on how to use research and teaching to make economics a better and more inclusive discipline and to make the world more just. She was devoted to students, inspiring some to become economists and encouraged all students to think more critically about economics and the economy.

Read more about Professor Saunders

Professor Fidan Ana Kurtulus speaks at the National Academy of Sciences

Fidan Ana Kurtulus, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and founding co-director of the University of Massachusetts Center for Employment Equity, was invited to speak on a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee on Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in STEM Organizations on April 21, 2022.  Professor Kurtulus, who is an expert in US legal and regulatory structures on antidiscrimination and gender and race employment diversity, spoke about research evidence on the efficacy of government and firm policies that promote racial equity at workplaces. The project was spurred by efforts of the Chairwoman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and the Committee has been tasked by the National Academies to address bias and racism in STEM workplaces and offer approaches to increase racial and ethnic diversity at STEM workplaces.

Ph.D. Candidate, April Burrage, is the First Author of a Sloan Foundation funded study

Ph.D. Candidate, April Burrage, is the First Author of a Sloan Foundation funded study released to the public. Second Nature, an NGO, collaborated with Anna Goldstein to discuss The Future of Academic Research on Climate Solutions. They examined the current landscape of climate solutions research at higher education institutions and provide key high level recommendations for more effective federally funded  academic research on climate solutions. Read more...

Jayati Ghosh Named By UN To High-Level Advisory Board On Multilateralism

Economics Professor Jayati Ghosh has been named to the 12-member board, which will be supported in its work by the Centre for Policy Research of the United Nations University in close coordination with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.  UN chief Guterres on Friday announced the establishment of the Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism to be co-chaired by former Liberian president and Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven. The board will be supported in its work by the Centre for Policy Research of the United Nations University in close coordination with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Read more...

THE HILL article, "Stop Enabling Kleptocrats: More Must be Done to Stem the Influx of Dirty Money to West" By James K. Boyce and Léonce Ndikumana

The sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its aggression in Ukraine highlight the crucial role of transnational finance in enabling corrupt and autocratic regimes to flourish. Assets held abroad by specific members of the Russian elite have been frozen because they “shared in the corrupt gains of the Kremlin,” as U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh explains, “and they will now share in the pain.”  But after-the-fact efforts to identify and freeze the foreign assets of individual oligarchs are not enough: we also can and should do more to stem the massive influx of dirty money from throughout the world into Western economies. The breadth and depth of the sanctions announced so far have been constrained by fears of collateral damage not only to the Russian populace but also to Western economies. The reluctance of Germany and others to face energy shortages, for example, has prevented use of the “nuclear option” of fully blocking Russian access to SWIFT, the worldwide electronic banking network used to pay for imported gas and oil.  Read the article...

James Boyce Interviewed by Faith Family America on Climate Mitigation

Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow at The Political Economy Research Institute of University of Massachusetts James K. Boyce was interviewed by Faith Family America on Climate Mitigation. Boyce points out that policies for climate adaptation are necessary. There are also intermediate steps that can help climate stabilization. These include carbon pricing and the adoption of a universal basic-income scheme to combat the effects of global warming. Read the interview...   

UMass Economics Ph.D. Student, Nicolas Bohme Appointed to Key Position in Chilean Ministry of Finance

UMass Amherst Econ PhD Candidate Nicolás Bohme will be named Coordinator of Tax Policy at the Ministry of Finance in the new government of President Gabriel Boric in Chile.  Bohme will lead an ambitious progressive tax-reform program, which is among the new Government's highest priorities for structural reform. The new administration seeks to finance productive economic transformation and expansion of the Chilean welfare state through a package of taxes on capital income, wealth, and natural resources extraction, especially copper, which represents almost half of Chilean exports.  According to Bohme, “The reforms will finance the government program in a fiscally responsible manner and align us with other developed countries in terms of progressivity and revenue as a percentage of GDP." Bohme also emphasized the fairness of the plan. "The fundamental consensus is that any increase in tax collection must be carried out with progressive instruments." Progressive taxation means that higher-income households pay a higher share of their incomes in taxes.  Read more...

2022 Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture with Mariana Mazzucato

2022 Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture
Mariana Mazzucato
April 12, 2022, 5:30-7:00pm ET
Campus Center Auditorium
Directing Economic Growth: A Mission-Oriented Approach

Can't attend in person?
The lecture will be live-streamed

 

This lecture will make the case for rethinking the role of government in the economy so that it is better equipped to deal with the greatest challenges of our times—health pandemics, climate change and the digital divide. It will draw on Professor Mazzucato's recent widely acclaimed book, Mission Economy: a moonshot guide to changing capitalism, and focus on the need to move away from a reactive market fixing approach to a market shaping one. The lecture will give examples on the ‘how’: from ‘outcomes’ based budgeting, to redesigning procurement to nurture bottom up solutions, to a new symbiotic (versus parasitic) partnerships between the public and private sectors—walking the talk of stakeholder value. 

 

Katherine Moos and the Levy Economics Institute Receives $80,000 Grant to Explore Links Between Public Spending and Economic Insecurity

The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College has been awarded a $80,000 grant by the Groundwork Collaborative to investigate the connections between public spending and economic insecurity among US households. The project—undertaken by Levy Institute scholars Luiza Nassif-Pires, Ajit Zacharias, Thomas Masterson, and Fernando Rios-Avila, and in consultation with Katherine Moos, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst—will focus on the distributional effects of public spending from an intersectional perspective: breaking down the impacts on economic well-being with respect to age, race, gender, education, and class. Read more ...

UMass Economics Student Amanda Desmond Named A 2022 Brooke Owens Fellow

Amanda Desmond, a junior economics and space science major in the University of Massachusetts Commonwealth Honors College, has been named one of 51 Brooke Owens Fellows for 2022. Desmond, a native of Beverly, Mass., is the first student selected for the program from the University of Massachusetts system. During the summer of 2022, she will spend 12 weeks with Voyager Space Holdings in Denver working directly with the firm’s CEO, Dylan Taylor. The Brooke Owens Fellowship is a New York-based nonprofit program that recognizes exceptional undergraduate women and other gender minorities with space and aviation internships, senior mentorship, and a lifelong professional network. The fellowship was founded in 2016 to honor the memory of beloved industry pioneer and accomplished pilot D. Brooke Owens, who died from cancer that June at age 35.  Read more...

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