News

Mwangi wa Githinji and Laura Doyle (English) win a $500,000 Mellon Foundation Award for a Graduate Certificate Program in Decolonial Global Studies

Laura Doyle, Professor of English and Mwangi wa Githinji, associate professor of economics was awarded a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a Mellon Fellows Program and a Graduate Certificate Program in Decolonial Global Studies (DGS). A long-developing vision of both the certificate will highlight both the collective histories hidden—or stricken—from view by colonialist narratives and the perspectives and values that can address struggles in the world today.  Read more here

Isabella Weber's book "How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate" Wins the Joan Robinson Prize

 At the 33rd Annual EAEPE Conference from September 2-4, 2021 Isabella Weber's book "How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate"  Won the Joan Robinson Prize.  They wrote in part: The book gives a detailed account of the Chinese economic debate on price reform in the 1980s.  It Analyses the debate between the gradualist and pragmatic current of young economists on one hand and economists who related with Eastern and Western scholars, in favor of a complete price liberalization and a big bang approach, on the other hand. The incremental dual-track approach eventually prevailed. 
 
Get more information about the book  and reviews on her website, www.isabellaweber.com.  

Analysis of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” Economic Package by Lenore Palladino and Chirag Lala cited by the White House

A recent analysis of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic package conducted by UMass Amherst economists Lenore Palladino and Chirag Lala has been cited by the White House in promotion of the proposal. Palladino and Lala, who analyzed the plan for the Political Economy Research Institute on behalf of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), found that the $400 billion investment in home- and community-based services (HCBS) in the President’s plan would create more than 777,000 good-paying home care jobs across the country over the next decade, which would help address the industry’s severe job shortage. The June report also found that the proposal would ultimately result in approximately 1 million new jobs, including both directly created home care jobs and indirect job creation as those workers spend their new wages in the economy.  
The complete report from June can be found on PERI’s website.

Welcome Back!

After over a year and a half of empty offices, silent classrooms, and the massive movement online, the Department of Economics is returning to campus as it builds back from the enormous human and economic devastation of the covid crisis. As we move forward, we are acutely aware that the pandemic is not yet over and significant challenges remain. Through these hard times, the department remains committed to excellence in teaching and education, continuing the UMass commitment to encouraging an unparalleled diversity of approaches to economic thought and problem-solving. The department’s faculty continues to provide innovative answers to today’s pressing issues, willing to dispute the conventional wisdom when needed. In short, the Department of Economics is continuing its proud tradition of changing the way we think about economics. This tradition is needed now more than ever. 

Isabella Weber's book "How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate" Named to Foreign Policy’s Summer Reading List

Recommended by Adam Tooze, FP columnist, professor of history, and director of the European Institute at Columbia University

This fascinating pairing can help readers understand how Russia’s and China’s paths have diverged. Isabella Weber explains how China’s communist regime escaped the 1980s trend toward economic shock therapy, while Chris Miller retraces how the Soviet experts around former President Mikhail Gorbachev studied China’s reforms—and tried and failed to emulate them.

Get more information about the book  and reviews on her website, www.isabellaweber.com.  

Martin Wolf selects Isabella Weber's book "How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate" as one of his best mid-year reads

Martin Wolf associate editor and chief economics commentator at the Financial Times selects UMass Economics professor Isabella Weber's book "How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate" as one of his best mid-year reads. He wrote, China’s advance has been the transformative economic story of the past four decades. But why did China adopt its incremental strategy of “reform and opening up”? The German-born Weber, now at Amherst, provides a well-researched answer: the Chinese state “uses the market as a tool in the pursuit of its larger development goals”. Above all, by eschewing “shock therapy”, it sought to protect “the economy’s commanding heights” from destabilizing change.  Get more information about the book on her website, www.isabellaweber.com.

Professor Jayati Ghosh Named Member of WHO Council on Economics of Health For All

UMass Economics Professor Jayati Ghosh was named as a member of the WHO Council on Economics of Health For All.  WHO is convening 11 leading figures in economics, health and development from around the world as the first members of the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All. The Council’s role is to provide independent advice to the Director-General on addressing interrelated health and economic challenges and mapping out a way forward that supports communities and countries to build healthy societies.  To do so, it will provide recommendations for a new approach to shape the economy that supports health for all as an overall goal, including more equitable and effective health systems. 

Economics Professor Leonce Ndikumana Named Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Distinguished Professor of Economics Léonce Ndikumana, considered by many to be one of the best-known and most widely respected African macroeconomists of his generation, has been named a 2021 Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Ndikumana is the first University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty member to receive the honor.
Each year, the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program recognizes a select group of scholars and writers who receive philanthropic support for scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that addresses important and enduring issues confronting society. The fellows’ projects focus on a broad range of complex political, economic, technological, humanistic and sociological subjects. The recognition includes a $200,000 stipend, which Ndikumana will use to support his scholarship in macroeconomic and developmental impact of capital flight from African countries, an issue he has studied for most of his career.

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