The power of economics, said Greg Duffy ’15, is that the intangible becomes tangible. Duffy, who majored in economics and sang in an a capella group at Notre Dame, now uses that power to help connect artists with new audiences as a research analyst at the music-streaming service Pandora.
Economics faculty members spend a considerable amount of their time engaged in research, so when we profile scholars such as Joe Kaboski or our new hires as we do in this newsletter, it is natural that we concentrate on their academic accomplishments. This newsletter also includes three stories about how our undergraduates are actively engaged in knowledge creation both while on campus and when they enter the workforce. Profiles of Claire O’Donnell ’16 and Danny Fitzgerald ’17 illustrate their research activities as undergraduates while another story introduces us to Greg Duffy ’15, now an employee at Pandora, who uses his economics training for research on a daily basis.
“The liberal education I received at Notre Dame really taught me how to learn, how to analyze, and, at the most fundamental level, how to problem-solve,” said Bill Dirksen ’82. “And that’s what most businesses are looking for—people who know how to solve problems.”
Notre Dame’s rapidly growing Department of Economics has added six new faculty members who bring diverse expertise in political economy, econometrics, labor mobility, market design, urban geography and poverty, and international finance. Lakshmi Iyer, Marinho Bertanha, Nilesh Fernando, Michèle Müller-Itten, David Phillips, and César Sosa-Padilla join the ranks of a vibrant department that has added more than a dozen faculty members in the last four years and offers one of the University’s largest undergraduate majors.
Joseph Kaboski’s work in Armenia started with an email from the developing country, one of those you might usually delete. But the Notre Dame economist responded—and he’s now become a trusted adviser to the Central Bank of Armenia, helping with research to guide the Eurasian nation’s economic policy.
The public has lots of questions about refugees, and William Evans and Danny Fitzgerald have come up with some answers. Evans, chair and Keough-Hesburgh Professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics, and Fitzgerald, a senior economics and mathematics major, have been analyzing a quarter-century of data to determine the economic impact of refugees who enter the United States. They will present their findings to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday (Nov. 15).
The Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame conducts impactful research using the best available theoretical and empirical methods in the discipline, all while fostering the Catholic mission of the University. With specialties in macroeconomics, applied micro economics, development economics, and game theory, Notre Dame economics faculty and graduate students work together to find answers to a wide array of difficult economic, social, and policy-relevant questions. In this new video, Notre Dame economists talk about some of the department’s pioneering research projects and its approach to graduate education and faculty development.
The Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame conducts impactful research using the best available theoretical and empirical methods in the discipline, all while fostering the Catholic mission of the University. With specialties in macroeconomics, applied micro economics, development economics, and game theory, Notre Dame economics faculty and graduate students work together to find answers to a wide array of difficult economic, social, and policy-relevant questions.
A study of the Homelessness Prevention Call Center in Chicago by the Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities found that such hotlines have a considerable effect on people facing homelessness, and that emergency financial assistance successfully prevents homelessness — if funding is available. The study, published in the Aug. 12 edition of Science, examines the impact of financial assistance for 4,500 individuals and families who called the HPCC between 2010 and 2012.
Claire O’Donnell has long been interested in researching education in developing countries, and her international economics major gave her the tools to do it. A 2016 Notre Dame graduate from Arlington Heights, Illinois, O’Donnell presented her senior thesis research this spring at the Undergraduate Research Paper Competition at the Midwest Economics Association’s annual conference. O’Donnell, who also completed a supplemental major in applied mathematics and a concentration in financial economics and econometrics, has accepted a position as a management consultant with PwC in Chicago.
Matt Ardell ’10 grew up dreaming of working for Nike. Now, five years after graduating from Notre Dame with a degree in economics and history, he is living his dream at Nike’s corporate headquarters in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. As a football marketing field rep, Ardell travels the country building relationships with head coaches, athletic directors, and teams. The foundation for his success in the business world, he said, is his liberal arts education. “I chose Arts and Letters specifically because you can do anything you want with that degree,” he said. “The strategies you learn—critical thinking and different ways to look at a problem—are useful no matter where you go.”
Nine months before his May 2016 graduation, Matt Castellini knew where he was headed after Notre Dame. An economics major enrolled in the department’s new Financial Economics and Econometrics concentration (FEE), Castellini landed a job as a credit sales analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch after interning with the company last summer. He’s not alone, either. Just one year into the new program, the concentration’s first cohort has yet to graduate, but many have positions waiting for them at firms such as Boston Consulting Group, Mercer Consulting, and Deutsche Bank.
In a dense Nairobi slum best known for its toxic garbage dump, the crowded streets are lined with roadside stands. With no job prospects, residents’ best chance to eke out a living comes from selling foods and handcrafted goods at these tiny stalls. Three assistant professors in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics—Wyatt Brooks, Kevin Donovan, and Terence Johnson—are researching ways to help those entrepreneurs succeed and increase their income.
Notre Dame’s Department of Economics added expertise in education, energy, sovereign debt, and consumer market behavior with the appointments this fall of four new faculty members. The fast-growing department is continually looking to add faculty who best fit with its mission and the University’s mission, said William Evans, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics and chair of the department, which often leads to new hires with varying research and teaching interests. That’s exactly the case with new assistant professors Christiane Baumeister, Chloe Gibbs, and Zachary Stangebye and assistant teaching professor Forrest Spence.
Though Betsy Bohlen ’90 once enjoyed success as a partner at Chicago’s McKinsey and Co., the business leader always knew she eventually wanted to direct her efforts toward nonprofit work, especially within the Catholic Church. “There was a part of me that always felt that, one of these days, I would serve in a more nonprofit capacity,” Bohlen said. “I think there was a calling for me to do that, to apply my leadership skills there.” Today, she is the chief operating officer of the Archdiocese of Chicago, making her the highest ranking woman in Chicago’s Catholic Church.
A new interdisciplinary fellowship program launched by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives will train graduate students in state-of-the-art quantitative methods, allowing them to examine the impact of educational policies, programs, and practices. Beginning in fall 2016, the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship is open to prospective students applying to Ph.D. programs in economics, political science, psychology, and sociology who plan to pursue educational research.