Christopher Waller, the former Gilbert Schaefer Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, has been confirmed to the Federal Reserve’s seven-member Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. Waller, executive vice president and director of research at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday with a vote of 48-47.
Each summer and school year, a dimly lit computer lab in the basement of Jenkins-Nanovic Hall on Notre Dame’s campus hums with the activity of undergraduate interns working to find solutions to complex, poverty-related issues. As an intern for the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, Emily Merola ’20 helped collect data for the Catholic Charities Fort Worth's Stay the Course project and Padua program. “It was really great to be close to the actual operations of the provider and know that each data point is a person,” Merola said. “I think everybody knows, but sometimes you need that salient reminder.”
The Homeless Prevention Call Center for the City of Chicago, currently run by Catholic Charities of Chicago, has helped thousands of families stay off the streets. Knowing funding for public programs is never guaranteed, it wanted to prove its method was cost effective and impactful. In 2012, it approached Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) for assistance. Could LEO researchers measure the call center’s effectiveness rather than volume?
Whether he’s studying in Uganda or France, South Africa or South Bend — or speaking English, Luganda, French, or Swahili — Trevor Lwere has one topic at the forefront of his mind. No matter where he is, the economics and global affairs major is driven to investigate what different cultures and perspectives can teach each other about forming the best society. “Every time I move to a different place, I get curious about how different societies imagine how they should be organized and how they approach life,” he said.
Three new members of the regular faculty and one visiting professor have joined the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame for the 2020-2021 academic year. These additions come on top of several years of impressive growth. The department now boasts 44 members of the regular faculty, up from 34 in the 2015-2016 academic year.…
At Notre Dame, senior Emily Pohl found a passion for social change — and put it into action. An international economics major with a concentration in French, Pohl worked to combat the cycle of poverty by researching and implementing microfinance initiatives. She is graduating with a portfolio of real-world research experiences, a published journal article, and a position at LEK Consulting in Chicago. And it was her Arts and Letters education that empowered her to take action.
Georgia Twersky loves diving deep into data when she’s studying economics. But her experiences at Notre Dame have helped her see the value of understanding the people behind the numbers, as well. An international economics major with a Spanish concentration and a minor in peace studies, the senior has found numerous ways that her academic disciplines support one another, preventing her from missing perspectives that might be lost by focusing on just one area.
One of the greatest assets of a Notre Dame degree is the University’s incredible global network. But those connections aren’t only with alumni — senior Nick Gabriele believes that, sometimes, the most important mentors can be fellow students. Gabriele, an economics and Spanish major who will begin working as a consultant with McKinsey & Company after graduation, launched Consulting Connect — an organization designed to educate students about the diverse field of consulting, prepare them for the recruiting process, and connect them with potential employers.
Notre Dame faculty member and alumnus Carlos Lozada, the nonfiction book critic for the Washington Post, is the recipient of a 2019 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, journalism’s highest honor. In announcing the award April 15, the Pulitzer jurors cited Lozada “for trenchant and searching reviews and essays that joined warm emotion and careful analysis in examining a broad range of books addressing government and the American experience.”
Taking a traditional path never much interested Mark Winkler ’11. He knew he wanted to go to medical school, but he sought something beyond a strictly science-based course of study. He says his majors in economics and Arts and Letters pre-health led to him to where he is now — a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine and a resident physician in radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco.
By the time children are 5 years old, there is already a distinct gap between those ready for kindergarten and those who aren’t. And for the children who lag behind — most often those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds — that gap may never close. Chloe Gibbs ’00 wants to determine how preschool can best prepare those children for kindergarten and for success later in life. An assistant professor in the Department of Economics, she has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for her project, Parenting, Preschool, and the Production of School Readiness and Later Academic Outcomes.
Four alumni of Notre Dame’s international economics program returned to campus in March to speak to current students about their experience with the major, valuable classes they took, and the skills they developed that are now paying dividends in the real world
Six new faculty have joined the Department of Economics this year, bringing expertise in a wide variety of subfields and significant experience conducting research at the federal level. The new additions — professor of the practice Timothy Dunne; assistant professors Kirsten Cornelson, Illenin Kondo, Benjamin Pugsley, and Jasmine Xiao; and research assistant professor Sarah Kroeger — join a department undergoing remarkable growth. It has added 22 faculty members in the last five years, thanks in part to its selection as one of 10 essential research areas through the University’s Advancing Our Vision program.
When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.
The U.S. government has a good idea of where oil prices are headed and why, but the demand side is less clear. So the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a part of the Department of Energy that collects and distributes data on energy and the economy, recruited Notre Dame economist Christiane Baumeister to develop an indicator for future energy demand. With a two-year, $120,000 grant, she’ll collect data on possible determinants of oil demand and create models to figure out which of those factors actually determine future demand. Having that information, she said, tells us about more than just oil.
Why researching and understanding the economics of the family is essential for government and military policy.
The past year has been one of highs and lows for our department.
The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities received multiple funding awards totaling more than $1.2 million in 2017 to continue its work reducing poverty and improving lives through evidence-based programs and policies. A nearly $350,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health offers support for a major research initiative on the impact of emergency financial assistance on those at risk of homelessness, while nearly $1 million in grants will help LEO to continue its work reducing poverty and improving lives through evidence-based programs and policies.
Lakshmi Iyer is Associate Professor of Economics and Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She is a development economist whose research examines many dimensions of the distribution of political power within emerging market countries, including the legacy of colonial rule, the division of authority between politicians and bureaucrats, and the determinants of conflict. She holds a joint appointment in the College of Arts and Letters Department of Economics and the Keough School of Global Affairs. Within the Keough School, Iyer is the director of the Sustainable Development concentration for the Master of Global Affairs.
The summer after his sophomore year, Notre Dame senior J.P. Bruno was packaging maple syrup, taking care of honeybees, and tending to an orchard on a biodynamic farm in Vermont. Three weeks later, he was sitting in the White House, interning for the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) as part of a semester in the Notre Dame Washington Program. These contrasting experiences provided Bruno, an economics and applied and computational mathematics and statistics (ACMS) major, with an assortment of skills that eventually led him to developing his senior thesis and receiving a job offer in economic consulting at the beginning of his senior year.