When senior economics major and peace studies major Melissa Maggart began looking for a summer internship last year, she sought to combine her academic interests with her personal desire to help alleviate poverty. Her search brought her to a new program at the University of Notre Dame—the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO).
Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce, both juniors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, have been elected undergraduate student body president and vice president for the 2013-14 academic year. Coccia, an Africana studies and peace studies major, and Joyce, an Arabic and economics major earning a minor in peace studies, will take office on April 1.
An innovative partnership between the University of Notre Dame, the nation’s preeminent Catholic university, and Catholic Charities USA, one of this country’s most influential social service networks, was announced recently. The formation of the collaboration, called the Alliance, was driven by the two institutions’ common belief that helping those in need is a core element of the Catholic faith. A key component of the Alliance is Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), the first domestic poverty lab in the United States.
University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski has been awarded a $415,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to lead a research project that will explore the poor’s motives and reasons for saving in developing countries. The study, now underway, is called “Unlocking the Black Box of Savings: Using Quantitative Theory and Microfinance” and will focus on the nation of Uganda, combining structural theory with experimental data.
Sylvester Schieber, who received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1974, was recently recognized by TIAA-CREF for his work on the history of the U.S. retirement system and the ways in which it could be improved. Schieber won the 17th annual TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security for his book The Predictable Surprise: The Unraveling of the U.S. Retirement System.
Beginning this fall, University of Notre Dame undergraduate students interested in pursuing international economics as a major can choose from among five new language options: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German and Russian. These are in addition to the three Romance languages — French, Italian and Spanish — already available.
International economics, the newest major within the College of Arts and Letters, combines substantial coursework in the Department of Economics with advanced training in language and culture. It also provides students with the potential for overseas internships and specialized research projects.
“With the addition of these languages, the international economics major is an even more attractive option for undergraduates who want to prepare for international careers,” said Richard Jensen, Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor and Chair of Economics.
Notre Dame economist Nelson Mark has been appointed acting director of the University’s Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. The appointment is effective immediately and runs through July 1, 2014. “As acting director, I am eager to help develop research and academic programming that drive collaborative scholarship on the many interdisciplinary issues that confront Asia,” says Mark, the Alfred C. DeCrane Jr. Professor of International Economics.
“If you only like philosophy, then be a philosopher. If you only like history, then be a historian. If you only like mathematics, then be a mathematician. But if you like all of those things, you should be an economist,” says Timothy S. Fuerst, the William and Dorothy O’Neill Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. One of the most-cited economists in the world, Fuerst also serves as senior economic advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. His research interests include monetary theory and policy, with a special focus on business cycles.
As a history and economics major at Notre Dame, David Finocchio ’05 wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, but he felt certain it would not involve sitting at a desk and crunching numbers. Instead, he took a shot and created bleacherreport.com, now the third most-visited sports website in the country. Last summer, Finocchio and the site’s two other founders sold the company to Turner Sports for $200 million.
Watch The Economy Now: a fall 2012 roundtable discussion with expert economists from the Notre Dame faculty presented by the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Letters. An audience Q & A follows the discussion.
This past year was an exceptional one for the new era of economics at Notre Dame.
Kasey Buckles, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics, challenges undergraduates to take the theories, statistics, and modeling tools they learn in their core courses and apply them to universal life experiences like birth, marriage, divorce, and other family dynamics. In her research-focused seminar called Economics of the Family, Buckles and her students explore questions such as “What is the effect of birth order on prenatal investment in children?” and “How does a mother’s age at first birth affect the academic achievement of her children?”
As an undergraduate economics major in the College of Arts and Letters, Bill Kennedy ’90 took an Asian history class to fulfill one of his academic requirements. That class, he says, is part of the reason he is now a top portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments in London. “I fell in love with international business because I’d taken government requirements and then a fascinating Asian history class,” he says. “My professor got me really excited about the opportunities in Asia. My career grew right out of my Arts and Letters degree; I became fascinated with things that are now relevant to my career and what I do every day.”
As Fighting Irish fans descend upon Chicago for the Shamrock Series off-site home football game between the Notre Dame and Miami on Oct. 6 (Saturday), the University will present four academic events highlighting various topics of interest, including the national media, the economy, U.S. foreign policy, and the role of religion in politics today. All events are free and open to the public and will be held at the JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., Chicago.
Plenty of American office workers have used a Keurig coffee maker for a boost by now, and they can thank a Domer for the ubiquitous caffeine machine. Chris Stevens ’74 is one of the original four co-founders of Keurig Premium Coffee Systems. Launched in 1998, the company is now the largest seller of coffee brewers in America. Stevens, who majored in economics, is the vice president of corporate relations for Keurig.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard discussed “A Singular Achievement of Recent Monetary Policy” on Thursday as part of the Theodore and Rita Combs Distinguished Lecture Series in Economics at the University of Notre Dame. During his presentation, Bullard discussed the large shock to the U.S. economy in 2008-2009 and what should have happened if monetary policy reacted in just the right way to the shock.
Despite official government statistics showing a rise in the number of poor in this country, poverty actually has fallen by 12.5 percentage points in the past 40 years, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist James X. Sullivan, whose research examines the consumption, saving and borrowing behavior of poor households in the U.S., and how welfare and tax policy affect the well-being of the poor. The paper was presented September 13 at the Brookings Institution’s fall 2012 conference on the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.
James Bullard, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and a prominent contributor to U.S. monetary policy, will share his perspective on the state of the economy in a September 20 speech at the University of Notre Dame’s Washington Hall. Titled “U.S. Monetary Policy: Still Appropriate,” Bullard’s talk is the inaugural event in a speaker series designed to show students how economics can be applied to a broad range of fields.
The structure of a federal program that provides monthly subsidies to promote the adoptions of special needs children in foster care may actually be delaying some adoptions, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist Kasey Buckles.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s method of calculating who is poor and who is not has been under fire by researchers for years because it doesn’t calculate the benefits of anti-poverty programs—such as food stamps and housing subsidies—into its formula. In response to the criticism, the Census Bureau released in the fall of 2011 the Supplemental Poverty Measure to more accurately assess poverty in America. Though the new supplemental measure uses a definition of income that is conceptually closer to resources available for consumption than pretax money income, a new study by University of Notre Dame economist James X. Sullivan finds that even the Supplementary Poverty Measure provides an inaccurate reflection of deprivation in this country.