News

International economics major adds five languages

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passport and map

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.

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Nelson Mark Named Acting Director of Institute for Asia and Asian Studies

Author: Kate Cohorst

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.

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Video: Notre Dame Economist Timothy Fuerst on Policy Questions and Economic Modeling

Author: Arts and Letters

“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.

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Arts and Letters Alumnus Combines Storytelling and Sports

Author: Mary Kate Malone

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.

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Video: The Economy Now

Author: Arts and Letters

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.

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Professor Kasey Buckles Brings Economics Home

Author: Aaron Smith

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?”

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Bill Kennedy: From Arts and Letters to International Finance

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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.”

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Chicago Shamrock Series Events to Include Four Academic Programs

Author: Megan Zagger

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.

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Economics Alumnus Helps Brew a Coffee Change

Author: Scott Frano

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.

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St. Louis Fed’s Bullard Discusses Price Level Targeting and Nominal GDP Targeting

Author: Arts and Letters

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.

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New Study Contradicts Official Poverty Numbers

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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.

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St. Louis Fed President Speaks at New Economics Lecture Series

Author: Aaron Smith

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.

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Study Shows Official Measures of American Poverty Off-Base

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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.

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New Faculty Propel Economics Department’s Rise

Author: Aaron Smith

Timothy Fuerst, one of the most-cited economists in the world, is joining the University of Notre Dame this fall as William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Economics. Fuerst’s appointment is the “crown jewel” in a series of recent hires that will bring even greater depth and diversity to the rapidly growing Department of Economics, says Chair Richard Jensen, the Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics.

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Economist Joseph Kaboski Receives 2012 Frisch Medal

Author: Kate Cohorst

University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski has been awarded the 2012 Frisch Medal for a paper evaluating the impact of microfinance, widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries. First awarded in 1978, the Econometric Society presents the Frisch Medal biennially for the best empirical or theoretical applied paper published in Econometrica within the previous five years. The Frisch medal is not only one of the top three prizes in the field of economics but also the most prestigious “best article” award in the profession, says Rich Jensen, Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics at Notre Dame and chair of the Department of Economics.

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Economist Kirk Doran Shows How Communism's Collapse Changed Mathematics in the U.S.

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The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 brought an influx of Soviet mathematicians to U.S. institutions, and those scholars’ differing areas of specialization have changed the way math is studied and taught in this country, according to new research by University of Notre Dame Economist Kirk Doran and George Borjas from Harvard University.

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Graduating Seniors Receive National Fellowships

Author: Arts and Letters

The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national and international organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 13 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2012, 10 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters. Two Arts and Letters graduates of earlier classes also received prestigious fellowships and scholarships this year.

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Microfinance Yields Mixed Results in Thailand, Economist Joseph Kaboski Finds

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Large-scale microfinance programs are widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries, but a recent study by University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski and MIT colleague Robert Townsend suggests that microfinancing can have varying results for participants and may not be the most cost-effective use of funds for many situations. The study was published in a recent issue of Econometrica. Kaboski and Townsend used the Thai Million Baht Village Fund, one of the largest government microfinance initiatives of its kind, to evaluate and understand the benefits and disadvantages of microfinance interventions.

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