On Saturday, May 13, 2017 – 59 Economics Degrees were awarded along with 2 PhDs to Dr. Thorsten Matje and Dr. Michael Michaelides. J. Martin Breuer, Erica Hjerpe and Jordan Lew were named as Outstanding Seniors and Ben Chenault and Eliza Stoner were named Outstanding Juniors. Our honored keynote speaker was Kevin Neyland, Principal at Clifton Consulting, LLC in Falls Church, VA, retired Deputy Administrator in the Office of Management & Budget, and a 1975 graduate from our department as well! Watch the keynote address here. We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors! Click here to see more photos from our ceremony.
Thursday, June 1, 2017 – Economics major and championship swimmer, Klaudia Nazieblo was featured in the Spring 2017 Virginia Tech Magazine article “Skills and Gills”.
The Department is pleased to announce three new affiliate faculty appointments:
Brooks King-Casas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology with appointments at VTCRI, School of Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Engineering & Science, and Faculty of Health Sciences.
Michael Moehler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and is the Director and Founder of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Program.
Wen You is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in addition to serving with the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Congratulations to Dr. Sheryl Ball on her promotion to Full Professor and to Dr. Adam Dominiak on his promotion to Associate Professor.
A paper co-authored by Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and recent Ph.D. Graduate Mohammad Mosafavi, titled “Cash Transfers and Labor Supply: Evidence from A Large-Scale Program in Iran”, which was funded by a grant from the Economic Research Forum, has recently received media attention from Business Insider and Vox.
Congratulations to Erika Perdue for being selected as the August Advisor of the Month from the Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Advising!
Thursday, August 10, 2017 – Congratulations to Omid Bagheri, who successfully defended his dissertation, Three Essays in Applied Microeconomics today. Be sure to congratulate him as he prepares to head to his new job at Kent State!
Congratulations to Prof. Hans Haller on his new book Groups and Market. In this book Dr. Haller and his long-time collaborator Dr. Hans Gersbach of ETH Zurich organize, summarize and expand on their research on general equilibrium models with multi-member households. Often the economic models treat households like single consumers, although the decisions and well-being of individual members are obviously affected by the composition of their respective households. In turn, the formation of a household and its stability may depend on economic conditions and considerations. Professors Gersbach and Haller link together the formation, composition, decision-making and stability of households. Their more advanced models combine traditional exchange (markets for commodities) and matching (markets for people or partners). Their findings help improve our understanding of the economic aspects of social structure and inform economic policy.
Wednesday, Dec 7 – Congratulations to Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Dr. Sudipta Sarangi and Dr. Wen You (AAEC)! They have received a $100,000 grant from Harvard Kennedy School for a pilot study on Increasing Employment with Peer Effects. – As in most Middle Eastern countries, youth is Saudi Arabia suffer from high rates of unemployment. Saudi private employers prefer to employ expatriate workers, who are less expensive and have greater incentive to perform. The Saudi government has implemented several policies to assist the integration of youth into the private labor market but with limited success. The effectiveness of these policies could be improved by introducing behaviorally inspired non-pecuniary incentives. This project aims to assess the need for, and the feasibility of, introducing peer networks in job search for Saudi youth. The hypothesis is that positive peer effects can help youth overcome the unavoidable frustrations of looking for a job in the Saudi private labor market and persevere in their search. Peer networks provide emotional support and access to new information and experiences that can help motivate youth. In addition, they can help change youth beliefs about non-government jobs, to which most youth gravitate. This pilot will identify the potential obstacles, especially for women, in forming peer networks that meet online as well as in person. We plan to evaluate the impact of peer network interventions using a randomized controlled trial and engaging the recipients of an existing government program (Hafiz ) that provides financial incentives for youth to search for jobs.
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