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Gunseli Berik The students in Gunseli Berik's development economics and labor and gender courses are helping to bring new attention to neglected or poorly understood topics in these fields by contibuting essays to Wikipedia. Berik's effort is part of the Wikipedia United States Education Program. Her students first identify important issues related to economic development, gender and the economy, and related topics. They then construct thoroughly-researched essays that fill in these gaps. Berik's project has been widely covered in the local media, including features on KCPW radio and KSL and KUTV television.
Haimanti Bhattacharya, assistant professor of economics, has received a Faculty Fellow Award from the University Research Committee for 2012-2013. Bhattacharya will receive funding to work on a research project examining “The Household Status of Women in South Asia.” It is now widely understood that the status of women plays an important role in economic development and also that development has important effects on women's living conditions. What makes Bhattacharya's research unique is that she will examine many different dimensions of women's status at the same time, in several different countries (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal), while considering both household level and individual-level factors that affect women. For instance, Bhattacharya will be able to examine whether household wealth and a woman's individual employment status have different effects on the woman's health, her role in household decision making, and her exposure to domestic violence. The evidence in Bhattacharya's study will come from the Demographic and Health Surveys of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Haimanti Bhattacharya joined the Department of Economics in 2008 after spending a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Her PhD is from the University of Arizona
Henrique Morrone (PhD 2012 ) In December, Henrique Morrone (PhD 2012) recently received the Economic Studies of the Ministry of Finance Prize from the Brazilian Ministry of Finance - in the field of growth, economic development and institutions- for a paper entitled “Distribution, Structural Change and Economic Expansion in a Two-Sector Model Applied to Brazil”. Morrone’s paper was published at the Ministry of Finance website (See the paper at http://www.fazenda.gov.br/portugues/documentos/2012/EE--007.pdf- external link ). This work was considered the best paper in development economics submitted to the ANPEC conference- the association of national economic centers of graduation in Brazil. It is based on Morrone’s dissertation (Three Essays on Distribution and Economic Expansion of a Dual Economy), completed under the supervision of Professor Codrina Rada. In this work, Morrone builds a Structuralist Computable General Equilibrium model (SCGE) to investigate the impact of macroeconomic policies on the Brazilian economy. The model describes an open, developing economy with two sectors (formal and informal), two commodities (tradable and nontradable), and two classes (workers and capitalists). A central thesis of the study is that redistributive macroeconomic policies, mainly income transfers toward workers, spur economic growth in Brazil. Morrone employed different simulation exercises to investigate whether distributive macroeconomic policies in favor of labor boost economic activity. His findings underscore the importance of these policies to promote economic growth.
Of his work since leaving Utah, Morrone says, “Currently, I am an economic researcher at two public institutions - the Department of Agricultural Development and the Foundation of Economics and Statistics. My work involves policy analysis and its effect on the South of Brazil. I’m working on building a regional social accounting matrix and a structuralist model to assess the impact of external shocks (exchange rate shocks) and regional policies on the economic structure of the south of Brazil. Additionally, I’m studying the relationship between exports and labor productivity in the South employing causality tests and Bayesian econometrics.”
Mark Price (PhD 2005) is a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center (KRC) where he has worked since 2004. The KRC is a non-partisan research and policy development institute based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that works to promote and advance economic and social policy that leads to more broadly shared prosperity. KRC is a member of the Economic Analysis Research Network hosted out of the Economic Policy Institute as well as the State Fiscal Policy Initiative operated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Mark's work at a state based "think-tank" involves policy analysis and advocacy on a wide range of issues including prevailing wage law, unemployment insurance, payday lending, economic and workforce development and tax and budget policy. Advocacy involves fielding questions from reporters (see “Skills Don’t Pay the Bills, New York Times Magazine 11/20/2012), testifying before the state legislature and making public presentations on current policy issues and research. Mark's best known research since joining KRC was a nationally recognized report tracking the educational qualifications of the early childhood workforce in the United States. Mark's recent work for KRC has included a report on the high cost to taxpayers of school bus privatization and evaluation of the relationship between the state control of alcohol sales and alcohol related motor vehicle fatalities. You can find Mark’s economic policy blog at thirdandstate.org.
Doug Petersen, a Salt Lake City native and former Jewell J. and LaRue J. Rasmussen Scholar, graduated from the University of Utah with an H.B.S. in economics in 2009. Now a law student at New York University, Doug credits the Economics Department with placing him on a career trajectory in international economic policy and law. Shortly after the introductory Principles of Economics course began, Doug knew that he had found his major; upon enrolling in International Economics, he knew that he had found his niche. Struck by the passion that his Economic Development professor, Gunseli Berik, had for the subject, Doug pursued the field further, ultimately writing his honors thesis on the adverse effects that U.S. agricultural subsidies have on farmers in Central America. After graduating, Doug earned an M.Sc. International Political Economy from London School of Economics and worked as a trade policy analyst for the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. At NYU, his studies focus on investment, development, and trade. His long-term goal is to help craft market-oriented global economic policies through a career spanning government, private practice, and international organizations.“Had my economic development professor not been so dedicated to our course – and then to my senior thesis – I never would have considered pursuing graduate work in economics,” Doug recently stated. “And that means that everything else that has followed would not have occurred.”
Katie Kormanik Builds on Economics and Math Background to Become Educational Entrepreneur.
As a student at the University of Utah, Katie Kormanik (Economics HBS, Math BS 2010) became convinced that education is a vital determinant of individual economic fortunes and national economic development. She also held the view that dedicated individuals could help improve the delivery of education where it is most needed. Her Honors Thesis, “
Student Volunteerism and Educational Development: The Cases of Ghana, Chile, and China,”
examined the contribution that student volunteers could make in promoting improved education in countries at different stages of economic development. After completing her degree, Kormanik entered the International Comparative Education master’s Program at Stanford University. Katie says, “My economics and mathematics majors well-prepared me for the economics of education, quantitative methods in social science, and development theory classes at Stanford. For my thesis, I used the Education Longitudinal Study’s (2002) dataset to analyze the relationship that factors such as peers may have with student effort. Throughout the 11 months of my master’s program, I got a broad sense of the issues in education that exist today.” Since completing her master’s degree, Kormanik has worked as a research consultant at the Math inquiries Project (
). She also works full-time writing math curricula that will initially be used on digital notebooks throughout the nation but will one day be made into hard-copy textbooks. “The lesson plans that I write are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, innovative standards that emphasize critical thinking and deeper conceptual understanding.” Her long-term plans combine the growth of her business, providing opportunities for new graduates, and contributing to education policy. “Rather than an employee, I am an independent contractor. I hope to continue increasing my client base and one day expand my sole proprietorship into an LLC with employees to help with math development projects. Specifically, I want these employees to be students or recent graduates, since I feel that young minds are underutilized in math education development. Other long-term goals are attending law school to study the legalities of education policy-making, and working as a consultant for UNESCO.”