News Items: Archived Announcements
George Ayittey (M.A. Economics 1970) Credits Western
George Ayittey (M.A. Economics, 1970) has dedicated his life to saving Africa. As president of the Free Africa Foundation, established in 1993 and based in Washington, D.C., Ayittey argues that although aid to Africa is sincere, proceeds are pointless until the continent rids itself of violent dictatorships. In 2008, Foreign Policy magazine named Ayittey one of the world’s 'Top 100 Public Intellectuals' and to this day, he credits Western for helping him both find his voice and making the necessary connections to spark his cause.
Further information, including an excerpt from his latest book, Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World, can be found in the Winter 2012 issue of Western Alumni News.
Lance Lochner – RENEWED Tier 2 CRC in Human Capital and Productivity
As the renewed Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Human Capital and Productivity, Lance Lochner’s research provides the Canadian government with information to help better design policies to improve youth skills. On matters relating to skill formation, income inequality and changes in social status over generations, Lochner explores how his research can guide education and labour market policies. For example, by developing and testing economic theories on borrowing and repayment incentives for Canadian students, one goal is to better understand patterns of postsecondary enrolment to completion. As a Tier 2 Chairholder, Lochner was awarded $100,000 annually for five years and has been recognized as an exceptional and emerging researcher in his field.
University Students' Council - Teaching Honour Roll Certificate 2010-2011
Congratulations to David Rivers and Greg Pavlov on receiving a USC Teaching Honour Roll Certificate for the 2010-2011 academic year. This award is given to instructors who receive an accumulated average of 6.3 or higher out of 7 on the first 14 questions of the Western Senate-mandated course and teacher evaluations.
Bank of Montreal Professorship
The Department of Economics congratulates Jim MacGee, who has been named the next holder of the Bank of Montreal Professorship, for the period January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015. This Professorship was created through a generous gift to the University from the Bank of Montreal, and is rotated every five years between Economics and the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Social Science Faculty Scholar Award
Lance Lochner has been named a Social Science Faculty Scholar Award winner for 2012. The award recognizes faculty members for their achievements in both teaching and research. Lochner will hold the Faculty Scholar title for two years and receive $14,000 for his scholarly activities.
The Canada Council of Canada awarded John Whalley one of five 2012 Killam Prizes of $100,000 in recognition of outstanding career achievements. This award is among Canada’s most distinguished research awards. John Whalley is Canada’s leading research economist and is one of Western’s most eminent and productive scholars. His research is path-breaking, wide-ranging and prolific. His long-term contributions to Canadian culture and identity through work on trade policy, tax policy, and interprovincial issues continue today. His current focus on the large emerging economies, especially China, and climate policy is producing further enduring impact. Western Economics congratulates John Whalley on this award and is proud of his many accomplishments. The Globe and Mail
Chris Robinson – Research on The Transferability of Skills
Chris Robinson, Affiliate of the CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, and author of the Centre’s newly released Policy Brief 4 entitled "The Transferability of Skills" (with Maxim Poletaev) discusses the transferability of skills across jobs and occupations. Evidence suggests that displaced workers finding new employment in jobs using similar skills experience significantly smaller wage losses than those taking new jobs in occupations that utilize a vastly different set of skills. Workers find their way back to more similar jobs than would occur with random mobility, and they are increasingly finding their way back to more similar jobs in recent years.
See additional information on this brief and an interview with Chris Robinson on the transferability of skills.
Jim MacGee – Op-Ed in the Financial Post
An op-ed piece in the Financial Post April 4, 2012, entitled "Consumer Debt: Concerning But Not Critical," written by Jim MacGee (with Philippe Bergevin) offers an overall message that although Canadian household debt levels as a percentage of income are higher than those of U.S. households — and higher than at any point in recent history — Canadian consumer debt is cause for concern, but not panic. MacGee explains that, because of more cautious lending standards in Canada, consumer debt should remain manageable.
T. Merritt Brown and Summer Paper Prizes
The 2011 winner of the T. Merritt Brown Thesis Prize valued at $400 is Kai (Jackie) Zhao, currently an Assistant Professor of Finance in Western’s DAN Management and Organizational Studies program. Created in recognition of the late Professor Brown’s outstanding contributions in econometrics, this prize is awarded to a graduate student who has produced exceptional work deemed appropriate to receive such an honor.
The 2011 winner of the Summer Paper Prize valued at $200 is Aaron Gertz. This prize is awarded to the graduate student who, at the end of their second year, produces the best research paper during the summer term. Winners are chosen by the Graduate Awards Committee amongst those nominated by their advisors.
Congratulations to Western Economics’ 2011-2012 Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Award Winners
Western Economics is pleased to announce that Maria Goltsman was nominated by the graduate students as Graduate Professor of the Year and Jeannie Gillmore was nominated by the undergraduate students as Undergraduate Professor of the Year. Both will receive commemorative plaques.
Hiroaki Mori was selected as the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year. Hiroaki will be awarded a prize of $200 and will receive a commemorative plaque. George Orlov and Brandon Malloy were selected by the first year class as Tutorial Leaders of the Year. George and Brandon will each be awarded a prize of $100 and both will receive commemorative plaques.
Professors Emeriti Laidler and Parkin named CEA Fellows
Western Economics Professors Emeriti David Laidler and Michael Parkin have accepted the prestigious title of Fellow of the Canadian Economics Association at the Past Presidents’ Dinner of the Association in Calgary on June 7, 2012.
Created in 2010, the award recognizes achievements and contributions to the most prominent economists who have spent a significant fraction of their careers in Canada. Both Laidler and Parkin joined Western in 1975.
Dr. Nancy L. Stokey Honorary Degree Recipient at Western’s 299th Convocation
Dr. Nancy L. Stokey, economic growth and development expert, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Western’s Convocation June 13, 2012. Admired for her outstanding achievements, Stokey spoke to graduates from the Faculty of Social Science about preparing oneself for a world with continued surprises. Graduating at a time with few women as accomplished economists, Stokey’s experiences as a teacher at the University of Chicago, her prestigious distinction as an elected Fellow of the Econometric Society, co-editor of top journals and member of the National Academy of Sciences, caused many to marvel at her accomplishments. Western Economics Chair Audra Bowlus commented on the influence Stokey had on her as a graduate student through her book, Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics, co-authored with her husband, Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas, Jr., and as a role model for all young female economists.
Professors Bowlus and Robinson Featured in CLSRN
Western Economics Professors Audra Bowlus and Chris Robinson are featured in the latest volume of Labour Market Matters, June, 2012. In their study entitled “Human Capital Prices, Productivity and Growth,” Bowlus and Robinson employ a methodology that allows for changes in both human capital prices and quantities to play a role in explanations of growth and increased inequality. Their results show much larger increases in the stock of human capital than conventional measures leading to smaller increases in Total Factor Productivity.
Ken Engelhart, Western Economics BA ‘77
In the most recent edition of Western Alumni, Rogers Communications’ Senior VP, Regulatory, Ken Engelhart (BA, Economics, ‘77) remembers his choice to study economics early on. "Economics seemed to solve real-world problems," he said. Engelhart went on to do a law degree and has been employed by Rogers as an attorney for 22 years. "I use my economics as much as I use my law," he said, adding that economics gave him the tools to crack open a problem.
Western Economics Student Joins 2012 Junior Team Canada
Western Economics student Hattie Zhou will be part of Junior Team Canada’s trade mission trip to Panama and Colombia July 12-28, 2012 representing Canada on the national and international stage. Zhou, an aspiring businesswoman, has been involved in several business clubs on campus as well as youth organizations in the community.
Paul Boothe, Western Economics BA '76 Named Director at Ivey
Paul Boothe (BA Honors Economics 1976) has been named director of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management at the Richard Ivey School of Business, where he has also been named to the faculty, effective September 1. After graduating from Western, Paul went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He was appointed Environment Canada deputy minister in 2010, after serving as Industry Canada senior associate deputy minister from 2007-10. Prior to his government positions, he was a faculty member at the University of Alberta, where he taught macroeconomics, public economics and international finance, and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Economics. He has been a visiting scholar at Queen’s University, University of Tasmania and Alberta Treasury. He was a C.D. Howe Institute Fellow-in-Residence and an EnCana Scholar in Public Policy.
Bob Hamilton (M.A. Economics 1985) named Deputy Minister
Bob Hamilton (M.A. Economics 1985) was appointed Deputy Minister of the Environment on August 1, 2012.
Hamilton’s career has been multifaceted in Canadian government. After receiving his M.A. in Economics from Western in 1985, he joined the Tax Policy Branch at the Department of Finance as a team member developing and implementing the GST. Since that time, his success has been evident in numerous other appointments including Associate Deputy Minister of the Environment in 2009. In March 2011 Hamilton was appointed Senior Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board and named by the Prime Minister as the lead Canadian on the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). The RCC was established by the Prime Minister and President Obama in February 2011 to find ways to better align regulatory systems in the two countries. Hamilton currently serves as the Deputy Minister University Champion for Western.
Desmond McKeon Connects with Western Grads in Hong Kong
Western Alumni met with Economics Lecturer Desmond McKeon at a dinner organized by Katherine Wong, Alumni Director of External Relations (Asia) in Hong Kong on July 4, 2012. Everyone had an enjoyable evening discussing career paths, university news and world financial markets.
CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity - Policy Brief 5
Policy Brief 5, the newest issue produced by the CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, is based on research by CIBC Faculty Fellow Audra Bowlus and co-author Jean-Marc Robin (Sciences Po and University College London) entitled "Think Inequality is Higher in North America than in Europe? Think Again." The Occupy Wall Street movement has brought the issue of economic inequality back to the social and political forefront. This brief discusses recent research developing a new methodology for investigating and comparing lifetime earnings inequality across countries. Additional information includes a brief interview by Bowlus.
Jim Davies on Global Wealth
In the Global Wealth Report 2012 from the Credit Suisse Research Institute, issued October 2012, Jim Davies and Anthony Shorrocks measure and analyze trends in wealth across nations, from the very bottom of the "wealth pyramid" to ultra high net worth individuals. In this third edition of the report the focus has shifted to household and government debt across countries given the financial crisis of 2008. Using new wealth data, the report reviews past trends in household debt, and combines household and government debt to highlight which countries have sustainable overall debts levels and which have most problems with government debt.
John Whalley Participates at First Annual Killam Prize Symposium
John Whalley joined three other 2012 Killam Prize winners at the First Annual Killam Prize Symposium hosted by David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, November 20, 2012 at Rideau Hall. CBC's Ideas host Paul Kennedy moderated a discussion concerning the pace of scientific discovery, thinking critically in uncovering new knowledge and keeping open minds. The discussion will be broadcast at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 30, 2012. For further information, see Western News.
Qian Liu – Trillium Scholarship Winner
Western Economics proudly announces that Qian Liu, currently in her first year of the Ph.D. program, is one of Western's seven 2012 Trillium Scholarship winners. Aimed to raise the profile and prestige of Ontario universities internationally and in an effort to recruit highly educated individuals to Ontario, the recipient of this award receives $40,000 annually for up to four years of study. Liu’s research focuses on poverty and the income distribution in China.
WUER: 2011 Editors
The Western Undergraduate Economic Review is pleased to announce the editors for its 2011 Annual Edition. Jerry Lao returns this year as Senior Editor, while Rachel Fridhandler joins the Review as Junior Editor. The WUER, which has been publishing the work of Undergraduate Economics students since 2002, is currently accepting submissions for the 2011 Edition. Please visit the WUER’s web page for details.
Top Economics Students Receive Scholarships
A ceremony was held Wednesday, January 19, 2011 in the Faculty of Social Science Dean’s Office where Audra Bowlus (Chair of Western Economics) presented scholarships to six Economics students for their top standings in the department. From left to right: Yi Jiang, William Kwok, and Nan Wang (all received the Godsoe Family Continuing Scholarship); Shahar Rotberg (David J. Stenason Scholarship); Yi Chuan Zhang (Joel Fried Scholarship); Steele Roddick (Andrew Grant Scholarship for 2nd year and Walter J. Koenig Scholarship for entering 3rd year); Audra Bowlus.
Lance Lochner: Press Reference on Changing the Student Loan System
Research by Lance Lochner, CIBC Chair in Human Capital and Productivity, is quoted in an article, "Change Student-Loan System: Researcher," in The London Free Press, February 11, 2011. Lochner is currently on sabbatical at Stanford University, California.
Ben Lester Awarded The Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching 2010-2011
Ben Lester has been selected as this year’s recipient of The Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award, established at Western in 1996-97 for excellence based on evidence of outstanding contributions in the area of classroom, laboratory, or clinical instruction, will be presented during the Spring Convocation Ceremony.
Congratulations to Western Economics’ 2010-2011 Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Award Winners
Western Economics is pleased to announce that Jim MacGee was nominated by the graduate students as Graduate Professor of the Year and will be presented with a commemorative plaque. As winner of the Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year, Patrick McKelvey will be awarded a prize of $200 and receive a commemorative plaque.
Based on the nominations received from students enrolled in any Economics module, including Honors Specialization, Honors Specialization in Global Economics, Honors Specialization in Economics, Politics, & Philosophy, Economics Major, Financial Economics Major, Specialization or Minor, Western Economics is pleased to announce that Chris Robinson is the 2010-2011 Professor of the Year. Brandon Malloy was selected by the first year class as Tutorial Leader of the Year. Brandon will be awarded a prize of $150 and receive a commemorative plaque.
Awards for Economics 4400E Students (Senior Research Seminar in Economics)
Congratulations to two winners of the 2010-2011 Mark K. Inman Senior Essay Prize: Shahar Rotberg for his paper, "The Effects of Credit Markets on Fertility in Closed and Open Economies" and Ruo Xi Wang and Yi Chuan Zhang for their paper "The Impact of Higher Education Expansion on Wage Structures in China – A Simple Demand and Supply Analysis." In memory of Dr. Mark K. Inman, one of the founding members of the Department of Economics in 1929 and head of the Department from 1939-1962, this award is presented to the top Economics 4400E final paper.
This year’s Student Choice Award winner is Phil Smith, a fourth year full-time Honors BA student. Enrolled in Economics 4400E, Phil was voted among his peers as making the greatest contribution to his class.
T. Merritt Brown and Summer Paper Prizes
The 2010 winner of the T. Merritt Brown Thesis Prize valued at $400 is Yao Li, currently an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Created in recognition of the late Professor Brown’s outstanding contributions in econometrics, this prize is awarded to a graduate student who has produced exceptional work deemed appropriate to receive such an honor.
The 2010 winner of the Summer Paper Prize valued at $200 is Ke Xian Au Yong. This prize is awarded to the graduate student who, at the end of their second year, produces the best research paper during the summer term. Winners are chosen by the Graduate Awards Committee amongst those nominated by their advisors.
Tim Conley Reports on the American Stimulus Package
In his paper titled "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Public Sector Jobs Saved, Private Sector Jobs Forestalled" (with Bill Dupor, Ohio State University), Western Economics professor Tim Conley has created a stir within American media stating "that we find no evidence of large positive private-sector job effects."
Ron Wintrobe Receives CIGI-INET Research Grant
Ron Wintrobe is one of four Canadian recipients of a research grant from CIGI (Centre for International Governance Innovation) based in Waterloo and INET (Institute for New Economic Thinking), based in New York. (Western News)
2010 Arrow Prize Winners
Congratulations to two Western Economics graduates, Miana Plesca (University of Guelph) and Vincenzo Caponi (Ryerson University) as the recipients of this year’s 2010 Arrow Prize for Junior Economists. Their paper (along with Burc Kayahan), "The Impact of Aggregate and Sectoral Fluctuations on Training Decisions" was chosen as the best article published in Berkeley Electronic Press journals by junior scholars. The Kenneth J. Arrow Prizes for junior and senior scholars are awarded annually, named for renowned economist and Nobel laureate Kenneth J. Arrow.
Terry Sicular: The Economist
A recent article in The Economist about China's economy quotes Terry Sicular. The article "Beware the Middle-Income Trap, China's Roaring Growth Cannot Last Indefinitely," published on June 23, 2011, is about rising inequality in China, and it reports estimates of inequality in China based on research by Sicular and her co-authors Li Shi and Luo Chuliang of Beijing Normal University.
Terry Sicular: The Globe and Mail
Terry Sicular was cited in a Globe and Mail article, August 17, 2011, titled "Chinese faking divorce to buy more homes," which reported that, in the wake of new government regulations meant to cool China’s hot urban housing markets, couples are faking divorce in order to sidestep new rules limiting multiple homeownership. Sicular, whose recent research investigates the relationship between homeownership and income in China, explains that the excessive demand for urban real estate is rooted in China’s underdeveloped financial system, low interest rates on bank deposits, and restrictions on capital flows and foreign exchange.
Jim Davies: The Financial Post
Jim Davies' research forms the basis for a recent article in the Financial Post ("William Watson: U.S. Created Trudeau," September 30, 2011 by William Watson). Watson cites Davies' article with Stanley Winer (Carleton University) entitled "Closing the 49th Parallel," describing the work as "a fascinating new paper" in Canadian Public Policy. It argues that the increased difficulty for Canadians moving south, caused by the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965, facilitated the expansion of Canada’s public sector and higher income tax rates, since the discipline on governments caused by the threat of brain drain was reduced. The paper also shows that the increased mobility allowed by NAFTA and higher U.S. immigration limits in recent years, has partially reversed this effect, coinciding with some public sector shrinkage and reduced tax rates.
John Whalley and Research on China's Growth
Professor John Whalley introduces Professor Shunming Zhang (Renmin University, China) to Western’s President, Amit Chakma, during Professor Zhang’s visit to Western October 9-15, 2011. Potential funding opportunities from the Chinese National Science Foundation were discussed regarding research on China’s growth and integration into the world economy after the financial crisis. President Chakma offered Western’s support as these joint research projects go forward.
2011 United Way Stair Climb
The 2011 Economics stair climbing team, "Leading Indicators," raised $365 for United Way. Climbing to the top of One London Place were Jeremy Chambers, Karin Feulgen, Debra Merrifield and Leslie Kostal. Western Economics raised over $7,000 in total pledges to United Way this year. Many thanks to all the contributors.
Lawrence Summers Visits Western
Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Secretary of Treasury, will speak on a range of current economic, legal and media issues on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 in the Faculty of Law, Room 38 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. In addition to serving on the economic teams of three U.S. presidents, Summers has also been the Director of the National Economic Council, Chief Economist of the World Bank and the Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs. He is President Emeritus of Harvard University and holds the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. The fourth annual Beattie Family Lecture Series in Business Law will be moderated by Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. All are welcome.
Todd Stinebrickner: The Globe and Mail
Todd Stinebrickner’s research is the basis for an article which appeared in The Globe and Mail, October 30, 2011, titled "Mid-term interventions reduce university drop-out rates," by Paola Loriggio. Stinebrickner suggests that 40 percent of students drop out of university due to poor performance, claiming that university drop-out rates are largely due to students being unprepared for heavier workloads and independent study time. More on Stinebrickner’s research can be found in the CIBC Centre for Human Capital & Productivity’s Policy Brief 2 which was released in June 2011.
Michael Parkin: Canada's Economic Headwinds
Michael Parkin delivers a mini-lecture entitled Canada's Economic Headwinds to prospective students and their parents at Western’s Fall Preview Day on November 19th.
Lance Lochner – Research on Early Childhood Education and Crime
Lance Lochner, Director of the CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, and author of the Centre’s newly released Policy Brief 3 entitled "The Impacts of Education on Crime, Health and Mortality, and Civic Participation" reveals his research on ways in which education can reduce crime, lower mortality rates, and improve health. Lochner claims in a Western News article, that policies increasing high school completion rates, improving school quality and early childhood learning opportunities, "especially in disadvantaged communities," are likely to be more successful in reducing crime than policies aimed at increasing college and university attendance.
Todd Stinebrickner: Research in The Globe and Mail
A December 25, 2011 article in The Globe and Mail entitled "Universities tossing at-risk undergrads an academic lifebuoy," on post-secondary drop-outs, draws on Todd Stinebrickner’s continued research on why undergraduate students choose to leave university. Stinebrickner states, "There is a fairly big gap between university and high school, and students have to be prepared to deal with that. And when you perform poorly that also impacts how much you like your university and how much stress you're dealing with. When you look at all those factors together, it's clear how bad grades can derail their university education."
University Students' Council - Teaching Honour Roll Certificate 2010-2011
Congratulations to Chris Robinson on receiving a USC Teaching Honour Roll Certificate for the 2010-2011 academic year. This award is given to instructors who receive an accumulated average of 6.3 or higher out of 7 on the first 14 questions of the Western Senate-mandated course and teacher evaluations. Robinson was also elected Undergraduate Professor of the Year for 2010-2011.
WUER: 2010 Editors
Western Undergraduate Economics Review is pleased to announce the appointment of Emanuel Marcu and Jerry Lao as the editors of the 2010 issue. Now in its ninth year, the WUER showcases some of the finest work of our students. For submission information please visit the WUER website.
Commenting Weekly: On-line Portal
Professor John Whalley is contributing a weekly Comment for Alrroya.com, a business information portal, offering industry professionals and decision-makers an on-line information source for current news and events happening across the Middle East and internationally. Professor Whalley’s latest article, "Could Stiglitz be Right Over Poor Prospects for 2010?" was posted January 4th.
Professor Emeritus Michael Parkin Receives Honorary Degree at University of Leicester
Professor Emeritus Michael Parkin received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Leicester, Friday, January 22nd, 2010. Professor Parkin studied economics at Leicester from 1960-1963 and held appointments at the Universities of Sheffield, Leicester, Essex and Manchester before joining the Economics Department at UWO in 1975. In addition to his visiting appointments at Brown, Stanford and the Hoover Institution in the U.S., Professor Parkin has also held visiting posts in Australia, New Zealand, India and Japan. He is the author of Economics and Foundations of Economics, two of the best-selling introductory texts in economics that are published in dozens of editions and languages around the world, and has published over 160 journal articles and edited volumes. Professor Parkin still teaches a very popular introductory economics course, Principles of Microeconomics, here at Western.
Tiff Macklem Named New Senior Deputy Governor
On Friday, February 26, 2010 the Bank of Canada announced that Tiff Macklem (Western Economics Ph.D., 1989), currently Senior Associate Deputy Minister at the Department of Finance, will take on the role of Senior Deputy Governor at the Bank. The appointment begins on or about July 1, 2010 — at the conclusion of the G20 leaders’ summit in Toronto. A recent article in the Financial Post characterizes Tiff’s new position as that of the central bank’s 'chief operating officer', and the second-most senior policy maker on its key governing council.
Nobel Prize Winning Economist Visits Western
Professor George A. Akerlof, the 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics and the Koshland Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, delivered the 2010 Beattie Family Lecture in Business Law entitled "Identity Economics" on Monday, March 22 in the Faculty of Law.
Akerlof is the co-author of Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being published by Princeton University Press.
Peter J. Devlin Commands Canadian Army
Major-General Peter J. Devlin of the Canadian Forces has been promoted to Lieutenant General and named Chief of Land Staff at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. General Devlin graduated from Western in 1982 with an Honors BA in Economics. Lt.-General Devlin has served as Deputy Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command since August, 2008.
Social Science Faculty Scholar Award
Todd Stinebrickner has been named a Social Science Faculty Scholar Award winner for 2010. The award recognizes faculty members for their achievements in both teaching and research. Todd will hold the Faculty Scholar title for two years. Congratulations, Todd.
2009/2010 Teaching Awards
The Department of Economics is pleased to announce that Des McKeon has been nominated (second year in a row), as "Undergraduate Professor of the Year".
Martijn van Hasselt has been nominated by graduate students as "Graduate Professor of the Year".
In addition, Ke Xian Au Yong has been selected as the "Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year" and Mark Sheeley and James Partridge, "Tutorial Leaders of the Year".
First Year Students Raise Money for Uganda
As of May, 10, 2010, Economics 1022B sections 002 and 004 (Instructor Jeannie Gillmore), have raised $1,174 for the Bwindi Community Hospital in Uganda. The money will be used to purchase children’s mosquito nets. Fundraising was under the direction of first-year student Conor Coyle, a committed volunteer who has donated his time in the past to help at the hospital.
Honorary Member of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought
Professor Emeritus David Laidler has been unanimously elected as an Honorary Member of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET), in recognition of his outstanding contributions to research and teaching in the area. Professor Laidler is only the 15th individual accorded this honour since 2001.
USC's Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Congratulations to our colleague Ben Lester, who was one of four faculty members awarded the USC’s Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Ben also received a provincial award for excellence in teaching from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, which he picked up at the Partner' in Higher Education Dinner on March 31st at the Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto.
John Whalley Receives Honorary Professorship
On March 26, 2010, Professor Tang Wei, Vice President of Beijing Normal University, China, presented John Whalley with a certificate, awarding him an "Honorary Professorship" at BNU. To conclude the ceremony, Professor Whalley presented a paper entitled “Fisher and Keynes on the G20 and Possible Global Responses to the Financial Crisis”.
Securing Monetary Stability: Canada's Monetary Policy Regime after 2011, edited by David Laidler
An e-book published by the C.D. Howe Institute, edited by Professor Emeritus David Laidler and featuring chapters by both David Laidler (with Robin Banerjee) and Michael Parkin, examines whether, and if so how, Canadians could improve the framework for Bank of Canada policy when the current inflation targeting program expires in 2011. The book is available online at the C.D. Howe website.
Congratulations to Chris Robinson, Winner of the H. Gregg Lewis Prize
For his paper on "Human Capital Specificity: Evidence from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Displaced Worker Surveys 1984-2000" (2008), co-authored with Maxim Poletaev, Chris Robinson was awarded the 2008/2009 H. Gregg Lewis Prize at the Fifteenth Annual Meetings of the EALE/SOLE (European Association of Labour Economists/Society of Labor Economists) Conference at University College London on June 19, 2010. H. Gregg Lewis (1914-1992) was among the founders of modern labour economics and established this award, which recognizes the best article published in the Journal of Labor Economics over a two-year period.
John Whalley to Author IPCC Report
John Whalley has been selected as one of 200 lead authors from around the world to participate in the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scheduled for release in 2014.
Whalley, Director of the Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations, will be involved on the chapter relating to Regional Development and Cooperation. There will be 13 other authors also contributing to the same chapter, with each to draft approximately 15 pages.
Whalley, one of only five Canadians selected, will attend yearly authors' meetings - beginning next May - and continuing to 2014. [Article from Communications Staff, UWO.]
Bank of Montreal Professorship
The Department of Economics congratulates Ben Lester, who has been named the next holder of the Bank of Montreal Professorship, for the period July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2015. This Professorship was created through a generous gift to the University from the Bank of Montreal, and is rotated every five years between Economics and the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Western Launches China Research and Policy Group
China's increasing influence in the global economy is the focus of The University of Western Ontario China Research and Policy Group, which was officially launched yesterday (Aug. 11) in the Faculty of Social Science. [Article from Communications Staff, UWO.]
In the News: Jim MacGee’s C.D. Howe Institute Report Quoted in the Media
On August 31, 2010, Jim MacGee, author of a recent study released by the C.D. Howe Institute, "Not Here? Housing Market Policy and the Risk of a Housing Bust," was quoted in the Globe and Mail, and appeared on CBC's Lang & O'Leary Exchange program discussing concerns about a possible U.S.-style housing bust in Canada due to swings in the Canadian housing market. Jim’s recent research interests also include using stochastic life-cycle models to disentangle what factors account for the significant increase in unsecured consumer borrowing and personal bankruptcies in Canada and the United States over the past 30 years.
Lester Named One of Five Polyani Prize Winners
Ben Lester has been named one of five John Charles Polanyi Prize winners for 2010.
These prizes were first awarded by the Ontario government in 1987, in honour of the achievement of Dr. John Charles Polanyi who received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Polanyi Prize recognizes the excellence and potential of Lester’s research in Economics.
The prize, valued at $20,000, is awarded to five outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career and who are continuing post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university.
An awards ceremony will be held in Toronto in November.
Western Economics Launches New Alumni Portal
In time for this year’s Homecoming event, Western’s Economics Department has launched its new website, the Alumni Portal, a virtual meeting place at which Economics alumni, faculty, senior students and invited friends can engage in online conversation, share news and stay in touch. Along with regular postings of news and special events and a Weekly Friday Update at the Bar, this site will also post periodic interviews with alumni regarding their careers and other experiences since leaving Western.
Russ Boyer Appointed 2010-2011 MFI Visiting Fellow
Russell Boyer has been appointed as one of the nine 2010-2011 Visiting Fellows in the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago. He will be at the Institute for six days during the period October 26 to November 4.
Charles Zheng Named Christopher J. Grimes Faculty Fellow
Charles Zheng has been selected to be the first recipient of the Christopher J. Grimes Faculty Fellowship in Microeconomic Theory. Charles Zheng, who is a specialist in auction theory, was recruited to Western in July 2010.
The fellowship, valued at $15,000/year, supports Western Economics' mission to provide the best undergraduate and graduate education in economics in Canada, while also producing research of the highest quality. Zheng’s fellowship appointment is for five years.
Current Western Economics Honors Student at APEC
Philip Chow (shown far right), currently an Honors Economics student at Western, is engaging in discussions with some of the world’s most powerful Heads of State and Chief Executive Officers at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit running November 8-14, 2010, in Tokyo Japan. Chow competed nationally through Global Vision to represent Canada. Along with three other young Canadians, he will be promoting Canadian industry and encouraging greater inward foreign direct investment to Canada. Along with his many other talents, Chow is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Japanese. By the age of 23, he has worked and studied in 19 countries. Also standing with Chow (left to right) are Gabrielle Scrimshaw, Marianne den Hann, Terry Clifford, Ambassador T. Fried and Jackie Cook.
Dr. Munir Sheikh Visits Western Economics
Dr. Munir Sheikh, former Chief Statistician of Canada and 1973 Western Ph.D. Economics graduate, visited the Department of Economics on Friday, November 12, 2010. Dr. Sheikh presented a talk, co-hosted by the Economic Students’ Association (ESA) and the Department of Economics, entitled "Census of Canada: Some Facts and Recent Developments" regarding the recent developments and implications concerning the Census and the government’s controversial decisions to end the Canada 2011 long form and no longer require mandatory completion of the short form.
On Saturday, November 13, 2010, Dr. Sheikh was introduced by Economics Professor Jim Davies as the Keynote Speaker for the School of Graduate and Post Doctoral Studies’ conference: Put It Into Practice Conference: Finding An Application For Your Research in the World Beyond Academia. Dr. Munir Sheikh was recently interviewed for the first Feature Story appearing in Western Economics’ new Alumni Portal.
Terry Sicular, along with her co-authors Li Shi and Björn Gustafsson, have received the prestigious Chinese Zhang Peigang Award for Outstanding Achivement in Development Economics for their recent book (in Chinese), Research on the Distribution of Income in China III ((中国居民收入分配研究 III), Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press, 2008.
William Tell Overture and Economics 1021A-002/004
Jeannie Gillmore was recognized in a Western News article (December 16, 2010) for her unique method of involving students in a contest to show off their introductory economics knowledge. Students incorporated lyrics to the William Tell Overture and submitted YouTube videos to be judged and awarded a prize, which this year, were iPads donated from Pearson Education Canada. To launch the competition’s showing of finalists, Jeannie Gillmore played the famous tune, accompanied by a fellow friend and music colleague. Members of Group 60 (Kara Gabriel, Tyler Benning, Julie Flesch and Alexa Sturm) were this year’s winner.
W. Glenn Campbell Faculty Research Fellow
Professor Todd Stinebrickner has been appointed as our W. Glenn Campbell Faculty Research Fellow for a five year term. Todd's research focuses on labour economics, education economics, applied econometrics and health and retirement.
Timothy D. Lane Appointed Deputy Governor
The Board of Directors of the Bank of Canada announced the appointment of Timothy D. Lane (1983 Western Ph.D. Economics graduate) as Deputy Governor and member of the Governing Council of the Bank, effective 18 February, 2009. Mr. Lane joined the Bank as Adviser to the Governor in August 2008.
Previously, Mr. Lane held positions with the IMF, including Senior Advisor in the Research Department (2006-2008) and has taught at the University of Iowa and Michigan State University. According to the Bank of Canada, "Mr. Lane brings a breadth of recognized policy, economics and management credentials and extensive international experience to the Bank’s decision-making processes."
The Western Undergraduate Economics Review
The Western Undergraduate Economics Review is an annual publication containing articles written by Western undergraduate Economics students. First published in 2002, the Review reflects the academic distinction and creativity of the Economics Department at Western and showcases some of the finest work of our students.
Bank of Canada Research Fellowship - 2009
On March 19th, 2009, The Bank of Canada announced that Professor David Andolfatto, 1994 Western Ph.D. graduate (currently at Simon Fraser University), is the recipient of the Bank's Research Fellowship for 2009.
Professor Andolfatto is known for his work on business cycle theory, labour market policy, and the theory of money and banking. His current research focuses on bank sector stability and policies designed to avert major financial crises.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada stated that "Professor Andolfatto's outstanding work contributes to excellence in monetary policy research in this country. The Bank is delighted to recognize such a valuable contributor to this field."
Gervan Fearon, Dean of the Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
Gervan Fearon (1999 Western Ph.D. Economics graduate), currently Associate Dean (Academics) at the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University, has been appointed Dean of The Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University.
Dr. Alan Shepard, Provost and Vice President Academic at Ryerson writes that "I am delighted Dr. Fearon is joining Ryerson, bringing an extraordinary combination of talent, insight and experience from both inside the academy and beyond." The position is effective July 1, 2009.
John Whalley Recipient of The Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research
Professor John Whalley has been named as one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Hellmuth Prize, named in honour of Bishop Isaac Hellmuth, founder of Western and awarded for outstanding achievements in research.
Professor Whalley joined the Economics Department at Western in 1976 and over 33 years has become internationally known for work in several diverse areas of economics. A founder of applied general equilibrium analysis in the 1970’s led to WTO issues, development strategies and tax policy. Recent work focuses on China, Russia, and climate change. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Foreign Fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He is a research associate of NBER (Cambridge, US), a Distinguished Fellow of CIGI, coordinator of the global economy area for CESifo (Germany) and the William G. Davis Professor of International Trade at the University of Western Ontario.
Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) Award
Abdurrahman Aydemir (Ph.D. 2003), currently at Sabanci University, Turkey, is the recipient of the 2009 Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) Outstanding Young Scientist Award. This prize is given to advance young exceptional scientists to establish their own research programs in Turkey. Abdurrahman also worked as a Senior Researcher at Statistics Canada 2001-2008.
The Western Economics Fund
The Department of Economics is pleased to announce the launch of a joint Department and Alumni fundraising initiative – The Western Economics Fund. Coming soon - the Economics Alumni Portal, to include professional networking and e-recruiting facilities.
2008/2009 Teaching Awards
Congratulations to the 2008/09 Teaching Award winners nominated from students enrolled in Economics, from left to right: Undergraduate Professor of the Year, Des McKeon; Graduate Professor of the Year, Peter Streufert; Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year, Lee Ferchoff; Graduate Tutorial Leader of the Year, Brent Millar.
Distinguished Fellowship: History of Economics Society
Congratulations to Professor Emeritus David Laidler who has been awarded the 2009 Distinguished Fellowship of the History of Economics Society. The award was presented at the Society’s Annual Meeting held at the University of Colorado in Denver on June 28th, 2009. The honor celebrates Laidler’s lifetime study of the history of economics.
Jayson Myers: "Recession and Road to Recovery"
The Economics Students' Association, along with the Social Science Students' Council hosted Dr. Jayson Myers, President of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Wednesday, November 11, 2009. For further details, visit the Association's website.
Western Alumnus Visits Social Science
Tiff Macklem, Associate Deputy Minister and G7 Deputy for Canada, Finance Canada (and Western Economics Ph.D., 1989), spoke on "The Global Financial Crisis: An Inside Perspective" Wednesday, November 18, 2009. This event was sponsored by the Office of the President, the Department of Economics and co-sponsored by the Economics Students’ Association.
The Teaching Assistants for Economics 1021A held a very successful Review Session before the final examination for first year economics students on December 10, 2009. The cost of attendance was a charitable donation for the London Food Bank.
Jim MacGee - Business News Network
Professor James MacGee was recently interviewed on the Business News Network, as part of a discussion of the current situation in the Canadian and US housing markets.
You can also read a Commentary MacGee wrote on this issue while he was on Sabbatical Leave at the Cleveland Federal Reserve.
Lance Lochner, Associate Editor of the new Journal of Human Capital
Lance Lochner, a faculty member in the Department of Economics and Fellow in the Department’s CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, has been appointed Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Capital, published quarterly by The University of Chicago Press. Lance’s paper with Philippe Belley, a graduate student in our department — "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement" — appears in the journal’s inaugural Volume 1, Number 1.
CESifo Prize in the Global Economy 2008
This year's CESifo Prize in Global Economy was awarded to our colleague, Hiro Kasahara. Hiro's paper, "Productivity and the Decision to Import and Export: Theory and Evidence," was presented at the Group's Annual Area Conference on the Global Economy held in Munich, 25-26 January 2008. Hiro has also become a Distinguished CESifo Affiliate "for the scientific originality, policy relevance and quality of exposition of his paper."
Munir Sheikh Appointed Chief Statistician
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on February 15th, 2008 that Munir Sheikh (1973 Western Ph.D. Economics graduate), has been appointed Chief Statistician Designate effective March 3, 2008. Following the retirement of the present Chief Statistician, Mr. Ivan Fellegi, Sheikh will obtain Fellegi's post effective June 16th, 2008. Mr. Sheikh began his professional career in 1972 as an Economist at the Economic Council of Canada. Recently, he served as Deputy Minister of Labour and Associate Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development.
Carson Sherwood, 2008 Carroll Round Winner
Carson Sherwood, an Economics 400 Senior Seminar student at Western, was chosen as our top honors undergraduate (and, most notably, the only Canadian) to attend the 2008 Carroll Round, April 17-20, 2008. This yearly conference, held at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), promotes discussion among undergraduate students from top schools in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Denmark, Germany and the U.K. Participants interact with eminent economists, discussing their research in international economics, and may have their work published in the Carroll Round Proceedings.
CIGI/UWO Research Workshop
The Department of Economics hosted a CIGI/UWO Research Workshop on April 25, 2008 on The Changing Global Economy. Sponsored by CIGI (The Centre for International Governance Innovation), this one-day conference provided a forum for established and junior scholars to present their research on international economics.
Labour Day Conference Hosted by the Department of Economics
The annual UM-MSU-UWO (University of Michigan-Michigan State-University of Western Ontario) Labour Day Conference was hosted by the Department of Economics on May 16, 2008. This one-day conference in Labour Economics maintains links between Labour Economic research groups and promotes the work of faculty and graduate students, especially students preparing for the job market. Rotating yearly between the three departments, this conference allows one faculty member and one graduate student from each university to present a paper.
Kenneth J. Arrow Prize in Economic Analysis and Policy
The Department of Economics congratulates Todd Stinebrickner, this year’s winner of the Kenneth J. Arrow Prize in Economic Analysis and Policy. His paper, co-authored with Ralph Stinebrickner (Berea College), "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," has been published in Frontiers, the highest quality tier of the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy. The Arrow Prizes in Economics are named in honor of Kenneth J. Arrow who shared the Nobel Prize in 1972 for his pioneering contributions to general equilibrium and welfare theories.
Economics Grad Named to C.D. Howe Institute's Monetary Policy Council
Doug Porter, a graduate of our Masters program (1984) has been recently appointed (October 16/08) as a new member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s prestigious Monetary Policy Council (MPC). Currently, Mr. Porter is Managing Director and Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. According to William Robson, president and CEO of the Institute, "His recent work on the behavior and measurement of Canadian inflation, and on price levels in Canada and the United States highlights his expertise in matters critical to monetary policy."
During Western’s 2008 Homecoming, the Department of Economics saluted the distinguished career paths of various graduates from 1971 to 2007 identifying their current affiliations. In addition, photos of several current faculty, with brief synopses of their research interests were presented. Senior faculty met with alumni visiting the Social Science Centre.
Professor Jim MacGee, Professor Emeritus David Laidler and Professor Nathan Sussman participated in a panel discussion, hosted by the Economics Department and the Economics Students' Association on October 30, 2008 on issues relating to the current financial crisis.
Economic Students’ Association (ESA) Super-Sized
Economic Students’ Association co-presidents Matthew Ball and Anshul Ruparell, according to the Western News, have, with the help of others, accomplished "a slick new publication, an aggressive pursuit of major speakers [and a] strong marketing campaign." Membership two years ago struggled at 22. Today the club enjoys a membership of 550 across campus.
The Economics Department Honors its Top Students:
On Monday, November 3, 2008, the Department of Economics hosted its annual Reception to Recognize Academic Achievement for students enrolled in Economics.
The Right Honourable Paul Martin Visits Western
The Economics Students’ Association hosted a speaking engagement with former Prime Minister, Paul Martin, November 26th in Alumni Hall. The event was free to all members of UWO and the London community. Mr Martin spoke about his life in politics, Canada’s role in global credit crisis, and the need for greater international co-operation during financial crises. A question and answer period followed.
Department Faculty Member — Author of Most Downloaded On-line Journal Article
With nearly 1,500 PDF downloads in 2008, "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance", by Todd R. Stinebrickner (with Ralph Stinebrickner, Berea College) is the most-downloaded article so far this year from the popular on-line journal, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Professor Stinebrickner was also this year’s winner of the Kenneth J. Arrow Prize in Economic Analysis and Policy.
Tiff Macklem Appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Finance
Tiff Macklem, a Western Economics Ph.D. graduate (1989) has been appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Finance, effective November 1, 2007. His experience in analysis of international economic and financial issues will serve him in his role as Canada's Finance Deputy at the G-7, G-20 and the Financial Stability Forum. Tiff was previously a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada.
Recently Appointed Chair, Nathan Sussman
The Economics Department at Western welcomes Professor Nathan Sussman who was recently appointed Chair (2007-2012). Sussman, who earned his BA and MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, is no stranger to Western's Economics Department. He began his career here as Assistant Professor (1991-95) and returned frequently as a Visiting Associate Professor over the past decade, teaching and studying economic history . He recently published a book on Financial Globalization at Oxford. In addition to his tenure at the Hebrew University, for which he served as Chair of their Economics Department from 2000-2003, Sussman has also been an integral part of Western's Social Science Business and Economic History Workshop and co-organized with Eona Karakacilli of the History Department, an international medieval economic history conference in 2005.
Retirement Celebration for Joel Fried
Faculty Fellowship in Microeconomic Theory
An anonymous donor has provided UWO with a generous gift that will fund the creation of a Faculty Fellowship in Microeconomic Theory.
The Western Award of Excellence
We are pleased to announce that Yvonne Adams, Coordinator of the Graduate Program, has been awarded the prestigious 2007 Western Award of Excellence. This award recognizes exceptional performance by University staff members.
Western Economists in The Economist
Recent research on the rise in consumer bankruptcy by Igor Livshits and James MacGee of Western and Michelle Tertilt of Stanford is cited in the Jan 4th, 2007 edition of The Economist.
Governor General's Medal for 2007
The Department of Economics congratulates Vadim Iaralov, an Economics Honors Specialization graduate, for winning the Governor General’s medal for 2007. This medal is given to the student graduating with the highest cumulative average at UWO. Vadim will enter the PhD program at Princeton University in the Fall.
Duncan Black Prize
Our colleague Ron Wintrobe was awarded the Duncan Black Prize for the best article published in the journal Public Choice in 2006, as chosen by its editors, for his article “Extremism, Suicide Terror and Authoritarianism".
Arrow Prize Winners
Paul Klein and his co-authors, Vincenzo Quadrini of the University of Southern California and Jose-Victor Rios-Rull of the University of Pennsylvania, have been awarded the Arrow Prize by the Berkeley Electronic Press for their 2005 paper, "Optimal Time-Consistent Taxation with International Mobility of Capital"...[MORE]
On October 20, 2006 Western conferred an Honorary degree on François Bourguignon, who received his Ph.D. in Economics from Western in 1975. Dr. Bourguignon has had a distinguished career, and is now Chief Economist for the World Bank. The citation was read at the convocation ceremony.