July 24, 2007

Economics faculty member serves as book editor

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Sajal Lahiri, Vandeveer Chair in the Department of Economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is the editor of the latest publication in a book series produced by Elsevier, the Amsterdam-based publisher of social and physical science and health information.

The book series, "Frontiers of Economics and Globalization," provides an in-depth look at issues of global economics and is intended for professional researchers, students and policy makers. According to the publisher's description of the series, each volume tackles a different current topic and taps into leading researchers in the topic area.

Lahiri edited the second book in the series, "Theory and Practice of Foreign Aid." He also wrote the first chapter – "Conflict in the Presence of Arms Trade: Can Foreign Aid Reduce Conflict?" – with fellow SIUC Professor Zsolt Becsi. Other topics include the potential role of foreign aid in safeguarding the environment, ongoing globalization and establishment of good government. In the second section of the book, Lahiri included empirical studies on the effectiveness of aid, the relationship between aid and trade, aid and poverty and the overall effectiveness of foreign aid on long-term problem solving.

In order to edit the volume, Lahiri needed not only extensive knowledge of the subject area but also to forge solid working relationships with other scholars as well. He said he worked closely with leading authorities in the area for more than a year to get 21 papers for the volume.

Even though the book is scholarly and intended for professionals, the theories and ideas presented in it may have practical applications. "Many of the authors, including myself, are heavily involved in policy-making, mostly in African countries," he said. "I have just completed a paper on the effect of aid on fiscal policies in Rwanda with two people from the World Bank. These papers will be read by scholars who advise policy makers on a regular basis. Therefore, the policy discussions will trickle down to policy makers."

Lahiri said that all such scholarly activity helps promote the University in the scholarly community. "I think these types of books on important and topical issues published by leading international publishers do raise the profile of SIUC," he said.

For more information about the book series or this volume, visit www.elsevier.com and follow the links under "book series information." The hardcover book is 466 pages and costs $135. Local distribution is available from the St. Louis outlet of Elsevier. Call 800/545-2522 for information about local distribution. The overall editors for the book series are Hamid Beladi, professor of economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and E. Kwan Choi, economics professor at Iowa State University.