January 25, 2008

Speaker series offers variety of economics topics

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — We all know "the economy" impacts our lives, but to a layman it isn't always easy to understand why or how or what to do about it.

Alison Watts, associate professor of economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, addresses a practical side of economics as the first speaker in the Spring 2008 Vandeveer Speaker Series, sponsored by the Department of Economics at SIUC.

Watts will talk about "Career and Family Choices in the Presence of Uncertainty," beginning at 3 p.m. on Feb. 1 in Faner Hall, Room 4135.

Watts specializes in microeconomics, law and economics and an economic branch of study known as "game theory." Game theory, generally, looks at strategic decisions that are made in an environment when the ultimate outcome is influenced by the strategic decisions of all "players." Watts' Vandeveer lecture offers her insight for strategic decision-making for professionals and families during a time of economic uncertainty.

Here is the rest of the lineup for the Spring 2008 Vandeveer Speaker Series: (Note: Events begin at 3 p.m. in Faner Hall 4135.)

Feb. 8 – An Analysis of Poverty Across Regions and Sectors of the Economy in Pakistan

Dawood Jan from the Northwest Frontier Provincial Agricultural University in Peshawar, Pakistan and a visiting scholar with the Department of Agribusiness Economics at SIUC, is a guest speaker for this topic. Phillip R. Eberle, associate professor of agribusiness economics, invited Jan. Eberle, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan, represented SIUC as a member of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Training Group that was established several years ago as part of the Sustainable Development of Drylands Project that included NFPAU.

Feb. 22 – Do More Corrupt Countries Receive Less Disaster Relief?

Samia Tavares, assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, addresses this thought-provoking question as a guest speaker. Tavares addressed the role of political and trade liberalization on corruption in a recent article published by the "European Journal of Political Economy." Her working papers, besides the one she presents here, include the role of freedom of information laws and corruption and corruption in judicial terms and selection.

Feb. 29 – The Interplay between Preemptive and Defensive Counterterrorism Measures: A Two-Stage Game

Subhayu Bandyopadhyay is a research officer with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a position he accepted last May. Before that, he was associate professor of economics at West Virginia University. The research division of the Federal Reserve Bank promotes economic research in order to contribute to economic policy discussions. The Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis is one of 12 Federal Reserve banks. As part of the federal system and operating under Congressional mandate, the banks manage the nation's money supply and credit and regulate banking institutions. Bandyopadhyay has forthcoming journal articles on immigration, tariffs and child labor issues.

March 7 – Demand and Supply Effects in the Factor Content of Trade

Vitor Trindade is associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Trindade taught for several years at Syracuse University before coming to U of M-Columbia. His other current working papers address topics including models of trade in relation to firm-owners and models of international trade and cultural diversity.

March 21 – The Dynamic Behavior of Capital Accumulation in a General Cash-in-Advance Model

Been-Lon Chen is deputy director of the Institute of Economics at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, and a visiting scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also an editor for "Taipei Economic Inquiry" and "Academia Economic Papers." Chen has forthcoming publications on two-sector growth models, two-country trade and inflation and growth.

April 4 – Industrial Deregulation, Skill Upgrading and Wage Inequality in India

Gunjan Sharma is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She recently earned her doctoral degree at the University of Maryland at College Park. Sharma specializes in international trade, industrial organization and applied econometrics. Her working papers include such topics as industrial reforms, industrial and trade policies in India, domestic competition versus foreign entry and the effect of India's economic reforms on poverty.

April 11 – Oil Prices and Remittances: Impacts of Oil Price Shocks on the Macroeconomy of a Small, Oil Importing and Labor Exporting Country

SIUC's AKM Mahbub Morshed, assistant professor of economics, specializes in open economy macroeconomics, international economics and economic development. Some of his recent research includes border issues and how they impact prices, and real exchange rates.

April 25 – The Effects of Land Titling on Household Dynamics

Sebastian Galiani, associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, specializes in development economics. He is also the senior researcher at the Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina and an affiliated researcher for the Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo in Lima, Perú. Galiani's publication topics include the role of public education in land rich economies and school enrollment on maternal employment, the effects of privatization on earnings in the oil industry, and the effects of water privatization on child mortality.

The Vandeveer Speaker Series includes the Sixth Annual Vandeveer Chair Public Lecture at 6 p.m. on April 14 in the Student Center Auditorium. This year's topic is "Sex in the Marketplace: Why Men Earn More than Women." The speaker is Sol Polachek, University Distinguished Professor at Binghamton University in the State University of New York system. More details on that special lecture are forthcoming.

Sajal Lahiri, Vandeveer Endowed Chair in the Department of Economics, organizes the series. For more information on the series, go to www.siu.edu/~econ/.