Summer 2020

Prof. Warren Anderson presented his paper “Politics, Economics, and Native American Conflicts” in Canberra Australia, just before the shutdown. His paper analyzes more than 1,800 cases of violence between the U.S. military and tribes over the nineteenth century. He finds that politics played a role – violence increased in recessionary election years. Additionally, violence spikes around the mining of gold and the state-level extinction of buffalo. The results are stronger and larger for states than territories, as states had voting rights in national elections unlike territories.

Prof. Anderson also developed a new course for the upcoming Foundations requirement (FNDS 3903: Rules of the Game: How Institutions Work). While not an economics class, it will discuss various economic topics from a more institutional setting. Topics to be covered include colonization, patents, prison gangs, criminal entities, dictators, if countries’ borders are wrong, et cetera. This new course will be offered in Winter 2021.

Prof. Suzanne Bergeron presented a co-authored paper on “Silence and Voice in Latin American gender policy” at the Latin American Studies Association meeting, as well as a paper on “Rethinking the Ecology of Care and Commoning” at the European Conference on Politics and Gender. Her co-authored book Liberating Economics: Feminist Perspectives on Families, Work and Globalization (University of Michigan Press) is currently in production and will be released in January 2021.

Profs. Natalia V. Czap and Hans J. Czap received an internal grant “Work harder to be happy? The connection between effort, reward, and happiness” to investigate the difference in happiness when accomplishing low effort-low reward and high effort-high reward tasks. Natalia presented her paper “Nudging and empathizing in the classroom: How behavioral economics made me a better teacher” at the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics conference in Dublin, Ireland. Hans presented a co-authored paper “The impact of trust on corruption” at that same conference. As SABE’s education coordinator, Natalia invites students interested in graduate school and in behavioral economics to check out the SABE’s webpage dedicated to the graduate programs and workshops in the behavioral and experimental economics fields:  https://sabeconomics.org/education/.

At their May 2020 Regent’s meeting Natalia was promoted to full professor (with tenure) and Hans was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor.

Prof. Antonios Koumpias co-authored paper “Comparing Small Business Owner and Voter Beliefs Regarding Constraints on Business Growth” was accepted for publication at the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy.  He also presented co-authored work, “Do State Medicaid Expansions Really Save Lives?” at a virtual conference “Reforming Healthcare Markets” organized by the University of Kentucky and the Institute for Humane Studies.

He also co-authored a policy memo with Jill Roof of the Citizen’s Research Council of Michigan on the fiscal impact of the pandemic on cities in Michigan that levy a local income tax.  The research appears in the COVID-19 Fiscal Strategies Guide for state and local policymakers by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy of the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. 

Prof. Ilir Miteza co-authored the article, "Exchange rate changes and money demand in Albania: a nonlinear ARDL analysis," published in the Journal Economic Change and Restructuring.  Many studies on money demand focus on searching for a stable long-run money demand function, an essential part of a successful monetary policy. This paper contributes a new approach to test the short- and long-run effects of currency fluctuations on money demand in Albania, a small open economy without deep financial markets. The paper shows that money demand is stable, but in a nonlinear specification, there are asymmetric effects of exchange rates with depreciations reducing money demand. This is likely due to a substitution effect amplified by a relatively dollarized economy. 

Prof. Miteza also completed his term as Associate Provost and has returned to the economics faculty full time.

Prof. Bruce Pietrykowski is embarking on a new research project focused on the economic conditions facing essential workers. A large portion of those classified as “essential workers” is low-wage and is often regarded as low-skilled.  A substantial share of essential work is performed by women and people of color.   Prof. Pietrykowski will examine occupational skills along racial and gender lines, test for a wage penalty or premium for particular skills, and evaluate the relative standing of essential workers in the wage distribution.  This research project was recently cited in the June 2020 National Center for Institutional Diversity COVID-19 Research Brief.

Prof. Pat Smith's paper “Who Drinks Soda Pop? Economic Status and Adult Consumption of Sugary Soft Drinks” (co-authored with Jay Zagorsky, Boston University) was accepted for publication in Economics & Human Biology.  This paper analyzed data on thousands of American adults in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and found evidence of an inverse gradient in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB):  the higher is income and wealth, the less frequent is SSB consumption.  This pattern may contribute to overall disparities we observe in which health improves with each step up the socioeconomic ladder.

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