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Prof. Michael Haines Wins the Gallman/Parker Award

By Department of Economics on September 20, 2017

Professor Michael Haines, the Banfi Vintners Professor of Economics, was recently honored by the Economic History Association as the inaugural recipient of the Robert Gallman/William Parker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Data Preservation. Michael received the award at the Annual Meetings of the Economic History Association in San Jose, CA on September 16, 2017. The award recognizes Michael for his contributions to the field of economic history and his efforts in collecting and preserving economic, population, and agricultural census data in the United States and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Congratulations to Michael for this well-deserved award!



Professor Grace Ts’ao retires

By Department of Economics on August 31, 2017

Grace Ts’ao, Senior Lecturer in Economics, retired from Colgate University in 2017. Well known for her lively personality and ready laugh, Grace taught accounting to generations of Colgate students, beginning in the summer of 1981. She held masters degrees in mathematics and accounting and was a long-time member of the accounting faculty at the State University of New York at Oneonta, where she retired several years ago. The economics department wishes Grace a healthy and happy retirement!

Professor Jay Mandle retires

By Department of Economics on August 22, 2017
After a teaching career of over 45 years, most of it spent at Colgate, Professor Jay Mandle retired as the W. Bradford Wiley Professor of Economics, Emeritus. Jay earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and joined the Colgate faculty in 1990 as the premier holder of the W. Bradford Wiley Distinguished Chair in Economics. He arrived at Colgate after a 20-year teaching career at Temple University where he established himself as a leading scholar in the fields of African American economic history, economic development, and the effects of globalization. More recently he turned his attention toward American Democracy and Equality. Jay also taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, Lincoln University,and the University of the West Indies; he taught as well as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Guyana and Nankai University China. Jay is a highly prolific scholar and author of 14 books and over 100 articles and book chapters; he is also the co-editor of the “Globalization” issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences (July 2000).  The Economics department wishes Jay and his wife Joan a wonderful retirement!

Class of 2017 Honors Students in Economics

By Department of Economics on August 21, 2017

The following 10 students from the Class of 2017 have earned the honors designation in the Economics Department after successfully completing their honors thesis (2 of which earned high honors):

Annie Conway, The Impact of Charter School Laws Strength on School Closures” (Faculty Sponsor: Yang Song)

Emily Gu, The International Transmission of the US Monetary Policy Shock” (Faculty Sponsor: Richard Higgins)

Gina Joseph, The effects of India’s Panchayati Raj Institutions on child marriage” (Faculty Sponsor: Carolina Castilla)

Troy Kelly, Effects of TV Contracts on NBA Salaries” (Faculty Sponsor: Benjamin Anderson and Carolina Castilla)

Meagan Klebanoff, Analyzing the Effect of the Common Fisheries Policy on the UK’s Fishing Industry: Better with Brexit?” (Faculty Sponsor: Bob Turner)

Kayla Oliver, Accounting for Hysteresis: Incorporating Invariant Output Targeting into the Three Equation Model” (Faculty Sponsor: Tom Michl and Carolina Castilla)

Santa Ramirez Rijo, Effects of Violence Prevention and Attention Units on prevalence and perceptions of intimate partner violence in the Dominican Republic” (Faculty Sponsor: Carolina Castilla)

Ieva Steponaviciute, Carbon Pricing in Input and Export Markets: Multinational Firms and Carbon Leakage using Bernard et al’s Model of Global Firms” (Faculty Sponsor: Bob Turner and Richard Klotz)

Irene Zhao, The Role of Money in a Real Business Cycle in an Open Economy” (Faculty Sponsor: Richard Higgins)

Zoe Zhong, Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes: Is Culture Relevant?” (Faculty Sponsor: Carolina Castilla and Yang Song)



The Economics Department welcomes two new faculty members

By Department of Economics on August 21, 2017

Isla Globus-Harris received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Mathematics and Romance Languages with Honors from the University of Oregon and completed her Ph.D. in Economics with a specialization in Interdisciplinary Environmental Research from the University of California, San Diego.  Her primary research interests include environmental economics, microeconomic theory, and mechanism design.  Isla will be teaching Introduction to Economics this fall.


Erik Lillethun received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science and Certificate in Finance from Princeton University with Honors, his Masters of Arts in Economics from Duke University and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego. His primary research is in microeconomic theory, game theory, law and economics, and industrial organization. Erik will be teaching Intermediate Microeconomics this fall.

Economics Department Award Winners-Class of 2017

By Department of Economics on August 21, 2017

The Economics Department awarded the following three students from the Class of 2017 with awards:

Marshall-Keynes Award for Excellence in Economics:  Kayla Oliver
Awarded by the department to the senior with the strongest, sustained performance in analytical economics.

Chi-Ming Hou Award for Excellence in International Economics: Gina Joseph
Established by past and present department members in honor of the late Chi-Ming Hou, who was a member of the Colgate economics department from 1956 to 1991, for outstanding achievement in International economics.

J. Melbourne Shortliffe Prizes: Zoe (Hua) Zhong
Established in honor of the late J. Melbourne Shortliffe, chair of the economics department emeritus, and awarded to outstanding graduating seniors who have concentrated in economics.

Congratulations to our award winners!

Faculty-Student Happy Hour

By Department of Economics on February 27, 2017

All economics majors are invited to the department’s faculty-student happy hour Thursday, March 2 from 4:30-6:30 pm at Donovan’s Pub.  Come enjoy refreshments with your favorite economics professors!

Art, psychology, and the environment: Professor Turner explores the connection

By Department of Economics on October 7, 2016
By Meredith Dowling ’17 on October 5, 2016


It’s estimated that 50,000 pieces of plastic are floating in each square mile of the world’s oceans. Photo by Rich Carey (Shutterstock)

Does seeing an image of plastic bags floating in the ocean influence people to be more environmentally friendly? That’s what Bob Turner, professor of economics and environmental studies, hopes to find out with his new research.

In Turner’s study, participants are asked a set of questions designed by psychologists that assesses their opinions on the state of the environment’s health. Next, one group is shown an artistic image of a whale, accompanied by text explaining that the whale image is comprised of 50,000 plastic bags, equal to the estimated number of pieces of floating plastic in a square mile of the world’s oceans. Other groups see different combinations of image and/or text. Sometimes, a photograph of bags in the ocean replaces the whale image. Afterward, all participants answered a subset of the initial survey questions and questions on their beliefs about plastic bag pollution.

Professor Bob Turner (Photo by Mark DiOrio)

Professor Bob Turner (Photo by Mark DiOrio)

Although the study is ongoing, so far, Turner has found that those who are shown either one of the images and/or the text become more pro-environment. “It’s an open question whether environmental art, by itself, has an impact, but clearly information seems to matter,” he said. “I’m hoping the research will narrow down the ways, and, in what circumstances, the art has an impact.”

Turner first started thinking about the effects of art on people’s thoughts about the environment during a 2008 visit to Colgate by the Canary Project, which produces art and media about ecological issues. But it wasn’t until several years later when Turner was invited to speak at a scientific communication conference that he decided to pursue it further.

In the fall of 2014, Turner designed a new a scientific perspectives class, called Environmental Activism, Science, and the Arts. Through working with students in the class, which discussed art, psychology, statistics, and the environment, Turner modified his study to this current iteration. Students from that class worked with him on the design of his survey instrument.

When he came to Colgate in 1983, Turner was purely an economist, and the environment was hardly on his radar, but now he teaches both subjects. “I married into a family that hiked in the Rockies every summer,” he said. “[While in] the national parks out there, I realized there were interesting economic questions associated with them.” He then helped expand the Environmental Studies Program to include environmental economics and has continued to conduct research about national parks in addition to his recent work about environmental art.

Lauren Schmetterling ’10 Wins Gold

By Department of Economics on September 6, 2016

Lauren Schmetterling recently won gold at the 2016 Olympics as part of the United States Women’s Eight.   Lauren is the first Colgate athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics.   Congratulations to Lauren on setting a gold standard that all economists in the department are excited about.

Class of 2016 Honors Students in Economics

By Department of Economics on June 15, 2016

The following eight students from the Class of 2016 have earned the honors designation in the Economics Department after successfully completing their honors thesis (3 of which earned high honors):

Andrew Aicher, “Analyzing the Effects of Variable Performance Based Pay Programs on Productivity: Evidence from a Field Experiment” (Faculty Sponsors: Carolina Castilla and Takao Kato)

Melissa Haller, “The End of the Nuclear Era: An Investigation of Nuclear Decommissioning and its Impacts on US Counties” (Faculty Sponsor: Michael Haines)

Mallory Hart, “Additional Benefits to Sustainability in Higher Education? The Effect of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on Undergraduate Admissions Outcomes” (Faculty Sponsor: Michael O’Hara)

Miranda Kornfeld,The Effect of Financial Incentives on Solar Installations” (Faculty Sponsor: Steven Sprick Schuster)

Zachary Lazow,Superstar Effects in Golf Tournaments” (Faculty Sponsor: Takao Kato)

Bradley Miles,Returns to Scale and Regulations” (Faculty Sponsor: Ayse Sapci)

Julia O’Neil,Accession to the World Trade Organization: Sector Level Impacts on the Extensive and Intensive Margins of Trade” (Faculty Sponsor: Chad Sparber)

Anna Schein, “Signals for Foreign Direct Investment in Post-Conflict Economies” (Faculty Sponsor: Dean Scrimgeour)