The 2018 Hazel Award Recipients
The Charles and Barbara Hazel Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Economics
This award is given annually to the graduating senior Economics major or majors judged outstanding in scholarship, leadership, and service by the faculty of the department. The award is named for the late Charles (Chuck) Hazel and his wife Barbara. Chuck, who passed away a few years ago, was a great friend of the SCU Economics Department for many years.
This year, the award for students in the College of Arts and Sciences was granted to Kathryn Hanson-Dobbs and Xindi Sun and the award to a Business School student went to Kirsten Lynn Mead. Congratulations to these outstanding students! See below for their bios.
Kathryn Hanson-Dobbs is from Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated in March with a double major in Accounting and Economics and a minor in International Business. Kathryn has been a peer educator in the economics department and a tutor in the Drahmann center. She completed the Leavey Scholars program in the business school and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society. During her time at Santa Clara, she studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark where she took a course on emerging markets.
Kathryn’s favorite economics course was Econ 190 with Professor Ifcher, where she was able to participate in economics research. She has found that having a background in economics has been hugely beneficial in her other business courses. Last summer, Kathryn interned in international tax at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where she will work full time starting in July. Her work at PwC involves a lot of data analysis and she is proud to showcase the skills she learned from studying economics.
Kirsten Mead is an Economics major with a mathematical economics concentration and minors in Mathematics and Management Information Systems. A four-year starter on both the indoor and beach volleyball teams at Santa Clara, Kirsten has excelled athletically as well as academically, having been named to six consecutive West Coast Conference All-Academic teams and three All-WCC First teams. She has spent four quarters as a TA for Intermediate Microeconomics and three quarters as a tutor through the Drahmann Center. As a freshman, she was a peer educator for International Econ, Development and Growth. Kirsten is in the Leavey Scholars program and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma (business honor society). Throughout her time at Santa Clara, Kirsten has enjoyed being able to take a variety of economics courses and combine math with economics. Some of her favorite topics included game theory, behavioral economics, and econometrics. After graduating, Kirsten will be attending Duke University for an MS in Interdisciplinary Data Science, and she looks forward to being able to apply her passion for economics to her studies of data science.
Xindi Sun graduated with a double major in Mathematics and Economics with a concentration in mathematical and economics. She is an international student from China. She considers her experience at Santa Clara University as life changing. Before attending SCU, she was aware of the power of technology and innovation. However, the interdisciplinary curriculum at SCU has introduced her to econometrics, programming and data processing technologies. Thus, she decided to pursue a MS degree in Business Analytics at SCU. She believes that her studies in economics will serve as a great foundation to build on business-oriented data analytical skills. She has worked as teaching assistant, grader and research assistant for the Economics Department. These experiences not only deepened her understandings of economic concepts and issues, but also helped her to build research and communication skills. She is particularly interested in international affairs and the economics of development and poverty. In the future, she would like to work with innovative businesses to promote social justice and equality both in the US and around the world.
Student Awards: Several of our graduating seniors received university awards, including:
Leavey Scholar Program: Justin Alexander Azzarito, Anya Michelle Dennis, Kathryn Hanson-Dobbs, and Kirsten Lynn Mea
Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society: Justin Alexander Azzarito, Anya Michelle Dennis, Kathryn Hanson-Dobbs, Kirsten Lynn Mead.
2018 Pathway Essay Award Winners. Winning essays were considered Exemplary by the Faculty Readers and Pathways Facilitators: Tess Cartin (Public Policy), Mark Lex (Design Thinking).
Shireen AlAzzawi, Lecturer
Over the last year, Professor AlAzzawi continued her research and teaching on topics of international trade and economic development. She has been using classroom debates on controversial topics related to course content in both her lower division and upper division classes. This has created a lot of enthusiasm during class time and much heated discussion about headline topics. In her research, she started working on a project to study youth vulnerability in Egypt and Jordan. She presented her paper at the Middle East Economic Associations’ annual meeting at the ASSA in Philadelphia last January.
Professor AlAzzawi has also completed her co-authored studies of “Return Migration and Socioeconomic Mobility in MENA: Evidence from Labor Market Panel Surveys” and “Firms’ Lifecycle under Conflict-Related Mobility Restrictions in Palestine: Evidence from Establishment Censuses”. The first study examines the impact of migration on the mobility of migrants from Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia in terms of own earnings, inter-generational earnings and wealth, at several different time intervals after their return. The second study explores the economic implications of the mobility-restriction regime on firms’ life-cycles across occupied Palestinian territories during 1997–2012. She has three papers forthcoming; in the Review of Income and Wealth, the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance and Topics in Middle Eastern and African Economies. She is also scheduled to present two papers at the Economic Research Forum’s annual meeting in July.
Adina Ardelean, Lecturer
Professor Adina Ardelean continues to teach undergraduate courses in International Economics with an emphasis on discussing current issues in international trade policy. She also continued her research on understanding and quantifying barriers to trade that firms face when they engage in international trade. She presented her research at the Australian Trade Workshop in Auckland, New Zealand.
Alexander Field, Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics
Professor Field continues to teach and do research in macroeconomics and macroeconomic history. His main project this past year was an examination of the impact of the Second World War on the growth of US potential output. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, he argues that the learning by doing associated with the mass production of 276,000 aircraft in a four year period as well as other ordnance, was largely irrelevant after the war because these were unique, never to be repeated events. Combined with the loss of manpower (407,000 mostly prime aged males never returned; almost a million total casualties), the immediate postwar decline in female labor force participation, and the disruptive effects of war mobilization and demobilization, he concludes that, on net, the economic effects of the conflict were almost certainly retardative. He presented his work in a number of venues, including the New Economic School in Moscow, the ASSA meetings in Philadelphia, and the NYU campus in Abu Dhabi. He also wrote an essay on historical measures of economic output for the Handbook of Cliometrics, and his chapter on “Manufacturing Productivity and U.S. Economic Growth” appeared in the Oxford Handbook of American Economic History.
Christian Helmers, Associate Professor of Economics
Over the last year, Professor Helmers continued his main line of research on intellectual property and innovation. He published several papers: a paper on so-called “trademark squatting” in the International Journal of Industrial Organization; another paper on shared ownership of patents in the Journal of Legal Studies, and a paper on innovative activities of firms in science parks in the Journal of Economic Geography. He presented his ongoing research at different conferences and seminars, including Berlin, Munich, and Oxford. Professor Helmers has also been helping with the department’s efforts to foster our relationships with our econ alumni.
John Ifcher, Associate Professor of Economics
Over the past year Professor Ifcher has been on sabbatical, planning new research projects and finishing a host of on-going research projects. Since his sabbatical started, three of his papers have been accepted for publication. One examines the impact of neighbors’ income on subjective well-being; this paper was published in the Journal of Health Economics. A second paper examines the impact of income inequality on subjective well-being; this paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Inequality. A third paper examines the impact of economics instruction on student’s selfishness; this paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. Professor Ifcher has also made substantial progress on two additional research projects. One examines how individuals make decisions on behalf of others and the other examines the impact of others’ income on one’s mood.
Linda Kamas, Associate Professor and Department Chair
Professor Linda Kamas has just completed her final year (of four) as department chair. It has been both exciting and challenging to provide leadership for the department as our number of students has soared. She continues to teach macroeconomics, which is a real joy. Both students and professor find the topic incredibly engaging given the painful events of the financial crisis of 2008 and the economic policy responses. Professor Kamas continues to focus her scholarship on prosocial behavior, gender, and emotions. Her recent stream of research addresses the issue of how empathy and compassion lead to prosocial economic decisions and explain some gender differences in economic behaviors. One paper, forthcoming in Feminist Economics, finds that people who exhibit greater empathy are more supportive of government economic intervention and that empathy explains the gender gap in such support. Another finds that empathy explains prosocial decisions so that empathic men are just as generous as women. Her most recent paper (Does Empathy Pay?) examines how empathy affects earnings. Recently, some authors have made the case that greater empathy has economic payoffs in terms of career outcomes because empathic people work better with others and make better managers. However, those who are more empathic may choose majors and careers that are less well paid. The empirical results for SCU graduates in the early years of their careers is that the latter effect dominates so greater empathy is associated with lower earnings. This research was presented at the Bay Area Behavioral and Experimental Economics Workshop in May and will be presented at the Economic Science Association World Meetings in June.
Michael Kevane, Associate Professor of Economics
Professor Michael Kevane has been working on several new projects. One is a collaboration with SCU psychology professor Birgit Koopman-Holm to explore the meaning of compassion for residents of Burkina Faso. Koopman-Holm is a specialist in the cross-cultural study of emotions. Economists are increasingly realizing that the useful model of human behavior as largely focused on "getting more for less" has its limits, and much important economic behavior can be more usefully understood as emerging out of the interaction of those goal-seeking intentional acts and the less deliberate emotion-driven responses to situations that are framed in different ways. Adam Smith of course knew all about this complication of homo economicus. In March, Professor Kevane spent two weeks in Burkina Faso conducting an experiment involving discerning the facial characteristics that people in Burkina Faso associate with a compassionate stance. Results will be processed and a paper written in the summer. In other research, Dr. Kevane is analyzing the electoral registry of Burkina Faso, with about 5 million names, and matching those names to ethnic groups, in order to measure the strength of ethnic partisanship in elections in Burkina Faso. Ethnic solidarity is important in elections in many places in the world, and it has important implications for the functioning of democratic systems and consequently for government policy. Professor Kevane continues to lead the Civil Society Institute on campus, which hosts several visiting speakers and a weekly student discussion group. The non-profit that Professor Kevane founded in 2001, Friends of African Village Libraries, now supports 35 community libraries (in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda) and has published more than 140 photo books for readers in those libraries.
Serguei Maliar, Associate Professor of Economics
Professor Serguei Maliar continued to serve as economic advisor to the Canadian Central Bank on development of the model for the economic projections and optimal monetary policies for the Canadian economy. Also, Dr. Maliar served as an economic adviser to an online investment company "Income Club", based in Palo Alto, which provides professional advice to its members while building a diversified fixed-income portfolio with bonds from a variety of countries and sectors. Finally, Professor Maliar served as an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.
Professor Maliar worked on research projects on the new Keynesian models, life-cycle models and heterogeneous agents’ models as well as on applications of machine learning to economics. Over the 2017-2018 academic year, he published two research articles in such well-regarded economic journals as Econometrica and Quantitative Economics. He presented his work at various meetings and seminars including the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Chicago, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, American Economic Association, Society for Computational Economics, Society for Economic Dynamics. Professor Maliar was invited to teach a mini-course on computational methods at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.
Kris Mitchener, Professor of Economics
This past summer Professor Mitchener traveled to Europe to present his research on hyperinflations at the Bank of England and at the World Cliometric Society meetings. In the fall, he organized a kickoff event to bring together SCU economics alumni and re-connect with the department faculty and current students. An SCU economics alumni group has subsequently been formed to foster these relationships. Please see the newsletter for details and contacts. Professor Mitchener has also been organizing the department’s yellow pad research seminar this year. In addition to showcasing the research of our very talented faculty, the department has hosted speakers from Stanford, UC Berkeley, Claremont McKenna College, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, HEC Montreal, University of North Carolina, and UC Davis. During the academic year, Professor Mitchener gave invited seminars at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, Stanford, UCLA Anderson School of Business, and the University of British Columbia. He was also an invited visiting Professor at the Paris School of Economics during spring recess and continues to edit the leading field journal in economic history, Explorations in Economic History, which has seen its submissions nearly double under his stewardship. He was appointed to serve on the university’s newly-created Library Advisory Council. His research on how banking panics spread contagion through their interbank connections and contributed to the decline in economic activity during the Great Depression was published in the top economics journal (Journal of Political Economy).
Lan Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Economics
Professor Lan Nguyen has been working on understanding the effects of tax on the macroeconomy. The recent period when central banks around the world are stuck at the zero bound on the nominal interest rate renews the research interest on fiscal policy. In a paper in the American Economic Association P&P 2018, Professor Nguyen with her coauthors, Wataru Miyamoto at the Bank of Canada and Dmitriy Sergeyev at Bocconi University (Italy), investigate the importance of fiscal policy when the nominal interest rate is stuck at the zero lower bound using Japanese data between 1980 and 2014. They find that a tax cut of 1% of GDP leads to 1.6% increase in output at the zero lower bound while it is 0.6% in the period when monetary policy is active. Nevertheless, the difference is not statistically significant at conventional level. Professor Nguyen has also been working on examining the changes in real exchange rates and other open economy aspects of fiscal policy in advanced economies such as the United States and in developing economies such as Argentina. She has also been working on how international trade linkages across countries affect business cycle properties in 24 countries for the last 40 years. Her papers in the last year have been accepted and published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics and Journal of International Economics.
Damian Park, Lecturer
Professor Damian Park taught 172 students so far in 2018. Econ 111 students applied what they learned (forgot?) in Econ 1 to environmental issues like food waste (not necessarily economically wasteful), the BART extension to the OAK airport (fairly wasteful, especially with the rise of Uber/Lyft) and the more recent residential Solar Mandate (all new homes in CA must have panels). Professor Park also tried out new digital tools for his Econ 1 students. Although students like the pre-class tutorial videos, videos seem to crowd out reading the text - only 2 students had actually read more than one page of the book by week 7. This is actually great news - perhaps the most important Econ 1 lesson is to think about the opportunity cost of everything, especially your own time.
Goncalo Pina, Assistant Professor of Economics
Professor Pina continued his work on International Economics and Economic Policy. In “Macro and Micro Financial Liberalizations, Savings and Growth”, forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Professor Pina investigates the optimal portfolio for financial liberalizations. Using a simple theoretical model with heterogeneous agents he shows that performing macro financial reforms (for example, opening up to capital flows) without micro financial reforms (for example, keeping constraints on domestic financial competition), is a better liberalization strategy for countries with low savings. A country with low savings that liberalizes both dimensions is more likely to face a financial crisis due to the interaction between government policy and over borrowing. Looking at the data, he shows that savings mediate the relationship between different liberalizations and economic growth in a way that is consistent with the model. Professor Pina was also awarded a grant to estimate the benefits from financial innovation that links bond repayments to GDP in European economies, and to investigate potential challenges associated with these debt instruments. Following the birth of his son, Jasper, last December, Professor Pina spent the Spring quarter on parental leave and will return next Fall.
Dongsoo Shin, Associate Professor of Economics
Dr. Shin has been working on new research projects, "Organizational Structures and Manipulable Aggregate Information" and "Information Manipulation in Public Good Provision." In October, he presented his paper, "Delegation and the Value of Shirking," at the Midwest Economic Theory Meeting in Dallas. He also gave a seminar talk at the UC-Irvine's Economics Department in November.
William Sundstrom, Professor of Economics
During 2017-18, Professor Sundstrom served as President of the SCU Faculty Senate, which took up a number of important issues, including a campaign by lecturers to unionize, as well as ongoing faculty concerns about the University's STEM initiative. He visited northern Nicaragua in June 2017 as part of an NSF-funded interdisciplinary research project on food and water security among smallholder farmers. He developed and taught an extensively revised version of his course on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the U.S. Economy, incorporating hands-on data analysis.