Category Archives: Faculty

Dr. Nancy Jianakoplos

Faculty Friday: Nancy Jianakoplos

In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU.

Friday September 14th’s Faculty Friday article features our very own Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator Nancy Jianakoplos!

1. What inspired your interest in economics?

I like studying and teaching economics because it is an essential part of everyone’s life. Economics is everywhere! Learning about how an economy works and how policies might make an economy work better can contribute to making the world a better place. Much of my research in economics has focused on household wealth accumulation and saving for retirement. In particular, I have looked at how financial investment decisions can differ between men and women—if a wife earns more than a husband—or for different generations of households—Boomers versus Gen X, for example. Differences in financial decision making can produce differences in economic well-being. I care about economic well-being!

2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?

I enjoy my senior seminar in sports economics (ECON 492) the most. I get to work closely with the seniors, many of whom are very interesting and intelligent young people with exciting ideas. Most of the students are interested in sports so they work really hard to get the economic and quantitative analysis in their senior projects right. It is very satisfying to watch students recognize the power of economic theory and quantitative methods to shed light on how the world works.

3. What did you want to be when you were little?

When I was 10 years old, I decided I wanted to be President of the United States. I wrote in all four of my college application essays that I wanted to be president and that I needed the best education possible to prepare me for the job. Therefore, I needed to be admitted to that college. I was accepted at three out of the four! In college, I learned that the Federal Reserve has almost as much impact on the world as a president, convincing me to change my major from political science to economics.

4. How did you get to CSU?

I was moving from Michigan to Colorado to be with my husband-to-be. I received job offers from the economics departments at Metro State in Denver and from Colorado State University. Metro paid more, but CSU had a football team. I came to CSU for the color and pageantry of college football.

5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?

I love the Teletubbies! I have over 500 Teletubbies in various sizes. Small versions of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa, and Po travel with me attached to my purse, briefcase, or backpack. I take pictures of Teletubbies wherever we go. The Teletubbies have been to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Anghor Wat in Cambodia, and beyond. They even have a brick at the new stadium!

Dr. Ray Miller

Welcome Assistant Professor Ray Miller to the Economics Department!

We welcome a new face to the Economics Department this year, Assistant Professor Ray Miller!
Dr. Miller received his doctorate in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. From 2007-2010 he worked for the American Institutes for Research, a behavioral and social science research and evaluation organization in Washington DC. Prior to joining the faculty at CSU, Dr. Miller spent three years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and Research Fellow in the Program on the Global Demography of Aging at Harvard.
His research investigates the determinants and consequences of health disparities and social inequality. Research interests include the lasting impact of early health disparities, the welfare implications of health insurance, and the inequality of health and economic well-being among the elderly.
When asked about his teaching philosophy Dr. Miller replies, “My goal is to instill knowledge and curiosity within each of my students. This involves not only ensuring that core content is understood, but also creating a genuine passion to extend and connect material to a broader context. I also believe effective teaching often moves beyond instruction of individual courses and into a mentorship role. My mentors, both academic and professional, were instrumental throughout my career. This has led me to understand that teaching outside the classroom is just as important as inside the classroom. I encourage all students to make use of my office hours and email to help clarify concepts covered in class or to seek any other input about economics or academics more broadly.”
Dr. Miller is teaching two sections of ECON 204, Principles of Macroeconomics, this Fall semester.
We are thrilled to have Dr. Miller join our amazing team of faculty members!

Corporations need to step up to preserve the world’s biodiversity

Economics Department Professors Edward Barbier and Joanne Burgess co-authored an article with Professor Thomas Dean of the College of Business titled “How to pay for saving biodiversity” which was published in the prestigious journal Science on May 4, 2018.

They argue that to preserve the rich array of species around the world, corporations will need to engage and contribute financially as part of a global agreement. In the piece, they propose modeling the new global pact after the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. But instead of focusing primarily on governmental entities as partners, they say corporations in industries that rely on biodiversity should invest in the effort as well.

The reason for that, they claim, is that governments don’t have the financial wherewithal to contribute the $100 billion a year that would be needed to protect the earth’s broad range of animal and plant species. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, corporations in industries like seafood, insurance and forest products stand to significantly increase their profits by investing in the effort — and avoid financial losses that would necessarily come with irreversible declines in biodiversity.

“Let’s get the companies and non-state entities involved from the beginning, so that we can deal with the funding issue,” says Barbier, a world-renowned environmental economist who joined CSU last year. “It’s the good thing for their bottom line, and corporations are beginning to realize that. I think we’re at a turning point, but if we don’t act quickly, we’re going to lose much of the world’s remaining biodiversity.”

The authors say the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, one of the first international environmental agreements negotiated, has not done enough to reverse the decline of biological populations and diversity on land and in oceans. They add that neither has the Global Environmental Facility, which was created the same year for biodiversity conservation in developing countries. Those countries host the most biodiversity in part because so many of them have tropical climates.

Similarly, the CSU faculty write that the Aichi Biodiversity Targets that governments around the world have agreed to are seen as too modest because they call for conservation of only a small percentage of the habitats needed to save global biodiversity. Based on scientific recommendations, their proposed international agreement would preserve at least half of the world’s terrestrial, inland water, coastal and marine habitats by 2050.

“It is critical that the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity in Egypt this November finds creative solutions to the current biodiversity conservation crisis,” Burgess says. “As our article discusses, establishing a Global Agreement for Biodiversity with expanded conservation and finance targets is required. Creating mechanisms for corporations to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem could help mobilize financial resources and create incentives to avert a catastrophic loss of biodiversity.”

Barbier and Dean met last year and began discussing the idea while serving together on a panel hosted by CSU’s Global Biodiversity Center, which is housed at the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Barbier and Burgess, who are married, have been writing about corporate incentives for environmental stewardship for years.

According to projections in their article, the seafood industry stands to gain $53 billion annually from a $5 billion to $10 billion investment each year in a global agreement on biodiversity, while the insurance industry could see an additional $52 billion with a similar investment. By spending $15 to $30 billion annually, the forest products industry would attain its sustainable forest management goal. Companies that participate would also create new marketing opportunities such as certified labeling campaigns.

“This is where the right thing to do and the bottom line come together,” Barbier says. “And it’s fairly urgent. I don’t see the funding gap closing any other way.”

He notes that some industries have already seen corporations band together in sustainability agreements like the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship initiative.

“At its foundation, this article is arguing that corporations have a vested interest in the preservation of biodiversity, and that interest should lead them to support efforts to preserve our biosphere,” Dean said. “For too long we have viewed corporate and environmental interests as adversarial, when they need to become aligned if we are to be successful both economically and environmentally. What seems obvious to me is that corporations that depend on the health of our ecosystems are at risk of losing the foundations of their businesses in the long run. Growing awareness of this challenge will increasingly motivate corporations to engage.”

Their article continues to attract media attention internationally as can be seen in the June 28, 2018 publication “Scientists call for a Paris-style agreement to save life on Earth” on The Guardian’s website.

 

 

Anders Fremstad

Assistant Professor Anders Fremstad named as a 2018-2019 SoGES Resident Faculty Fellow!

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) at Colorado State University has announced the selection of four Global Challenges Research Teams and six Resident Faculty Fellows from a competitive field of proposals. The awards are intended to encourage interdisciplinary understanding of complex global environmental issues, foster collaborative cross-campus partnerships, and support sustainability research at CSU.

Congratulations to our own Assistant Professor Anders Fremstad for being selected as a 2018-2019 SoGES Faculty Fellow!

Fremstad will study the impact of a carbon tax in the State of Colorado. Placing a price on carbon disproportionately burdens low-income households, but rebating carbon tax revenues in equal dividends can protect the purchasing power of most Coloradans, including the vast majority of residents in the bottom half of the income distribution. This project builds on Fremstad’s national analysis by accounting for Colorado’s expenditure patterns and fuel mix.

Read the SOURCE story here.

Dr. Cher Li

Dr. Cher Li wins CSU Faculty Development Award

Please help us congratulate Dr. Cher Li’s Faculty Development award on Tuesday, April 11 from 3 to 5 pm in the Long’s Peak Room in Lory Student Center (Spring Faculty/Staff Meeting & Awards Ceremony). She is receiving this award from the College of Liberal Arts for her research project on the Under-representation of Women in Economics Majors.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Li as she accepts this important award!
Look forward to seeing you there!!

The Divide Between Rural and Urban America, in 6 Charts

By Brian Thiede, Lillie Greiman, Stephan Weiler, Steven C. Beda and Tessa Conroy

Editor’s note: We’ve all heard of the great divide between life in rural and urban America. But what are the factors that contribute to these differences? We asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the divide from different angles. The data paint a richer and sometimes surprising picture of the U.S. today. The Conversation

Changing of the guard. Today Dr. Shulman turned the page on his ten years as department chair. He has served us well.

Economics at Colorado State University

Today Dr. Shulman turned the page on his ten years as department chair. He has served us well.

“Some or even most of you have heard by now that I will finish as department chair when I complete my second term on June 30. Alex Bernasek will replace me. I am grateful to Alex and confident that she will prove to be a good leader for the department. Anita will replace her as Coordinator of Graduate Studies. On top of all that, Jenifer will retire in September. Next semester a new team will take the helm, marking a pivotal change for the department.

Our graduate program has prospered over the past ten years. The faculty has worked consistently to improve its academic content & structure. We have put more resources into the program, creating graduate student scholarships, offering online & classroom teaching opportunities & supporting conference travel. Funded research opportunities have significantly grown. We have not only survived, we have thrived as one of the few genuinely heterodox departments in the country. We offer our students a unique mix of intellectual perspectives & applied skills. Our job placement record is impressive & many of our students have gone on to successful careers. I am proud of what all of us have accomplished together.

As for my plans, I look forward to contributing to our teaching programs in some new ways, including playing a more active role in the principles system. I also hope to focus more on my role as the research director of the Center for the Study of Academic Labor. Come see me if you are interested in academic labor markets & the economics of higher education. Whatever your research interests, I would be glad to serve on dissertation committees, & to help you in whatever ways that I can.”

Best wishes,
Steven