URPE 50th Anniversary Conference

2018 UWE Conference

Celebrate the retirement of Professor Robert Keller with a gift in support of the newly established Keller Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching Endowment

Undergraduate Women in Economics

Graduate Students diversity in Econ

Dr. Paul Krugman, Dr. Bob Keller and Dr. Cher Li

Getting REDI

Dr. Tavani explaining economics

Foreign Trade University graduation

More than an academic department: a learning community.

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Welcome

The goal of the Department of Economics is to build a learning community that supports the intellectual development and professional aspirations of both students and faculty. Our undergraduate and graduate programs offer courses that cover an unusually wide range of economic thought, including neo-classical economics, Keynesian economics, institutional economics, Marxian economics and feminist economics.
We want our students to become critical thinkers who understand the debates about economic methodology and policy as well as the techniques of economic analysis.

Our faculty members have active research agendas and substantial scholarly records; nonetheless, our students are our first priority. We constantly strive to improve our teaching programs, and our faculty have won many teaching and advising awards. Our PhD program provides many opportunities for students to interact with faculty and to work with them on research projects. We have had an excellent track record in job placements for our graduate students. The department chair is always glad to meet prospective and current students, and to answer their questions – stop by any time!

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October 16

The Department of Economics Seminar Series for the Fall 2018 term continues on Friday, 10/19/18 at 3:00 pm in Behavioral Sciences room 103. The seminars are free and open to everyone. October 19th’s speaker is Dr. Ignacio Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at American University (AU) in Washington D.C. Before joining AU he was a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia University. Gonzalez earned his Ph.D. at the European University Institute (Florence). His research field is Macroeconomics and his current research focuses on the connections between financial markets and inequality. In particular, he studies the aggregate and distributional effects of asset valuations, produced either by changes in policy, like capital taxes or antitrust laws, or by macroeconomic phenomena, like asset bubbles. Gonzalez will be presenting his paper: “Aggregate Tobin’s Q and Inequality: The Role of Capital Taxation and Rents.” Abstract: Since the early 1980s, aggregate equity Tobin’s Q has experienced a secular increase in the US, as equity wealth and corporate physical capital have followed divergent trajectories. During the same period, labor productivity and wages have signifi- cantly decoupled, leading to a decline in the U.S. corporate labor share. We build an incomplete markets model (in the Bewley-Hugget-Aiyagari tradition) with finan- cial assets, capital taxation and monopoly power to explain the connection between these phenomena. Our model is consistent with several stylized facts of the U.S. economy since 1980. The joint evolution of capital taxation and the rise of monopoly rents explain the decrease in investment flows and the observed rise in asset prices. Wage-productivity decoupling is the natural response not only to the rise of rents, but also to investment sluggishness when capital and labor are complements. Our model also explains the historical upsurge of equity returns. By explicitly modelling the interaction between monopoly rents and different capital taxes, our framework sheds new light on the recent debate on capital taxation in the U.S. and elsewhere. We show that the secular increase in the relative value of financial wealth had strong effects in general equilibrium, rendering a more unequal market allocation of income. These secular trends in taxes and market structure have reduced welfare. This is because the increase of financial wealth, which is mostly experienced by the richest households, has occurred at the expense of corporate investment and labor earnings, which are the main source of income for a large portion of the population.