Summer 2023 Newsletter

Campus Flowering Tree

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Summer is winding down here on the West Bank at the University of Minnesota. As we reflect on last year and we prepare for the fall, we wanted to take a moment to write to you and share some of the activities from this past spring:

In March, the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute held a significant policy discussion on The Silicon Valley Bank and The Current Banking Crisis featuring VV Chari, Terry Fitzgerald, and Chris Phelan

In April, Professor Catherine Hausman of the University of Michigan (and an alum of our undergraduate program!) gave an important talk, “Challenges in the Energy Transition,” at the Jon Goldstein Memorial Lecture. 

Also in April, the Minnesota Economic Big Data Institute’s Minimum Wage Conference was held on campus, followed by a Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute roundtable featuring minimum wage research by Anusha Nath and Jeff Clemens.

In May, we hosted TimFest, A Conference in Honor of Tim Kehoe, to recognize his many accomplishments. Many of Tim’s former students, colleagues, and friends were there to celebrate and honor him through the creation of the new Tim Kehoe Fellowship.  Thanks to overwhelming support,  we exceeded our initial goal of raising over $100,000, getting a jump start to this new legacy that—as we build it up over time—will help us recruit top graduate students to Minnesota.  

Also in May, the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute held a webinar featuring Chris Phelan, Marco Bassetto, and Cristina Arellano discussing the US debt ceiling, and what the risk of default might mean for the nation’s economy.

In June, we hosted a local memorial event to honor the legacy of late Professor Ed Prescott, a leader in the economics profession and dear friend to many in the department. 

This past spring we also recognized the loss of Regents Professor Emeritus John Chipman.

We congratulated a new class of 2023 graduates from both the undergraduate and PhD program, and we wish them the best in their new careers!

We are also delighted to share that we’ve made some big changes to the undergraduate economics program thanks to a significant gift from the Lawrence Family Foundation. The gift provides new opportunities to support our undergraduate students and allows us to make long overdue changes. 

Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to our Heller-Hurwicz Office Hours podcast series, we encourage you to do so. Our economists share insightful economic research on key policy issues in 20-minute conversations with noted radio-journalist Chris Farrell.

Thank you for your continued interest and support in both the Department of Economics and the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute. Through the generosity of our alumni and friends, we continue to be one of the best economics programs in the world. 

Wishing you the best, from Economics at Minnesota!


Thomas J. Holmes
Professor and Chair, Department of Economics

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