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Winter 2020 Newsletter

December 10, 2020

Dear alumni and friends,

As the end of the semester and end of the year approaches, it is always a good time for reflection. Although Hanson Hall has been quiet this fall, our work continues and we’re proud of the creative ways we have carried on our commitment to education, research, and outreach.

We were delighted to see two of our outstanding faculty members recognized this fall for their contributions. Professor Manuel Amador was elected as a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a prestigious honor selected by his peers around the world. Our department now includes nine fellows of the society, a very high proportion compared to other Departments of Economics.

Professor Loukas Karabarbounis was chosen to receive this year's Bernácer Prize, awarded annually to one outstanding European economist under the age of 40 who has made significant contributions in the fields of macroeconomics and finance. Along with his previous Bodossaki Distinguished Young Scientist Award in the field of Social-Economic Sciences, Professor Karabarbounis has established himself one of the world’s preeminent applied macroeconomists.

We are thrilled to have both Manuel and Loukas as colleagues and look forward to their continued success and research.

Teaching has looked different this semester, with the large majority of classes being held virtually. I’ve been continually impressed with our students who rose to the occasion despite the challenges of remote learning. Similarly, it was reassuring to see the innovative ways our faculty and instructors worked to create a sense of community.

We have continued to hold much of our programming and activities, albeit in different virtual formats. Our Heller Hurwicz fall roundtable focused on Understanding Inequality, and our annual Jon Goldstein Memorial Lecture asked “What Can an Economist Possibly Say About Climate Change?”

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank our alumni and donors, whose support has been of particular importance during the pandemic. Thank you for attending our events, mentoring our students, and making generous donations. You keep the department vibrant, even when we are not together. We can’t wait until we can all gather again sometime soon. 

We wish you all a happy new year!

Christopher Phelan
Professor and Chair, Department of Economics

Ellen McGrattan
Professor and Director, Heller Hurwicz Economics Institute