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June 24, 2014

Blonigen named Associate Dean of Social Sciences

Recent Economics department head recognized for focus on scholarship amidst explosive growth.

On Tuesday, Interim Dean of CAS Andrew Marcus announced the appointment of Bruce Blonigen as Associate Dean for Social Sciences for the College of Arts and Sciences. Blonigen has served in an interim capacity as associate dean since July of 2013. His term begins on July 1, 2014.

Blonigen was appointed for this role based on his exemplary leadership during his tenure as head of the Department of Economics from 2008-2013, a time of extraordinary growth for the department. “It is notable that in this time of growth the scholarly stature of the department grew as well,” Marcus says.


The list of Blonigen’s accomplishments is long and includes playing a key role in the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and other initiatives for the College, as well as co-founding the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) program, now celebrating its tenth year, which helps low-income high school students prepare for success in college.

Blonigen joined the Department of Economics in 1995, and was named a Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science in 2001.

“In all his efforts, Bruce displays a commitment to fairness and principled decision-making, and to making university processes, information, and choices more transparent,” Marcus says. “I look forward with excitement to working with Bruce over the coming years.”

Kolpin Named Economics Department Head

kolpinDuring Blonigen’s tenure as Acting Associate Dean, Professor Van Kolpin has served as Acting Department Head for the Economics Department. His role has also been made official on July 1.

We’d like to congratulate Van on his appointment, and thank him for his service to the department during this time of transition.

June 23, 2014

Piger promoted to Professor

pigerJeremy Piger has been promoted to the title of Professor of Economics effective September 2014. Piger, who has been a member of the UO Economics faculty since 2006, has previously held the title of Assistant and Associate Professor.

Piger’s primary focus is macroeconomics and econometrics. Previous to joining the faculty, Piger served for several years as Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The department would like to extend its warmest congratulations to our newest professor! Congratulations, Jeremy!

Meet the New Faculty: Mike Kuhn

kuhnBecause of his research on the financial decisions of low-income households, new faculty member Mike Kuhn was named one of the “Top 30 Thinkers Under 30” by Pacific Standard magazine, one of the leading publications addressing issues that face social scientists nationwide. His research has led him to believe that we need to design many of our social programs.

He told Pacific Standard, “The Earned Income Tax Credit, which is basically the pillar of current welfare policy is distributed in a great way to help households make big purchases—cars, college deposits, flat-screen TVs—but in the worst way possible to alleviate food insecurity.”

Mike researches the basic psychological processes responsible for how people make borrowing and saving decisions, how how they make decisions in uncertain environments, and how they learn about the behavior of others.

Mike comes to the UO Economics Department by way of UC San Diego. He spent part of his childhood in the Toronto area, and the other half in Southern California, earning his undergraduate degree at UCLA.

He’ll start his career in the fall by teaching EC 451, Issues in Labor Economics. The course focuses on current applied labor economic research using tools from behavioral economics to affect individual behavior. “My goal is to give students a toolkit of economic theories that they can use to assess and improve policy from a practitioner’s role,” Mike says.

Mike and his fiancee are excited to be staying on the West Coast, and he’s eager to be joining the UO Economics Department. He says, “It’s an exciting mix of experienced scholars with outstanding reputations and young talents with a lot of fresh ideas and energy. I hope to contribute to that.

“We’re especially excited to be moving somewhere as beautiful as Eugene. We both like good food and good beer, so I think we’ll be right at home.”

Meet the New Faculty: Jiabin Wu

jaibin_wuJiabin Wu will join the Department of Economics in fall 2014. Jaibin’s focus is on microeconomic theory and experimental economics, in particular how indirect higher-order beliefs affect people’s guilt aversion and reciprocity feelings.

Originally from China, Jaibin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hong Kong and earned his PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This fall, Wu will teach EC 399 Behavioral Economics, in addition to a graduate microeconomics theory seminar. He says, “I’m very excited to be joining the Department of Economics at the University of Oregon! I’m also looking forward to working and living in the beautiful city of Eugene.”


2014 PhD Market Candidate Placements

The six PhD candidates for 2014 have all been successfully placed in academia and private industry, and we’re very proud of their accomplishments and their contributions to the UO Economics Department. Here’s where they’re going next:

  • Jeffrey Allen: Bentley University
  • Rich Higgens: Colgate University
  • Kris Holden: American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC
  • Dan Mahoney: Analysis Group, San Francisco
  • Alex Monte Calvo: Analysis Group, Denver
  • Tyler Schipper: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul

Congratulations to all of our PhD market candidates. We wish you the very best of luck in your new careers!

June 18, 2014

Duy in the New York Times: Fed is “fighting their own forecast.”

In the June 17, 2014 edition of The New York Times, Economics Professor Tim Duy says that the Fed is “fighting their own forecast,” causing them to be well short—again—in their estimates of the growth rate of the U.S. economy.

“Their desire to get out [of bond purchases to stimulate the economy] is clouding their judgment with regard to the forecast,” he continued.

Read the full article.

May 8, 2014

Econ major named one of ODE's "25 Ducks"

Brett CahillUO Economics major Brett Cahill was named one of the Oregon Daily Emerald’s “25 Ducks: An introduction to Oregon students who will change the world.” Cahill was nominated for his ability to excel in his studies in economics and math while working hard to put himself through school.

Read Cahill’s profile.

See the full list of ODE’s 25 Ducks.

Photo courtesy of the Oregon Daily Emerald.
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