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WELCOME FROM DAVID BLAU The department begins the 2012-13 academic year with renewed strength, having successfully weathered the reduction in state funding. In the newsletter you will find information about changes in the faculty, including five new assistant professors who add to our strength in industrial organization, international economics, health and public economics, and experimental economics. The department also has hired five new lecturers. The department has been quite successful in recent years in achieving our goal of excellence in research. One bit of evidence is the recent ranking of economists by Tilburg University. Their measure is based on publications between 2004 and 2011 in the top 68 economics journals. Ohio State is ranked as the 7th best among public universities and 19th overall in the United States and 25th in the world. We will continue to work hard to improve our reputation for scholarly excellence by attracting, retaining, and supporting the best students and faculty. The department is increasingly supported by gifts from its alumni and friends. Donor gifts have supported the funding of undergraduate scholarships and prizes, graduate research scholarships and travel to conferences to present papers, seminar series that bring the best international scholars to campus, and a new lecturer position. These funds are critical for the department to continue its progress toward excellence in an era when the amount of state support continues to decline. Many of the above activities are supported by gifts from multiple donors, which when combined have a substantial impact on supporting economics students and programs. I thank all the past contributors to the department and I welcome all new contributors (see the tear-out form in the newsletter). The department needs help in many areas to continue building its reputation. An important future need is for endowments that would fund a seminar series in one or more of our core areas (e.g. econometrics or macroeconomics) and our undergraduate peer tutoring program. In the newsletter you’ll find information about the research activities of Professor Bruce Weinberg, who is one of the leading scholars in the new and rapidly growing area of the economics of creativity. Also, the work of Professor Dan Levin is highlighted — he was named as a fellow of a prestigious economics society. Professor Richard Steckel continues to collect national awards for his research — he was inducted as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Our group of graduate students who received their PhDs in 2012 was among the largest in the department’s history. Once again all of our new PhDs found good jobs in academia, the government, and the private sector. Their job placements occurred throughout the world including the United States, China, Canada, Japan, Italy, and Korea. Our undergraduates who received their bachelor’s degrees also were among the largest classes in the department’s history. This results from the increasing popularity of the economics major. I am honored to be entrusted with leading the Department of Economics at Ohio State for the next four years. This is an exciting time to be in the department. We are undergoing a major transition, with eight retirements and eight new assistant professors joining the department in the past three years. We expect in the near future that there will be additional opportunities to hire new faculty. The College of Arts and Sciences is pushing forward with major new research initiatives intended to put Ohio State on the map in several areas, and department faculty have been active participants in planning several of these initiatives. There are also many new developments in the undergraduate program, including new courses and a thriving Undergraduate Economics Society. My predecessor as department chair, Don Haurin, retired from the department at the end of June after 37 years at Ohio State (see the article inside). On behalf of the entire department, I thank Don for his contributions to the department and the university over the years, particularly his dedicated service as chair.

DAVID BLAU Professor and Chair


HAURIN RETIREMENT After 37 years at Ohio State, Donald R. Haurin has stepped down as chair of the department and retired from the faculty. Haurin joined the Department of Economics in 1975 after receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago. His research interests Donald R. Haurin have focused on issues in housing, real estate economics, and urban economics. Haurin published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Real Estate Economics and Finance, Journal of Housing Economics, and Journal of Urban Economics. He also has published over 20 book chapters and other articles. His research has been cited in over 900 other academic studies. In April 2012, Haurin received the David Ricardo Medal from the American Real Estate Society (ARES). The medal was awarded to Haurin in recognition of his outstanding and long-term influence on real estate research and thought, as evidenced by his extensive and well-cited publication record in the fields of housing research and urban economics. Haurin served as president of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in 2009. In 2006, he was named as a Huber Fellow of the Social and Behavioral Sciences at Ohio State.

APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHAIR: DAVID BLAU David Blau, Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Economics, has been appointed chair of the Department of Economics, effective June 1, 2012. Blau joined the department in 2007 as a labor David Blau and population economist with research interests in the areas of demography and economics of aging, and demographic and economic determinants of child wellbeing. He is the profession’s leading scholar on the economics of child care. Blau’s body of work on child care and child outcomes consists of 17 articles, including Child Care Costs and Family Labor Supply, a pioneering economic analysis of the demand for child care. He is credited with spurring the development of sophisticated models of the market for child care. His book, The Child Care Problem: An Economic Analysis was published by the Russell Sage Foundation in 2001. Most recently, Blau has been focusing on the determinants of family structure and how family structure affects children in the long-run. In addition to his pioneering work in child care, Blau is recognized among the leading researchers in the field of the economics of aging. His research interests in this area include the impact of pensions and Social Security on retirement and saving; the effect of labor market rigidities on the employment decisions of older workers; and explaining long run trends in the timing of retirement in the United States. Blau earned an MA and PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Katherine Baldiga, experimental; political economy, Harvard University

Javier Donna, industrial organization; auctions, Northwestern University

Daeho Kim, empirical microeconomics; health economics, Brown University

Maryam Saeedi, industrial organization, University of Minnesota

Byoung Hoon Seok, international economics, University of Rochester

DAN LEVIN SELECTED ECONOMIC THEORY FELLOW Professor Dan Levin was selected as an Economic Theory Fellow by the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET). Fellows are selected for their scientific excellence, originality, and leadership; high ethical standards; and scholarly and creative achievement. Levin is a distinguished economist who has made seminal contributions to economic theory and experimental economics. He is among a handful of economists actively engaged at the highest level in both economics experiments and in pure theory. Most of his articles have appeared in the profession’s preeminent scholarly journals and cover a variety of topics including auction

markets, behavioral decision making, industrial organization and mergers, international trade, political economy, and public policy. He is best known for a series of theoretical and empirical/ experimental papers on auctions and bidding — making him one of the world’s leaders in the auction literature. The results of Levin’s auction research have influenced the design and execution of the Federal Communications Commission’s spectrum (air wave) right auctions.

Intelligence panel. Since 2004, Levin has served as an associate editor of the journal Games and Economic Behavior. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers, with many in the top four journals and over 20 papers in the top 10. Levin’s articles regularly appear in American Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Industrial Economics, and the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Levin has served on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Economics Advisory Panel and twice on the NSF Knowledge and Distributed

Levin received his BA from Tel Aviv University (magna cum laude) in 1974 and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982. Levin joined the department in 1995.






Richard Steckel

STECKEL SELECTED AAAS FELLOW Richard Steckel, Ohio State Distinguished University Professor of Economics, Anthropology and History, and research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Steckel was recognized for his distinguished contributions to the history of human wellbeing through analysis of heights and skeletal remains, and promoting collaboration between economic historians and physical anthropologists. His scholarship in auxology (the study of human growth), which includes National Science Foundation projects on several continents, spans a variety of disciplines to include economists, biologists, anthropologists, and historians. His work also played

a key role in creating a new field of anthropometric history, also known as bio-history, which has shown other factors besides genes play a role in height development. Steckel is co-director of the Global History of Health Project, one of the first and the largest international studies on the health of Europeans during the past 10,000 years. In 2009, Ohio State awarded Steckel the title of Distinguished University Professor, a title awarded permanently to no more than three exceptional faculty per year. Steckel was recognized for his accomplishments in research, scholarly work, teaching, and service. Steckel received his MS in economics and mathematics at the University of Oklahoma and his PhD at the University of Chicago. He joined Ohio State in 1974.



Bruce Weinberg

The image of the brilliant young scientist making groundbreaking discoveries is iconic, especially in the fields of physics, chemistry, and mathematics. It is also outdated, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by Bruce Weinberg, professor of economics, and Benjamin Jones of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Weinberg and Jones analyzed 525 Nobel Prizes given in physics, chemistry, and medicine from 1901 to 2008. They compared how the age of peak creativity, measured by the average age at which Nobel laureates did their prizewinning work, varied between fields and changed over time within fields.

THE IMAGE OF THE BRILLIANT YOUNG SCIENTIST WHO MAKES CRITICAL BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE IS INCREASINGLY OUTDATED, AT LEAST IN THESE THREE DISCIPLINES,” WEINBERG SAID. “TODAY, THE AVERAGE AGE AT WHICH PHYSICISTS DO THEIR NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING WORK IS 48. VERY LITTLE BREAKTHROUGH WORK IS DONE BY PHYSICISTS UNDER 30. The research team read hundreds of biographies and autobiographies, collecting such details as the age at which a scientist won his or her Nobel, and whether that material was more empirical or theoretical in nature. They also tracked the level of education achieved at the time of their award win, as well as when an individual earned his or her highest degree and how long it took to achieve it.

“We discovered there’s a tendency toward more important scientific contributions coming at later ages,” said Weinberg. The team said the trend was associated with the accumulation of knowledge over time, as well as a shift away from abstract, theoretical work toward more practical experimentation over time. Their findings call into question the stereotypical view of cutting-edge science as a young person’s game. The number of young scientists who produced Nobel Prize winning work in physics peaked in 1923, Weinberg and Jones found. By 1934, 78 percent of scientists did their best work by the time they were 40. The trend toward later-career achievement continued throughout the 20th century, the study suggests. Great scientific achievement before age 30 was indeed common in chemistry, medicine, and physics before 1905. The study revealed that about two-thirds of winners in these fields did their prize-winning work before age 40, and about 20 percent did it before age 30. Weinberg and Jones found that theoretical work peaked more often in a scientist’s early career, but more experimental work blossomed with maturity. The only exception to this trend occurred in the field of physics. The reasons for this age shift might have to do in part with how long it now takes scientists to learn all they need to know to make these breakthroughs. Although the majority of Nobel laureates received their doctoral degrees by age 25 in the early 20th century, all three disciplines showed substantial declines in this tendency over time, with almost no physics or chemistry laureates receiving their degrees that early in life by the end of the 20th century. Weinberg has used this work to advise policy makers at the National Institutes of Health, which is interested in the consequences of an aging research workforce. Weinberg’s findings that people can be highly creative even at older ages may reduce concern about the aging of the U.S. research workforce. To read the paper, go to


HASSAN ALY JOINS THINK TANK Hassan Aly, professor of economics (Marion), is one of seven new members elected to the board of trustees for the Economic Research Forum (ERF), a regional network dedicated to promoting high quality economic research to contribute to sustainable development in the Arab countries, an in Iran and Turkey. Aly joined the Department of Economics in 1989. A chief research economist at the African Development Bank in 2009 and 2010, Aly applies his research to developing countries in general and the Middle East region in particular. He has published over 30 articles in national and international journals including World Development and Applied Economics. He is co-

editor of the African Development review and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Development and Economic Policies and the International Journal of Applied Business and Economics Research. Established in 1993, ERF’s core objectives are to build strong research capacity in the ERF region (the Middle East) to encourage the production of independent, high quality economic research and to disseminate research output to a wide and diverse audience. Aly received his master’s and PhD in economics at Southern Illinois University.

Hassan Aly


SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES The Department of Economics hosted the first-of-its-kind pilot program designed to support the advancement of mid-career economists from underrepresented groups. The Second Wave: A Research Conference, took place June 1–3 at the Blackwell Inn on the Ohio State campus. Organized by Trevon Logan, associate professor, with the support of the American Economic Association (AEA) Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economic Profession (CSMGEP), the program’s goals were to provide graduate students and junior scholars from underrepresented groups an opportunity to present their work; develop a professional network of mentors, research collaborators, and peers; and strategize ways to advance their research agenda while successfully facing the new demands that arise after tenure.

paired with senior faculty from Ohio State and around the nation to help begin building a critical professional network, securing advice on their research, and discussing how to set priorities and navigate university politics and processes that affect research and tenure. “The professional isolation that a minority economist experiences in his or her career is shocking,” said Logan. “There is a sense of urgency to address this problem now.” He goes on to explain how mentoring is much more than reading someone’s research and providing feedback. “It’s seeing where someone is headed before they realize it themselves, and helping them get to their desired destination—to develop as a professional academic, policy analyst, and community leader.” Ohio State and the broader field of economics will benefit greatly from the success of the program in two important ways: (1) through increasing the likelihood of retention of young minority faculty who help diversify programs; and, (2) through bringing diverse perspectives of underrepresented groups with new insights on economics to research and curricula.


“I want to commend Trevon Logan and Ohio State’s Department of Economics for hosting the Second Wave conference,” said Marie Mora, professor of economics, University of Texas and 2011 chair, AEA Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession. “It is crucial that these scholars remain actively engaged in the economics profession throughout their entire careers—not just during the tenure-track process.”

Over 20 minority faculty from across the country arrived in Columbus on June 1 to begin the program. Participants completed an ongoing project in preparation for journal submission and participated in workshops related to research, professionalism, and networking. They also were

“I was truly impressed with the generosity of the scholars who came to Ohio State for this program. They didn’t have to make time for it but they did. My hope is that this program will set an example for those who are following us down this path,” said Logan.



Bruce Weinberg, professor of economics and public administration, has been appointed visiting associate research scholar in the Industrial Relations Section and the Department of Economics at Princeton University. Weinberg will be on sabbatical from August 2012 through July 2013. He also has been appointed chair of the Modeling Subcommittee of the Biomedical Research Workforce Taskforce of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Don Haurin, professor and chair, received the David Ricardo Medal at the recent American Real Estate Society (ARES) annual meeting. The medal was awarded to Haurin in recognition of his outstanding and longterm influence on real estate research and thought, as evidenced by his extensive and well-cited publication record in the fields of housing research and urban economics. Over his career, he has profoundly influenced the research directions, teaching, and practice of the real estate discipline.


TODD NESBIT NAMED TO KOCH FOUNDATION POSITION The Department of Economics has appointed Todd M. Nesbit senior lecturer, a position funded by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. Nesbit is currently on faculty at the College of Charleston as assistant professor of economics in the School of Business. He earned his PhD in economics at West Virginia University. His primary research interests include public choice, public finance, and the economics of sports. His research has been published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Southern Economic Journal, Public Budgeting and Finance, the Journal of Media Economics, and the Atlantic Economic Journal, among other peer reviewed journals. The Charles Koch Foundation was established by Charles G. Koch, who has supported academic research for nearly 50 years. Through its giving, the Charles Koch Foundation supports research and higher education programs that analyze the impact of free societies on people around the world and strives to integrate theory and practice to develop market-based tools that enable individuals, institutions, and societies to survive and prosper.


BROUSSARD DELIVERS DIVERSITY POSTDOCTORAL LECTURE On May 15, Nzinga Broussard, postdoctoral fellow, gave the Social and Behavioral Sciences Diversity Postdoctoral Lecture on Immigration and the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives in Developing Countries: A Case Study of South Africa. Research on the labor market effects of immigration has shown little or no effect of immigration on native workers. However, most of the existing literature has focused on immigrants from lessdeveloped countries moving into developed countries. Few studies have investigated the effects of foreign labor in developing countries, in particular emerging markets. Nzinga Broussard

Using the 2001 Census and the 2007 Community Survey from South Africa, Broussard examined the effect that immigration has on labor market outcomes of native white, native black, and native coloured South Africans. Her preliminary findings suggest that immigration flows into South Africa increased the labor force participation rates and employment rates of black South Africans. Broussard earned her PhD in economics and public policy from the University of Michigan. She is a development economist who studies the causes, consequences of, and remedies to poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Broussard’s current work focuses on the food aid safety net program in rural Ethiopia.







MASANORI HASHIMOTO RETIRING Professor Masanori Hashimoto joined the faculty at Ohio State in 1987 and served as the department chair from 1992-2008. He is a national fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, and a research associate of the Center for Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School.

GENE MUMY RETIRING Gene Mumy received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 1975. He was on the economics faculty of Virginia Tech for four years before joining the economics faculty at the Ohio State University. His research has been published in journals including: The American Economic Review, The Journal of Political Economy, Economica, Public Choice, The Journal of Urban Economics, and Economics and Philosophy.



Adam Gay and Sherrie Kessler

Undergraduates Adam Gay and Sherrie Kessler are recipients of this year’s Monda Scholarship. The scholarships are made possible by the generosity of Keith and Linda Monda, who have provided ongoing support to Ohio undergraduates to pursue their studies in the field of economics.

SHERRIE KESSLER is a dual major in accrual sciences and economics with a minor in computer information science. Currently, she holds a part-time position at Nationwide Financial, reserving and modeling for the variable universal life insurance line of business.

ADAM GAY is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science in economics and honors minor in mathematics. His undergraduate senior thesis focused on housing markets and in particular, Columbus housing markets.

Sherrie’s economics background has helped her tremendously in her job at Nationwide, as she is able to provide a new way of looking at many of the actuarial problems; she has analyzed treasury rates over the last ten years to help model a way to predict how they will behave in the future.

Adam served as the president of the honors economics fraternity, Omicron Delta Epsilon, and worked as head tutor in the department’s Economics Learning Center. Over the summer, Adam is working with Professor Rick Steckel helping him quantify “Jim Crow” segregation laws. “The recent economic recession had a direct and lasting impact on my family,” said Gay. “The Monda scholarship allowed me to finish my last year at Ohio State and guaranteed my graduation. My plan is attend graduate school in economics, finance, or business after completing my degree.”

“The Monda Scholarship has enabled me to focus more time on my studies (including my actuarial exams), my hobbies, and my clubs (including the Undergraduate Economics Society, where I serve as treasurer),” Kessler said. “I am able to spend more time volunteering to help pay forward the generosity that Mr. and Mrs. Monda have shown me. I hope that one day I will also be able to provide students with an opportunity to study what they love.”




ROSS ASKANAZI AWARED NSF 2012 GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP Ross Askanazi was awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, which provides three years of support for his graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees. 2,000 fellowships are awarded annually to graduating seniors and first- and second-year graduate students to ensure the vitality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States.

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Mail to: Department of Economics The Ohio State University 410 Arps Hall 1945 North High Street Columbus, Ohio 43210 For the department to realize its opportunities for excellence, it must build upon the base established with state and tuition funding by drawing support from its alumni and friends. Here are a number of ways you can invest in this department and its programs. Economics Faculty Memorial Fund Fund # 301944 Keith and Linda Monda Scholarship Fund Fund # 665060 G.S. Maddala Memorial Fund Fund # 644415 Edward J. Ray Commemorative Research Fund # 605978 Paul G. Craig Graduate Student Assistance Fund # 641472 L. Edwin Smart Lecture Series in Economics Fund # 606676 James Lehr Kennedy Scholarship Fund Fund # 314106 FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Michelle Chapman, Fiscal Officer 614-292-3734

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CHANGE IS COMING, BUT WE DON’T WANT TO LOSE TOUCH! Beginning 2013, we will be moving to an all electronic format to send our newsletters. We value our relationships with our alumni and are committed to keeping you up to date on what’s going on in the department. To continue receiving our newsletter, please send your name to Michelle Chapman by email at

Economics Newsletter 2012  

The Ohio State University Department of Economics Alumni Newsletter.

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