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Prior News

December 3, 2018 - Dr. Suqin Ge's current working paper with the National Bureau of Economic Research, "Elite Schools and Opting-In: Effects of College Selectivity on Career and Family Outcomes", is recieving media attention from MarketWatch.

November 14, 2018 - Dr. Suqin Ge is awarded a +Policy Research Supplement Fellowship by the Policy Strategic Growth Area (PSGA) to support her effort on the launch of her new joint NSF project “Whole-body Exoskeletons for Advanced Vocational Enhancement (WEAVE).” The grant will help enhance the policy dimension of the project and support coordination of the interdisciplinary research team. Read more here.

October 31, 2018 - Asal Pilehvari, Ph.D. student in Economics has co-authored a paper, "The productivity trend in Iran:  Evidence from manufacturing firms", that has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of Economics of Transition.

October 29, 2018 - Dr. Sudipta Sarangi is part of a team of network researchers that received an NSF grant called "Workshops on Network Economics" to host a series of workshops on networks.  The grant, which is being administered through the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) includes Arun Chandrsekhar (Stanford), Matt Jackson (Stanford) and Ben Golub (Harvard) as other members of the team. 

Each conference in the series will have a theme but all papers submitted relevant to the general focus of the conference series will be considered.  Key economic issues of interest include networked markets, contagion and diffusion, homophily, segregation and discrimination, networks in economic development, and inequality.  Cooperative and non-cooperative game theoretic approaches as well as decision-theoretic approaches will be relevant.  Within the context of networked models there will be presentations of research of a wide variety of applied fields in economics.  Organizers will invite speakers doing related research from other disciplines , including computer science, sociology, and statistical physics in order to encourage interdisciplinary work.

October 29, 2018 - Dr. Byron Tsang and Dr. Xiaojin Sun (VT Ph.D.) have had their fourth co-authored paper, "What Cycles? Data Detrending in DSGE Models", accepted at the Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics.

October 18, 2018 - Dr. Suqin Ge is part of an interdisciplinary team that was awarded a $3 million grant from the NSF to develop an exoskeleton to augment human performance.  Dr. Ge’s team will build empirical models of the effects of augmentation technology on worker productivity and well-being, industry profits, and the labor market in general. Read more here.

September 27, 2018 - Aris Spanos was a Keynote speaker at the 2018 Annual Meetings of the Royal Statistical Society at Cardiff in Wales.  In the session, on the controversy regarding significance tests, Prof. Spanos spoke about "The Use and Misuse of Significant Testing and its Role in Statistical Model Validation".

September 27, 2018 - Djavad Salehi-Isfahani's ariticle on Iran's currecy crisis featured in Foreign Affairs magazine.

August 2018 - Three new faculty are joining the Department of Economics: Niloy Bose (Macroeconomics), Ali Habibnia (Big Data Economics), Ben Rosa (Regulation Economics).

March 29, 2018 –  Jae-Yoon Kim, of the Virginia Tech Department of Economics, has been awarded the James B. Ramsey prize for best paper in econometrics presented by a graduate student. On March 19th-20, 2018, the Keio University in Tokyo hosted the 26th Annual Symposium of the Society for Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics. Of the 140 papers presented by academic economists and graduate students, Kim’s paper, “DSGE-VAR(λ) for a Model Evaluation Revisited,” was selected by the organizing society for the Ramsey award, which included a $500 prize. The award was established by the Economics Department of the Norwegian Business School.  Jae-Yoon's doctoral advisor is Dr. Aris Spanos, Wilson Schmidt Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech.  

March 21, 2018 – Thank you to everyone who helped the Department of Economics rise to the challenge for #VTGivingDay!! We had a total of 118 gifts for $6,373.30, finishing in 2nd and 4th place (out of 11) in the College of Science gifts and amount raised.  Our donations also helped the COS finish in 3rd place on the Vice President’s Participation Leadership Challenge! Click here for all COS Giving Day information.

March 15, 2018 – Econ Faculty Receive Grant that Provides Scholarships for Study Abroad Program!!!
     Drs. Ball and Smith received Partners of The Americas grant to fund Econ Study abroad Program in Peru! This is a unique bi-directional study abroad program where students from VT and Universidad di Piura will learn about lab (at VT) and field experiments (at UDEP) in policy-making. The $25,000 grant from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund will be used to provide scholarships to students who enroll in the study abroad program.
     Students will spend the first week doing online preparation. Week 2 for all students will be in Blacksburg and weeks 3&4 in Lima and Piura. With scholarships the total cost will be $1,700 plus tuition. Spots are limited!
This study abroad program provides policy-related experiential learning is also been supported by a CIDER grant and the Global Education office at Virginia Tech.
     The other investigators on the grant are Rachel Fitzgerald from the Global Ed office and Dr. Marcos Agurto Director, Lima School of Economics Peru.

March 14, 2018 – A tighter community matters: Congratulations to Sudipta Sarangi whose paper titled “Lineage-based heterogeneity and cooperative behavior in rural China” (co-authored Quqiong He and Ying Pan) has been published by the Journal of Comparative Economics. This paper shows that villages with a larger concentration of the same clan name or a more tightly knit community will exhibit higher reciprocal behavior within the clan and in the provision of public goods that are shared by members of different clans living in the same village. Importantly, the paper also shows that over time villages with a more tightly knit community do better in an economic sense. This paper has an important message, especially for a county like America which has always been considered a melting pot. It suggests that creating a sense of community is important matter for cooperative behavior and provision of public goods.

March 1, 2018 – The Department of Economics at Virginia Tech and the University of Piura in Peru have joined forces to create a new study abroad program, VT-UDEP Economics Lab:  Experiment-Driven Policy Making in Peru where 10 VT students will be paired with 10 UDEP students.  During Summer II 2018, they will spend a week in Blacksburg doing lab experiments and then 10 day in Peru studying field experiments.

January 10, 2018 – As Virginia Tech moves forward with the Destination Areas and Strategic Growth Areas, our faculty are heavily involved in research relating to different aspects of these focus areas. Four different projects involving economics faculty received grants to conduct their research.  Dr. Sheryl Ball is part of collaborative grant titled Toward Mental Health through Decision Neuroscience funded by the Adaptive Brain and Behaviors DA, as well as Dr. Alec Smith. Dr.’s Adam Dominiak, Gerelt Tserenjigmid, and Matt Kovach were awarded a grant to fund an international conference on decision-making titled Advancements in Behavioral Decision by the Data and Decisions DA to be hosted at Virginia Tech in April 2018. Dr. Ball is also part of a research team led by Dr. Brooks King-Casas to explore social influence on decision-making that received funding from this DA. Finally in collaboration with researchers from the Department of Philosophy, Dr.’s Sudipta Sarangi and Adam Dominiak received funding from the Policy Strategic Growth Area for their research on Ethical Decision-Making Under Ambiguity.

January 9, 2018 – Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered today, bringing his expertise on the Middle East to a discussion about recent developments. To listen to the interview, please find it here.

December 20, 2017 – As the year draws to a close, we’d like to wish an enthusiastic congratulations to Sanaz Fesharaki and Tsung-Han “Humphrey” Yang, who both successfully defended their dissertations today! They wrote Three Essays on Development Economics and Essays on Applied Game Theory and Public Economics, respectively. Wishing the best of luck to our latest alumni in the coming year!

December 8, 2017 – Two Economics Department alumni, Henry Butler and Teyu Chou, were inducted into the College of Science Hall of Distinction in recognition of excellence in their professional careers, as well as in their service and philanthropy to civic groups and the university itself.  Read More…

October 30, 2017 – We like to hear about how our alumni are doing, and today we received that good news that one of our former students, Dr. Thorsten Matje, is not only a professor of economics at, but he is also the new President of the University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg! Congratulations on your appointment, and the beginning of your academic career!

September 25, 2017 – A new paper by Dr. Alec Smith (together with coauthors from Caltech and Wharton) studies private information in dynamic, unstructured bargaining. The authors show how game theory can be used to make predictions about bargaining outcomes, even in complex dynamic bargaining environments. Dr. Smith and coauthors study this benchmark model in an experiment, and find that it can account for some but not all of the behavior. They use machine learning to demonstrate that the process of bargaining – how the bargainers interact – also influences whether a deal is reached. The work has implications for understanding deal making in a broad range of settings, from labor negotiations to climate change. The paper is forthcoming in Management Science.

August 28, 2017 – Congratulations to Prof. Hans Haller on his new book Groups and Market.  In this book Dr. Haller and his long-time collaborator Dr. Hans Gersbach of ETH Zurich organize, summarize and expand on their research on general equilibrium models with multi-member households. Often the economic models treat households like single consumers, although the decisions and well-being of individual members are obviously affected by the composition of their respective households. In turn, the formation of a household and its stability may depend on economic conditions and considerations. Professors Gersbach and Haller link together the formation, composition, decision-making and stability of households. Their more advanced models combine traditional exchange (markets for commodities) and matching (markets for people or partners). Their findings help improve our understanding of the economic aspects of social structure and inform economic policy.

Thursday, August 10, 2017 – Congratulations to Omid Bagheri, who successfully defended his dissertation, Three Essays in Applied Microeconomics today. Be sure to congratulate him as he prepares to head to his new job at Kent State!

Congratulations to Erika Perdue for being selected as the August Advisor of the Month from the Virginia Tech Office of Undergraduate Advising!

A paper co-authored by Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and recent Ph.D. Graduate Mohammad Mosafavi, titled “Cash Transfers and Labor Supply:  Evidence from A Large-Scale Program in Iran”, which was funded by a grant from the Economic Research Forum, has recently received media attention from Business Insider and Vox.

Congratulations to Dr. Sheryl Ball on her promotion to Full Professor and to Dr. Adam Dominiak on his promotion to Associate Professor.

The Department is pleased to announce three new affiliate faculty appointments:

Brooks King-Casas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology with appointments at VTCRI, School of Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Engineering & Science, and Faculty of Health Sciences.

Michael Moehler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and is the Director and Founder of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Program.

Wen You is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in addition to serving with the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 – Economics major and championship swimmer, Klaudia Nazieblo was featured in the Spring 2017 Virginia Tech Magazine article “Skills and Gills”.

On Saturday, May 13, 2017 – 59 Economics Degrees were awarded along with 2 PhDs to Dr. Thorsten Matje and Dr. Michael Michaelides. J. Martin Breuer, Erica Hjerpe and Jordan Lew were named as Outstanding Seniors and Ben Chenault and Eliza Stoner were named Outstanding Juniors. Our honored keynote speaker was Kevin Neyland, Principal at Clifton Consulting, LLC in Falls Church, VA, retired Deputy Administrator in the Office of Management & Budget, and a 1975 graduate from our department as well! Watch the keynote address here.  We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors! Click here to see more photos from our ceremony.

Monday, May 8 – Congratulations to Dr.Shaowen Luo, Dr. Shyam Ranganathan (Department of Statistics), Dr. Sudipta Sarangi and Dr. Byron Tsang! They have received a one-year Dean’s Discovery Fund from the College of Science for their pilot study, “A Tale of Two Networks: Trade and Financial Linkages in the Global Economy”. The goal of this project is to establish theoretical foundations and examine empirical patterns of the interplay between trade and financial networks.

Wednesday, April 26 – Sudipta Sarangi and co-author Chandan Kumar Jha (LeMoyne College) claim that Facebook plays a vital role in reducing government corruption.  Click here to read more.

Monday, April 24 – The Department is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. David Bieri as an Affiliate Associate Professor.  Dr. Bieri is also an Associate Professor of Urban Affairs with a joint appointment in the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience.

Monday, April 10 – Congratulations to Professor Richard Ashley, who — in collaboration  with Professors Martha Ann Ball, Angela Scarpa and Julie Dunsmore from Psychology and Professor Cynthia Smith from Human Development — has received a $30,000 Scholars Program grant from the Virginia Tech Institute for Society, Culture and Environment (ISCE) for a pilot study, “Parent-child behavioral and physiological synchrony:  Foundation for children’s developing self-regulation.”

Friday, April 7 – Congratulations to Atiyeh Vahidmanesh, one of our graduate students who defended her dissertation earlier this semester, on her induction into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, which was established to recognize and celebrate inclusion and diversity. For more information, please look at today’s news story featuring Atiyeh and the other inductees here.

Tuesday, April 4 – Congratulations to Dongwoo Lee, a Graduate Instructor who has been recognized as a Favorite Faculty Member! This award is through Housing and Residence Life within the Division of Student Affairs, it allows students living on campus to acknowledge faculty members who have had a positive impact on them.

Thursday, March 30 – Congratulations to Scott Confer, Jordan Lew, William Patton and Arianna Slate for being offered membership into Virginia Tech’s Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most widely known academic honor society.  Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Virginia Tech was granted a charter in 1977.

Wednesday, March 29 –  Dr. Sudipta Sarangi shared the basics of Economics with 1st graders at Gilbert Linkous Elementary today.

Wednesday, March 22 – If you see Michael Michaelides today, be sure to tell him congratulations! At 11 am, he successfully defended his dissertation, entitled Revisiting the CAPM and the Fama-French Multi-Factor Models: Modeling Volatility Dynamics in Financial Markets. We wish him success as he wraps up his semester, and look forward to seeing what the world of economics has in store for him!

Monday, March 13 – Zhuncheng (Flora) Li has been awarded a scholarship to attend the Ph.D. Summer School on Psychological Game Theory at the University of East Anglia. She was awarded the Non-EU student scholarship in a fiercely competitive application process.  Congratulations Flora!

Friday, February 17th – Congratulations to Atiyeh Vahidmanesh, who successfully defended her dissertation, Essays on Inequality and Education. We wish her luck as she moves on to bigger and better things, so be sure to congratulate her if you see her!

Monday, January 9, 2017 – Congratulations to Dr. Sudipta Sarangi for being appointed as a Co-Editor for the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.