The Department of Economics

Departmental News

Spring 2015

Congratulations to Economics Department alum, Tom Dolezal (BA 2009, MA 2011), who was awarded one of six FirstEnergy’s President’s Award, presented to employees who show leadership, innovation and commitment. Tom is an Analyst III, Retail Tariff Analysis & Forecasting at FirstEnergy and was recognized for automating and stream-lining a process that calculates metered but unbilled sales and revenue.  Keep up the good work, Tom!!

Economics Department Associate Professor Dr. Sucharita Ghosh was profiled this spring 2015 in the University of Kansas, Department of Economics, Alumni newsletter, The KU Economist. Dr. Ghosh earned both her her master’s and her doctoral degrees at Kansas. Read KU’s profile here.

We congratulate economics department alumnus, Jeff Murphy, who was promoted to Vice President at Dominion East Ohio and now leads the Ohio operations. Jeff earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics at here. He began his career at the former East Ohio Gas Company in 1986 and has held a variety of positions and leadership roles. Jeff continues to be active in guiding the course of the department as a member of the Economics Department Advisory Board.

Fall 2014

A PBS News Hour story on the decline of indoor shopping malls and the rise of e-commerce aired on Black Friday, November 28, 2014, and features Economics Department Assistant Professor Dr. Amanda Weinstein.  

Economics Department undergraduates Kimberly Reitema and Justin Sedon were named the first winners of the Dilley Family Endowed Scholarship in Economics on November 15, 2014.  Kimberly is a major in the Bachelor of Science in Labor Economics program and Justin is a major in the Bachelor of Arts in Economics program.  Congratulations to both!!!!

Congratulations Morgan!!!

Congratulations to Economics Department graduate student, Morgan Neiss, who won the First Place Award in the Economics Graduate Paper Competition at the Ohio Association of Economists and Political Scientists 74th Annual Meeting Conference held in Perrysburg, OH on September 19-20, 2014. Morgan's research paper was titled, "Does Public Transit Affect Crime? The Addition of a Bus Line in Cleveland."

Graduate students, Jinan Liu and Nima Vafai, also presented their research papers at this conference.

Spring 2014

Congratulations Benjamin Nypaver!!!

Economics Department major Benjamin Nypaver was one of 550 students nationwide to received a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study in Guangzhou, China for the next two months.  He will be taking courses in Mandarin from Chinese instructors. Click here for the complete story.

Mitchell Upp Wins 3rd Place!

Congratulations to Economics Department student Mitchell Upp, who won third place for his economic research in the poster competition held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland on May 2, 2014. Mitchell's research was titled The Relationship between Tariffs, Corruption, and Growth in Developing Countries.  The competition was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the University of Akron Economics Department.  Mitchell was one of three students from the UA Economics Department who entered the competition along with nine other students from Ohio and western Pennsylvania colleges.  The Cleveland Fed has been partnering with the University of Akron's Department of Economics to host the competition each spring since 2009.

Spring 2014 Undergraduate Poster Exhibit

Undergraduate college students are invited to present your research in economics at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland on Friday, May 2, 2014. Federal Reserve economists, research analysts and faculty from other area institutions will review your poster exhibit to learn more about your research. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded. Learn more about participating in this event.

This poster exhibit is being presented by the University of Akron and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Undergraduate alumnus Michael Morell, who retired as deputy director of the CIA in 2013, is now CBS News' Senior Security Correspondent.  Mike earned his BA in Economics at the University of Akron in 1980 and began his career at the CIA as an Economic Analyst. While at the CIA he continued his education at Georgetown University earning a master's degree in economics and completing the coursework for a doctorate.

Fall 2013

New Faculty Member in DPTV Broadcast "Investing in Nature"

Dr. Amanda Weinstein appeared in a Detroit Public Television broadcast, "Great Lakes Now Connect: Investing in Nature," at 10:00 am on August 13th 2013.  You can watch the show online at the Great Lakes Now website.  Dr. Weinstein and four other panelists will discussed: Ecosystem services: Nature’s benefits to people, economies and quality of life.

Two New Faculty Members

The department is pleased to announce the hiring of two new faculty members beginning fall 2013:   Amanda Weinstein and Dr. Haimanti Banerjee.

Amanda Weinstein obtained her Ph.D. this summer from the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University.  Her research focuses on urban and regional economics exploring a wide range of topics from energy policy, to income inequality, to women entrepreneurs in regional economic development.  She will be teaching our Seminar on Regional Economic Analysis & Development class this fall.

Dr. Banerjee obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa concentrating on the fields of housing markets and macroeconomics.  Her teaching experience ranges from basic principles classes to intermediate and advanced macro theory courses as well as Money and Banking and the Economics of Development and Growth.

Please join us in welcoming these two new faculty members to our department.

Spring 2013

William D. Manson, JD, PhD, Deputy General Counsel of the Lubrizol Corporation, presented, "Balancing the Impact of Regulation:  The Case of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," on Thursday, April 25th at the Student Union, Room 312. Manson is the leader of the Regulatory Practice Section at Lubrizol, providing legal advice in a wide range of matters from contracts and product distribution to the resolution of complex commercial and patent disputes to guidance on export law.  Prior to joining Lubrizol, Manson spent 10 years with the law firm of Jones Day Reavis & Prgue in Cleveland.  He received his PhD in economics from Virginia Teach in 1980 and received his law degree, JD, with distinction, from Emory in 1985.

The talk was free and open to the public.  A reception was held beforehand at 4:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. in Room 312.

Fall 2012

Undergraduate alumnus Michael Morrell was appointed Acting Director of the CIA on November 9th 2012.  Mike, a 32 year veteran of the CIA, earned his BA in Economics at the University of Akron in 1980 and began his career at the CIA as an Economic Analyst. While working, he continued his education at Georgetown University earning a masters’ degree in economics and completing the coursework for a doctorate.

Thomas R. Saving, PhD, University Distinguished Professor of Economics at Texas A&M University  presented, “Saving on Medicare: Prospects for Long-Term Reform.”   In 2000, Dr. Saving was appointed by President Clinton (and later reappointed by President Bush) as Public Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, serving from 2000-2007.  In 2001, President Bush appointed him to the bipartisan Commission to Strengthen Social Security.  Dr. Saving has testified before Congress numerous times on the pressing issues of Medicare and Social Security.

The talk was held on Tuesday, November 27th at 6:15pm at the Martin University Center, 105 Fir Hill Street and was free and open to the public.  The event was sponsored by the Department of Economics and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

New Faculty Member

The department is pleased to welcome Dr. Muriel Fang to the faculty this fall 2012.  Dr. Fang's research focuses on Health Economics and Applied Econometrics. Her teaching specialties are Health Economics at the graduate level and Health, Labor and Microeconomics at the undergraduate level.

Summer 2012

Undergraduate student Sam Hinkle,  BSLE major, spent this past summer (2012) in the internship program at the Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.  His final paper is titled, “The Influence of Random Payment Mechanisms on Risk Preferences in the Laboratory”.

Graduate Student Nicholas Fritsch interned with the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank enhancing their "Community Stabilization Index".  This index is used by policy makers to assess the stress levels of communities in the fourth District of the Federal Reserve System.

Earlier this year Nick's paper "Immigrants, Medicaid, and the Deficit Reduction Act" was selected for publication in a forthcoming Undergraduate Economic Review.  Nick's paper was completed as his undergraduate senior project under the supervision of Dr. Francesco Renna.

Spring 2012

Undergraduate Student Nina Johnson-Kanu who was recognized at the March 22, 2012 annual UA Women in Higher Education Spring Luncheon to honor outstanding women students.  Nina attended the luncheon with Economics Department Undergraduate Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Erickson.

Dr. Robert McGuire's New Book

Dr. McGuire Book Dr. Robert McGuire, University of Akron research professor of economics, and Dr. Philip R. P. Coehlo, professor of economics at Ball State University have explored the historical development of humanity and the economy through an integration of biological and economic perspectives in their new book, Parasites, Pathogens and Progress.

Mike Nelson, Economics Department Chair, Presents at International Conference in Spain

Dr. Nelson, Professor and Chair, was invited to present his paper “Corruption and the size of local governments: Are they related?” at the International Conference focusing on The Challenge of Local Government Size;  Theoretical Perspectives, International Experience, and Policy Reform.  The conference is being held September 29-30th 2011 at the Universidad de Vigo, Galicia, Spain.

Economics Majors receive Scholarship Awards

Lung-ho Lin Scholarship

We congratulate Daniel Witmer and Samuel Hinkle who are this year's recipients of the Lung-ho Lin Memorial Scholarship in Economics.  Dr. Lin was a highly regarded professor and mentor who's legacy is being honored by this scholarship award.

Mrs. Betsy Whitmore Memorial Scholarship

Also please join us in congratulating Simon Beck and Eric Tannehill, two economics department seniors who were selected to receive a scholarship award from the Mrs. Betsy Whitmore Memorial Scholarship fund for the fall 2011 semester. 

Mrs. Whitmore' family established the scholarship fund in 2011, from the many thoughtful memorial gifts received at Mrs. Whitmore’s passing.

Shawn Rohlin Selected To Participate in the 2011 Lincoln Institute Junior Scholars Program

 Assistant Professor Shawn Rohlin has been selected to participate in the Lincoln Institute Junior Scholars Program in Boston Massachusetts. The program is for junior scholars in which assistant professors of economics or research analysts with recent Ph.Ds. specializing in public finance or urban economics will have an opportunity to work with senior economists. Those funded through this program will be known as Lincoln Scholars.

 The two-day program will include:

  • presentations by a panel of journal editors on “how to publish in public finance and urban economics journals,”
  • a workshop in which senior scholars will comment on draft papers or proposals written by the Lincoln Scholars,
  • an opportunity for the Lincoln Scholars to make brief presentations on their research interests, and

·         a seminar in which scholars in public finance and urban economics from around the country will present their latest research.

March 22, 2011 Economics Panel  on The Future (Video)

Dr. Nelson, Chair of the Department of Economics, to serve as Guest Co-Editor for a special issue on Internet Taxation by the Oxford Internet Institute.

"Policy and Internet, a peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary journal investigating the impact of the Internet on public policy, is inviting submissions for a special issue on Internet taxation. Rajeev K. Goel, Professor of Economics at Illinois State University, and Michael A. Nelson, Professor of Economics and Department Chair at the University of Akron, will serve as guest editors."

For online paper submission or for more information please visit the site below. The deadline for submission is May 31, 2011 and the special issue is scheduled for publication in October 2011.

Special Issue on Internet Taxation

Poster Exhibit

In the Spring semester the Department holds its annual undergraduate poster exhibit. Undergraduate students at all levels are invited to present their independent and faculty co-sponsored research in any area associated with economics.  This year this event will be  held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Please visit  2011 Undergraduate Poster Exhibit for more information or contact Dr. F. Renna.   Poster Format Example

Read about the 2011 competition winners here.

New Faculty Member - Fall 2010

The department is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Munpyung O to the faculty. Dr. O specializes in Financial economics, Banking and Credit markets, Real estate and Time series econometrics. Dr. O received his P.h.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara in May 2010.

Milken Institute speaker discussed Akron and the knowledge-based Economy

Ross Devol of the Milken Institute spoke on "Akron's and Ohio's Position in the Knowledge-based Economy: Charting a Course for the Future" on Thursday, March 11, from 4:00pm - 5:15 pm in the Ballroom A of the Paul E. Martin University Center.

DeVol is the director of regional economics and the Center for Economics at the Milken Institute. He has been ranked among the "Super Stars" of Think Tank Scholars by International Economy Magazine and is frequently quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Business Week.

Sponsored by The University of Akron Department of Economics and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, the lecture was free and open to the public. A reception followed the talk.

New Faculty Member - Fall 2009

The department is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Shawn Rohlin to the faculty. Dr. Rohlin specializes in Public Finance, Urban Economics, Labor Economics and Applied Microeconomics. Dr. Rohlin received his P.h.D. from Syracuse University in May 2009.

Economics Department Newsletter

Fall 2010  PDF