2014-15 Economics Department Newsletter, Vol. 5
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Economics Department Newsletter

October 8, 2014
In This Issue:
  • Seminars and Lectures
  • Online Recruitment Events
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Economics in the News:  What is the Economic impact of Ebola?
Seminars and Lectures:

Thursday, October 9;  4:00pm, Griffin 6
Economics Department SeminarSex Workers, Stigma and Self-Belief:  Evidence from a Psychological Training Program in India by Anandi Mani, University of Warwick

From the abstract:  "This paper examines whether psychological empowerment can mitigate biases in self-perception imposed by social exclusion.  Using a randomized field experiment, we study a training program designed to raise self-esteem and build a stronger sense of 'agency' among a poor and highly stigmatized group:  sex workers in Kolkata, India.  We find positive and significant impact of psychological training on self-reported measures of agency, happiness and self-esteem.  We also find evidence of higher effort towards improving future outcomes as measured by savings choices and health-seeking behaviour.  Our experiment design and findings enable us to rule out several alternative explanations of our results.  We argue that our findings highlight the need to account for psychological factors in the design of anti-poverty programmes."


Thursday, October 9;  7:30pm, Paresky Auditorium
The Uncomfortable Learning Initiative Speaker Series:  Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts the Students It's Intended to Help by
Richard Sander, Professor of Law, UCLA

Richard Sander has been working on questions of social and economic inequality for nearly all of his career. After California voters approved Proposition 209 in 1996 – banning the use of race in various government programs, including admissions at the University of California – Sander successfully argued for the adoption of class-based preferences in the law school’s admissions, and published a study on the results of this experiment in 1997.  Sander will be discussing his findings in his most recent book, Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts the Students It's Intended to Help, where he explores the effects of affirmative action on student outcomes.
Online Recruitment Events:

Tuesday, October 21
Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs
Virtual Graduate Admissions Fair in International and Public Policy

Thinking about grad school?  APSIA invites you to a virtual graduate admissions fair, where more than a dozen top graduate schools will be on hand to answer your questions.  For more information and to register, visit
Employment Opportunities:

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Research Associate
The Kansas City Fed has a full-time Research Associate position open in their Economic Research department for a May–August 2015 graduate.  The job description and application process can be viewed


Princeton University - Data Analysts
The Industrial Relations Section at Princeton is looking to hire several full-time data analysts (i.e., research assistants) for next year.  The position is for a recent BA who wants to work for a while before going to graduate school in economics and would be best suited for someone with interests in education, labor, or public economics, although that is not a job requirement. If interested in applying, please go to and search for the requisition number 1400733.
Economics in the News: 
What is the Economic impact of Ebola?

A new World Bank report estimates short and medium run impacts of the disease:

"The take-away messages from this analysis are that the economic impacts are already very serious in the core three countries – particularly Liberia and Sierra Leone – and could become catastrophic under a slow-containment, High Ebola scenario. In broader regional terms, the economic impacts could be limited if immediate national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating aversion behavior. The successful containment of the epidemic in Nigeria and Senegal so far is evidence that this is possible, given some existing health system capacity and a resolute policy response."

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