Rice Economics Spring 2021 Newsletter

News and Views from the Economics Department at Rice
RISE Event : Conversations with Our Faculty
Spring 2021


News and Views from the Economics Department at Rice
Our heartiest congratulations to the roughly one hundred students who will be graduating in May with ECON and MTEC degrees – and to all of our departmental award winners who will be honored at our annual Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics or RISE Day celebration , which will be held via Zoom on Saturday April 24 ( award winners will be named soon !). We are looking forward to a celebratory ending to a year that was incredibly difficult but through which students and professors alike have adapted skillfully , persevered tenaciously , and ultimately succeeded under the most trying circumstances .
We are having another one of our RISE “ Conversations with Our Faculty ” event on Wednesday , April 7 at 4:00 p . m . which will feature long-time faculty members Vivian Ho and Robin Sickles . Details are provided below – we hope you can join us ! And if you are thinking of going on to graduate school in Economics but wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of a “ pre-doc ” research assistant position , see the perspective of Rice grad Meghana Gaur ’ 19 in our “ Beyond the Hedges ” feature .
If you are interested in what your instructors have been doing lately , we have added a new feature to our department website that highlights recent faculty achievements that you may want to check out . And if you haven ’ t visited our website recently , you might take a look at our listing of various student opportunities , as well as some pointers on conducting research in economics , and on getting your work published in undergraduate economics journals .
Hoping the rest of your spring semester goes well ,
George Zodrow Chair , Department of Economics
Advising Corner
Spring 2021 Advising Office Hours
Monday 12:30 – 1:30 p . m . Mahmoud El-Gamal , Zoom Link
Tuesday 2:00 – 3:00 p . m . Peter Hartley , Zoom Link
Wednesday 4:00 – 5:00 p . m James Brown , Zoom Link
Thursday 12:00 – 1:00 p . m . Maria Bejan , Zoom Link
Friday 10:00 – 11:00 a . m . James DeNicco , Zoom Link
RISE Event : Conversations with Our Faculty
We hope you can join us for our upcoming RISE event , a webinar entitled “ Conversations with Our Faculty ,” which will be held on Wednesday , April 7th at 4:00 pm . The webinar will feature two of our most prominent scholars , Vivian Ho and Robin Sickles , who will be discussing their ongoing research projects .
Vivian ’ s talk “ COVID-19 and U . S . Health Care ” will examine how COVID-19 was not just a shock to population health , but also a shock to the health care system . Just as the burden of the pandemic on patients was unequal , so was the burden on health care providers . She will discuss uneven stresses on different types of providers and the resulting pattern of financial gains and losses . She will also discuss the impacts of the pandemic on COVID and non-COVID patients and what problems to watch for in the near future .
Robin ’ s talk “ Productivity Growth , Economics Well-Being and Inequality ” will examine several questions about how to define productivity and why it is so important . Why might productivity be measured incorrectly due to an overly simplistic number ( GDP / person ) used to measure economic well-being ? How is it trending and how do these trends affect between-country and withincountry inequality ? He will address each of these questions and others , drawing on a series of papers and books written over a career spanning 50 years of research and teaching .

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