Robert Pollin, economics professor and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), comments in a story about the slow progress being made in encouraging the green economy in the U.S. Pollin says few companies have applied for federal tax credits available to firms that are involved in green manufacturing and that currently only about 75,000 jobs have been generated. Overall, however, Pollin says green energy is an opportunity to help revive the nation’s manufacturing sector. (New York Times, 4/22/10)
Gerald Friedman, UMass Amherst economics professor, has been selected as a recipient of the Residential First Year Experience Student Choice Award. This student-nominated award is given to a member of the UMass community for making a significant impact on the lives of first-year students.
Michael Ash, associate professor of economics and public policy, is quoted in a Daily Hampshire Gazette story about unemployment in the Valley. According to Ash, the unemployment rate in Hampshire County was actually higher in the first quarter of this year than at almost any point in 2009. With so many people still out of work, it is not yet safe to say that the recession is over. Ash believes that the state needs to see a consistent reduction in the unemployment rate before concluding that the labor market has recovered. “We are looking at a period of fairly high, sustained unemployment.” (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 05/03/2010)
Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst economics professor, writes a column about how regulating toxic financial assets is similar to regulating toxic chemicals, and notes that in the case of the latter, current laws aren’t doing a very good job of protecting the public. She cites work done at the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst that publishes a list of top polluters each year as a way to make the critical information available and understandable. Overall, she concludes that transparency is a good thing, but isn’t always the best way to control toxic substances or assets. (New York Times, 5/3/10)
Bilge Erten, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 21 summer study opportunities supported by NEH.
The Endowment is a federal agency that each summer supports seminars and institutes at colleges and universities so that teachers can work in collaboration and study with experts in the humanities and related disciplines.
Erten will participate in an institute entitled “Teaching the History of Political Economy.” The three-week program, which begins June 6, will be held at Duke University and directed by Dr. Bruce Caldwell, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke.
As one of only 25 selected scholars, Bilge Erten will explore the ideas of great economic thinkers.
More information about the Institute is available online at the Center for the History of Political Economy Web site, http://econ.duke.edu/HOPE/.