Epstein Graduate

Economists, Ethics, and Financial Policy

Gerald Epstein

Gerald Epstein, UMass Amherst economics professor and founding co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth, UMass Amherst economics Ph.D. student, examine the conflict of interest that can occur when academic financial economists, presumed to be objective experts, fail to report their private financial affiliations in the course of their public discourse in the media. The authors look at these linkages in the cases of nineteen academic financial economists, and assess the impacts that these conflicts may have had on the economists’ proposals for financial reform policy.

Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth

>>Read media coverage of this study in the Boston Globe, New York Times and on NPR
>>Download “Financial Economists, Financial Interests and Dark Corners of the Meltdown: It’s Time to Set Ethical Standards for the Economics Profession” 
>>Read a related essay, “Conflicts of Interest and the Financial Crisis”

Undergraduate Students

Two UMass students ask, “How Are the Kids?”

Anastasia Wilson '11 & Mark Paul '11

Two UMass Amherst undergraduate students, Mark Paul ’11 and Anastasia Wilson ’11, were recent guest contributors for The Baseline Scenario, an economic blog dedicated to explaining global economic issues and developing policy proposals.  In their article, “How Are the Kids? Unemployed, Underwater, and Sinking” they discuss challenges for young college graduates.  According to Paul and Wilson, not only are young adults having trouble landing a job, with only half of B.A. holders able to secure a position which requires such a degree, they are also facing massive student load debt.  The average student debt for the class of 2008 was $23,200. 

Paul and Wilson suggest that investing in green energy and technology may be the solution.  “Green collar industry would naturally target the young workers who are up to date on the high-tech nature of green jobs, and much research and development would, as with most budding industries, take place at academic research institutions like public universities – a two-for-one stimulus in both jobs and education.”  Read more…

This article has also been been referenced by Naked Capitalism and The Huffington Post.