Owusu-Danso receives two fellowships

Theresa Owusu-Danso
Theresa Owusu-Danso

UMass Amherst Department of Economics PhD student Theresa Owusu-Danso is the recipient of two fellowships, a dissertation fellowship awarded by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and an international fellowship awarded by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Owusu-Danso’s dissertation is titled, “Microfinance, Household Indebtedness and Gender Inequality” and the awards from the AERC and AAUW will support her field work which involves a survey of households and microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana during April-June, 2013.

Owusu-Danso’s key research objectives include examining the impact of access to credit from MFIs on poor households’ balance sheet; investigating whether MFI credit (its conditions and use) may contribute to households’ financial distress; assessing the impact of access to microcredit on intra-household inequality, specifically how men and women are affected differently by their access to credit from MFIs; and ascertaining factors influencing the high repayments of loans contracted from MFIs and how these relate to household productivity.

Owusu-Danso’s research is highly relevant for economic development policy in Ghana (and in other African countries as well) where a critical challenge to poverty reduction and gender equity is lack of access to finance. Her study makes a unique contribution to the literature in this area by investigating whether access to credit from MFIs may actually cause a financial burden on the poor households and therefore worsen, rather than improve, their well-being. Most of the research in this area has primarily focused on access to credit by the poor and by women. Her study is pertinent given the fact that MFI loans are generally much more expensive (higher interest rates) than loans from banks. Thus, MFI credit may not necessarily be an unmitigated blessing for the poor and for women. Owusu-Danso’s research will shed light on this important question.

PERI Pollin

Pollin: US has lowest minimum wage and most unemployed youth of wealthy nations

Robert Pollin, UMass Amherst professor of economics and co-founder of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), was interviewed by The Real News Network regarding the U.S. minimum wage and youth without jobs.

The minimum wage in the country right now, at $7.25 an hour, is about $3 an hour–more than $3 an hour below what it actually was in 1968 in this country. In 1968 in this country, the minimum wage, after we properly adjust for inflation, was $10.65 an hour. That means in 1968–let’s take a young girl in Texas walking into her job at McDonald’s on the first day. Legally she would have to have been paid $10.65 an hour. That’s in 1968. So the proposal by Congressman Alan Grayson is basically just to bring the United States minimum wage today back to where it was in 1968.

Dube Epstein Folbre Graduate Pollin UMass Economics UMass Where the Economists Got It Right Wolff

Department Profiled in The Washington Post

In the wake of the Herndon paper, The Washington Post profiled the UMass Amherst Department of Economics, providing a detailed history of the department’s growth and development over the last 40-plus years. Interviewed for the piece were Professors Richard Wolff, Gerald Epstein, Nancy Folbre, Arindrajit Dube and Robert Pollin.

The Washington Post
Inside the offbeat economics department that debunked Reinhart-Rogoff
Posted by Dylan Matthews on April 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

It was surprising to learn last week that Harvard professors Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart’s argument for austerity is based in part on an Excel blooper. What’s not surprising is who found it out.

The rebuttal came in the form of a paper released by the Political Economy Research Institute, a group at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst with close ties to its economics department. Two of its authors, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, are UMass professors, and the other, Thomas Herndon, is a grad student in the department. No one who knows the UMass department was surprised they’d trained their considerable analytical firepower on Reinhart and Rogoff. Amherst has, over the past 40 years, developed a reputation as perhaps the single most important heterodox economics department in the country.

It wasn’t always that way. In the 1960s, it was a fairly mainstream department, with a moderately conservative inclination, according to emeritus professor and influential Marxist economist Richard D. Wolff. It employed Vernon Smith, a noted libertarian who shared the 2002 Nobel, from 1968 to 1972, and Hugo Sonnenschein, who would go on to be president of the University of Chicago, from 1970 to 1973.

That was when things started to change. The tipping point, Wolff says, was the denial of tenure for Michael Best, a popular, left-leaning junior professor. “He had a lot of student support, and because it was the 1960s students were given to protest,” Wolff recalls. That, and unrelated personality tensions with the administration, inspired the mainstreamers to start leaving. Read more…

Ash Graduate PERI Pollin UMass Where the Economists Got It Right

28-year old PhD student debunks the most influential austerity study

A new study by UMass Amherst Department of Economics Graduate Student Thomas Herndon and Professors Michael Ash and Robert Pollin refutes the Reinhart and Rogoff analysis that underpins austerity policy around the world; shows no relation between debt and lack of growth. Watch The Real News Network interview with Ash and Herndon.


Ash Graduate PERI Pollin UMass Where the Economists Got It Right

Austerity after Reinhart and Rogoff

The following comment appeared in the April 17, 2013 print edition of the Financial Times. It is available online at

Austerity after Reinhart and Rogoff
Robert Pollin and Michael Ash

In 2010, two Harvard economists published an academic paper that spoke to the world’s biggest policy question: should we cut public spending to control the deficit or use the state to rekindle economic growth? Growth in a Time of Debt by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff has served as an important intellectual bulwark in support of austerity policies in the US and Europe. It has been cited by politicians ranging from Paul Ryan, the US congressman, to George Osborne, the UK chancellor. But we have shown that several critical findings advanced in this paper are wrong. So do we need to rethink austerity economics more broadly?

Their research is best known for its result that, across a broad range of countries and periods, economic growth declines dramatically when a country’s level of public debt exceeds 90 per cent of gross domestic product. In their work with a sample of 20 advanced economies in the postwar period, they report that average annual GDP growth ranges between about 3 per cent and 4 per cent when the ratio of public debt to GDP is below 90 per cent. But it collapses to -0.1 per cent when the ratio rises above a 90 per cent threshold.

In a new working paper, co-authored with Thomas Herndon, we found that these results were based on data errors and unsupportable statistical techniques. For example, because of miscalculation and unconventional methods of averaging data, a one-year experience in New Zealand in 1951, during which economic growth was -7.6 per cent and the public debt level was high, ends up exerting a big influence on their overall findings.

When we performed accurate recalculations, we found that, when countries’ debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 90 per cent, average growth is 2.2 per cent, not -0.1 per cent. We also found that the relationship between growth and public debt varies widely over time and between countries.

So what does this mean? Consider a situation in which a country is approaching the threshold of a 90 per cent public debt-to-GDP ratio. It is not accurate to assume that these countries are reaching a danger point where growth is likely to decline precipitously.

Rather, our evidence shows that a country’s growth may be somewhat slower once it moves past the 90 per cent public level. But we cannot count on this being true under all, or even most, circumstances. Are we considering the US demobilisation after the second world war or New Zealand during a severe one-year recession? One needs to ask these and similar questions, including whether slow growth was the cause or consequence of higher public debt.

What of our present circumstances? Using the Reinhart/Rogoff data, we found that the average GDP growth rate for countries carrying public debt levels greater than 90 per cent of GDP was either comparable to or higher than those for countries whose debt ratios ranged between 30 per cent and 90 per cent.

Of course, one could say that these were special circumstances due to the 2007-2009 financial collapse and Great Recession. Yet that is exactly the point. When the US and Europe were hit by the financial crisis, and subsequent collapse of private wealth and spending, deficit-financed government spending was the most effective tool for injecting demand back into the economy. The increases in deficits and debt were indeed large in these years. But this was a consequence of the crisis and a policy tool for moving economies out of the recession. The debt was not the cause of the growth collapse.

The case for austerity has never relied entirely on Prof Reinhart and Prof Rogoff. But the other major claims made recently by austerity hawks have also not held up well. Austerity supporters circa 2009-2010 consistently argued, frequently in this newspaper, that the large US deficits would lead to dangerously high inflation and interest rates. Neither prediction came true. In fact, both inflation and interest rates on treasuries were at historic lows in the four years, 2009-2012, during which deficits were at their peak.

It is also untrue to say that the large deficits have created an unsustainable burden on the US public finances. In fact, since 2009, the US government’s interest payments on debt have been at historically low levels, not historic highs, despite the government’s rising level of indebtedness. This is precisely because the US Treasury has been able to borrow at low rates throughout these high deficit years.

We are not suggesting that governments should borrow and spend profligately. But judicious deficit spending remains the single most effective tool we have to fight against mass unemployment caused by
severe recessions. Recent research by Prof Reinhart and Prof Rogoff, along with all related arguments by austerity proponents, does nothing to contradict this fundamental point.

The writers are professors of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ash Dube Graduate PERI Pollin UMass Where the Economists Got It Right Working Papers

Critique of Reinhart & Rogoff Garners International Attention

Thomas Herndon
Thomas Herndon

On April 15, UMass Amherst Economics Department Graduate Student Thomas Herndon and Professors Michael Ash and Robert Pollin published a working paper titled, Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff. In the paper the authors examine Reinhart and Rogoff’s research on the relationship between public debt and GDP growth for advanced economies in the post-World War II period. Reinhart and Rogoff argue that the rate of economic growth for these countries has consistently declined precipitously once the level of government debt exceeds 90 percent of the country’s GDP. In recent years, Reinhart and Rogoff’s results have been highly influential as support for austerity policies in both Europe and the United States.

Herndon, Ash and Pollin find that a series of data errors and unsupportable statistical techniques led to an inaccurate representation of the actual relationship between public debt levels and GDP growth. They find that when properly calculated, average GDP growth for advanced economies at public debt-to-GDP ratios over 90 percent is not dramatically different than when debt-to-GDP ratios are lower.

Almost immediately the Herndon, Ash, Pollin findings went viral with lots of social media buzz on Twitter and Facebook. The story has garnered extensive national and international coverage. Below is a list of media coverage to date.

New York Times, 5/22/13
A Keynesian Victory, but Austerity Stands Firm

Socialist Worker, 5/22/13
The end of austerity?

New York Times, 5/21/13
Sharing Abuse Fairly

The New American, 5/21/13
If This Is the End of “Austerity,” When Did Austerity Begin?

All Africa, 5/20/13
Nigeria: Why Country Needs Expansionary Macroeconomic Policies

Business World, 5/18/13
Ultra Mega Data and Their Pitfalls

Daily Star, 5/18/13
Economists aren’t humble, so don’t believe everything they say

The Reporter, 5/18/13
What use are economists?

New York Times, 5/17/13
Europe’s Economics Chief Tries to Peel Off ‘Mr. Austerity’ Label 

The Christian Science Monitor, 5/17/13
EU austerity hawks shrug off criticism of flawed academic paper

Orlando Sentinel, 5/17/13
‘I know it when I see it’

Jamaica Gleaner, 5/17/13
Fake Deficit Hawks As Ideological Austerity-Pushers

Oman Tribune, 5/1/13
Errors mar influential economic study on austerity

Huffington Post, 4/30/13
2 More Grad Students Claim To Find Another Flaw In Reinhart-Rogoff Research, 4/30/13
UMass economists take on Harvard

The Wall Street Journal, 4/30/13
The Reinhart and Rogoff Distraction

WBUR, 4/30/13
The Economics Earthquake

The New Yorker, 4/29/13
The Rogoff and Reinhart Controversy: A Summing Up

New York Magazine, 4/29/13
How the Media Broke Up With Austerity

Huffington Post, 4/29/13
Marathon Bombings Suspect to ‘Reinhart-Rogoff-gate’: Two Very Different UMASS Students Made News Last Week

Quartz, 4/29/13
The grad student who exposed Reinhart and Rogoff: They still can’t get their facts straight

New York Times, 4/29/13
Debt and Growth – A Response to Reinhart and Rogoff

Republican, 4/29/13
UMass Thomas Herndon shines light on austerity and ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’

The Washington Post, 4/28/13
The economist whodunit

Republican, 4/28/13
Editorial: UMass posts win over Harvard in most esoteric arena

Hindu Business Line, 4/28/13
Research blues in social sciences

The Spectator, 4/27/13
Reinhart and Rogoff’s faulty spreadsheet doesn’t destroy the case for austerity

Aljazeera, 4/27/13
Austerity debunked

The Sydney Morning Herald, 4/27/13
Austerity slips out of fashion amid growing recession risk

Financial Post, 4/25/13
Despite Rogoff/Reinhart data scandal, high debt still a problem

The Globe and Mail, 4/25/13
A simple data error, and Europe’s austerity pain

The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/24/13
‘They Said at First They Hand’t Made a Spreadsheet Error, When They Had’

The Cap Times, 4/24/13
John Nichols: Paul Ryan’s austerity agenda is based on serious mistake

The Washington Post, 4/24/13
The Reinhart/Rogoff Brawl

MSN, 4/24/13
Colbert turns austerity movement into punch line

MSNBC, 4/24/13
How an Excel spreadsheet error hurt the economy
Debunked: The Harvard study that Republicans used to push austerity

National Review, 4/24/13
A Flawed Landmark

The Irish Times, 4/24/13
Economics: Austerity loses an article of faith

Raw Story, 4/24/13
Colbert takes on UMass ‘Poindexter’ who debunked pro-austerity study

Chicago Tribune, 4/23/13
Half-baked theories continue to direct global history

The Wall Street Journal, 4/23/13
The Doctoral Student Who ‘Happed’ Reinhart and Rogoff

The Washington Post, 4/23/13
Austerity doctrine exposed as flimfam

The Colbert Report, 4/23/13
Austerity’s Spreadsheet Error

The Mermaid’s Tale, 4/23/13
A lesson on lessening, from economics

The Hindu, 4/23/13
Beware the nostrums of economists

The Real News Network, 4/23/13
28-year old PhD student debunks the most influential austerity study

NPR, 4/22/13
European Austerity Yields Meager Results In 2012

Spectrum IEEE, 4/22/13
IT Hiccups of the Week: Excel Spreadsheet Error Heard Around the World

Brisbane Times, 4/22/13
Austerity on trial as debate reignites

Business Insider, 4/22/13
Herndon Responds to Reinhart and Rogoff

New York Times, 4/22/13
Replicating Research: Austerity and Beyond
Very Sensitive People

BBC, 4/21/13
More Or Less, Austerity: A Spreadsheet Error?

CNN International, 4/21/13
Graduate student: Didn’t take long to find errors in prominent pro-austerity study

AlterNet, 4/21/13
Unbelievable! Bowles and Simpson Release New Deficit-Reduction Plan Based on Discredited Austerity Research

The Independent [Ireland], 4/21/13
In theory and in practice, austerity fails

The Independent [UK], 4/21/13
Osborne should choose his guides more carefully

Financial Times, 4/21/13
Perils of placing faith in a thin theory

Sydney Morning Herald, 4/20/13
The consequences of dodgy data

Quartz, 4/20/13
An economist’s mea culpa: I relied on Reinhart and Rogoff

Salon, 4/20/13
When wonks burn politicians

The Economist, 4/20/13
The 90% Question

Bloomberg, 4/19/13
Finance Chiefs Endorse Cuts as Reinhart-Rogoff Challenged

BBC, 4/19/13
Reinhart, Rogoff… and Herndon: The student who caught out the profs

New York Magazine, 4/18/13
Grad Student Who Shook Global Austerity Movement

EuroNews, 4/18/13
European austerity programmes based on Excel error?

TruthOut, 4/18/13
Media Relied Upon Discredited Reinhart-Rogoff Research To Stoke Debt Fears

The Fiscal Times, 4/18/13
Drama over Rogoff-Reinhart Paper Changes Nothing… and Everything

Forbes, 4/18/13
That Reinhart and Rogoff Committed a Spreadsheet Error Completely Misses the Point

IBN, 4/18/13
How Thomas Herndon, a student, took on Harvard economists and won

The Courier Mail, 4/18/13
EDITORIAL: Debt can be a powerful tool

The Business Times, 4/18/13
Key study on austerity may be flawed

Seeking Alpha, 4/18/13
Chart of The Day, Reverse-Causality Edition

The Guardian, 4/18/13
Making a comedy of errors: a serious story you may have missed

The Telegraph, 4/18/13
Debunking austerity claims makes no difference to Europe’s monks and zealots

The Economist, 4/18/13
The ivory fortress

BBC, 4/18/13
Austerity justification study ‘inaccurate’

NPR, 4/18/13
Despite Flaws, Harvard Economists Stand By Research

The Nation, 4/18/13
Paul Ryan’s Austerity Agenda Relies on Bad Math, Coding Errors and a ‘Significant Mistake’

Reuters, 4/18/13
Chart of the day, reverse-causality edition
Sharp-eyed student takes on famed economists over basic errors- and wins

Businessweek, 4/18/13
FAQ: Reinhart, Rogoff, and the Excel Error That Changed History

New York Magazine, 4/18/13
Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement

NDTV, 4/18/13
How a student took on two big Harvard economists. And won.

Slate MoneyBox blog, 4/18/13
Arin Dube Demolishes Reinhart/Rogoff Causal Argument

Harvard Business Review, 4/17/13
Reinhart, Rogoff, and How the Macroeconomic Sausage Is Made

Forbes, 4/17/13
Reinhart and Rogoff; and The Dangers of Tipping Points, Real and Otherwise
Does Public Debt Inhibit Growth? Or Do Recessions Increase Debt?

Huffington Post, 4/17/13
Reinhart And Rogoff Pushed Partisan Austerity Argument, Now Claim Academic Neutrality

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, 4/17/13
Reinhart and Rogoff Don’t Matter

Media Matters, 4/17/13
Major Errors Undermine Key Argument For Austerity Frequently Cited By Media

War of Ideas blog, 4/17/13
Reinhart Rogoff redux

Albany Business Review, 4/17/13
Study used to justify budget cuts may contain errors

Boston Business Journal, 4/17/13
Three UMass Profs. expose flaw in Harvard research that underpinned austerity

The Independent, 4/17/13
Harvard economists admit errors in austerity blueprint paper

Investor’s Business Daily, 4/17/13
Debt Study Flawed; Debt Crisis Still Remains

Quartz, 4/17/13
Reinhart and Rogoff’s defense is misleading and here’s why

Mother Jones, 4/17/13
Should We Be Afraid of Debt Levels Above 30%

MarketWatch, 4/17/13
Reinhart and Rogoff’s second, longer response to critique

Yahoo!Finance, 4/17/13
Did a Spreadsheet Error Cost You Your Job?
Did Harvard Economists Make an Excel Error that Led to Economic Austerity?

The Daily Beast, 4/17/13
Rogoff and Reinhart Respond
Did Reinhart and Rogoff Flub a Major Statistic?
What’s the Cost of an Excel Error?

Reuters, 4/17/13
Counterparties: R-squared regression analysis

The Guardian, 4/17/13
Rogoff and Reinhart defend their numbers

The Mirror, 4/17/13
George Osborne’s favourite “godfathers of austerity” economists admit to making error in their research

Maclean’s, 4/17/13
Why justifying austerity just got harder

CBC News, 4/17/13
Key pro-austerity study based on incorrect math

The Maddow Blog, 4/17/13
Republican response required to Reinhart/Rogoff

MSNBC, 4/17/13
Ryan’s favorite pro-austerity study filled with ‘serious errors’

The New Yorker, 4/17/13
The Crumbling Case for Austerity Economics

CNNMoney, 4/17/13
Debt’s impact on growth: Latest study doesn’t settle debate
Damn Excel! How the ‘most important software application is of all time’ is ruining the world

Time, 4/17/13
Why the Argument for Austerity Took a Big Hit Yesterday

The Wall Street Journal, 4/17/13
Reinhart, Rogoff Admit Excel Mistake, Reubt Other Critiques

The Washington Post, 4/17/13
Austerity? Oops.

Salon, 4/17/13
Whoops! Turns out debt doesn’t ruin economies

Financial Times, 4/17/13
Austerity after Reinhart and Rogoff

Rortybomb, 4/17/13
Guest Post: Reinhart/Rogoff and Growth in a Time Before Debt

Slate MoneyBox blog, 4/17/13
Further Thoughts on Reinhart and Rogoff

CNBC, 4/17/13
Why the Fuss Over Reinhart and Rogoff is Overblown
Reinhart-Rogoff Error Sparks Austerity Debate

Boston Herald, 4/17/13
Harvard deficit paper disputed

The New York Times, 4/17/13
With Debt Study’s Errors Confirmed, Debate on Conclusion Goes On
Does High Debt Cause Slow Growth?
Blame the Pundits, Too
Research on Government Debt is Challenged

Financial Times, 4/17/13
Harvard duo defend case for austerity

The Telegraph, 4/17/13
This time is different – thanks to data manipulation
Don’t worry, Prof Rogoff – to err is what makes us human
Row erupts over study into public debt as economists turn on Rogoff and Reinhart

Key research on austerity by Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart ‘contains serious errors’

Bloomberg, 4/17/13
7 Data Disasters More Embarassing Than Reinhart and Rogoff’s
Reinhart and Rogoff Never Made a Good Case for Austerity
Reinhart-Rogoff on Debt and Growth: Fake but Accurate?
Reinhart-Rogoff Acknowledge Mistake in 2010 Paper Cited by Ryan
Reinhart-Rogoff Paper Cited by Ryan Faulted by UMass Economists

Finfacts Ireland, 4/17/13
Top US economists accused of dodgy calculations on debt impact

Quartz, 4/16/13
How influential was the Rogoff-Reinhart study warning that high debt kills growth?
Fixing this Excel error transforms high-debt countries from recession to growth

Mother Jones, 4/16/13
Quote of the Day: Excel Error Destroys the World

The Daily Beast, 4/16/13
Austerity Guru Voodoo

The Dish, 4/16/13
The Austerity Typo?

Reuters, 4/16/13
UPDATE 2-Influential economic study on austerity may be flawed

Esquire The Politics Blog, 4/16/13
Math is Hard

Think Progress, 4/16/13
What The Austerity Paper’s Intellectual Collapse Tells Us About Modern Journalism
11 Republicans Who Cited a Faulty Study To Push For Drastic Spending Cuts
New Research Undermines The GOP’s Austerity Agenda

The Maddow Blog, 4/16/13
‘The Excel Error Heard Round the World’

The Atlantic, 4/16/13
The Great Debt Delusion: How Math Keeps Proving Austerity Wrong

CNN, 4/16/13
Economists’ case for austerity attacked

Bloomberg Businessweek, 4/16/13
The Twitterverse Goes Nuts Over Economists’ Clash

Los Angeles Times, 4/16/13
Economists rebut, sort of, critique on high-debt, low-growth study
How an Excel error fueled panic over the federal debt

TruthOut, 4/16/13
How Much Unemployment Did Reinhart and Rogoff’s Arithmetic Mistake Cause?

The Wall Street Journal, 4/16/13
Seminal Economic Paper on Debt Draws Criticism
Is 90% Really a Sovereign-Debt Red Line? A New Paper Says No
Reinhart-Rogoff Response to Critique

Salon, 4/16/13
GOP’s go-to economics study debunked, 4/16/13
UMass study refutes Harvard study on federal debt ratio

Slate MoneyBox blog, 4/16/13
Is The Reinhart-Rogoff Result Based on a Simple Spreadsheet Error?
Reinhart and Rogoff Respond

The Guardian, 4/16/13
How much unemployment did Reinhart and Rogoff’s arithmetic mistake cause?

The Hill, 4/16/13
Researchers claim ‘serious errors’ in GDP study cited by deficit hawks

Business Insider, 4/16/13
Shocking Paper Claims that Microsoft Excel Coding Error is Behind The Reinhart-Rogoff Study on Debt
Breaking: Reinhart/Rogoff Shot Full of Holes

Huffington Post, 4/16/13
Influential Reinhart-Rogoff Pro-Austerity Research Riddled With Errors: Study

The Washington Post, 4/16/13
Austerity’s foundations continue to crumble
Is the evidence for austerity based on an Excel spreadsheet error?

The New York Times, 4/16/13
Reinhart-Rogoff, Continued
Response From Reinhart and Rogoff
A Study That Set the Tone for Austerity Is Challenged
Holy Coding Error, Batman

Financial Times Alphaville, 4/16/13
Raining on Reinhart and Rogoff

Financial Times Money Supply, 4/16/13
Reinhart-Rogoff Initial Response

Marketwatch Markets Stream blog, 4/16/13
The spreadsheet error in Reinhart and Rogoff’s famous paper on debt sustainability

Wall Street Pit blog, 4/16/13
Austerity Research Fail

AdvisorOne, 4/16/13
Oops! Reinhart-Rogoff Research Tripped Up by Typo

The American Prospect, 4/16/13
Reinhart and Rogoff’s Theory of Government Debt is Dead

US News & World Report, 4/16/13
How an Excel Error Helped Lead the World Into Austerity
How a Slip of the Finger Changed the Economic Policy Debate

Foreign Policy, 4/16/13
Were Reinhart and Rogoff wrong about the debt-growth connection?

On the Economy, 4/16/13
Not to Pile On, But…Correcting Reinhart and Rogoff

Lawyers, Guns & Money, 4/16/13
But Austerity Is Science!

Daily Kos, 4/16/13
Researchers finally replicated Reinhart-Rogoff, and there are serious problems

The Globe and Mail, 4/16/13
Bad math? Reinhart-Rogoff study on perils of debt called into question


Stifler talks Boston Marathon with NEPR

John Stifler
John Stifler

UMass Amherst Senior Lecturer and marathon runner John Stifler talks to New England Public Radio’s Henry Epp about what it is like to run the Boston Marathon and gives a runner’s perspective on yesterday’s tragedy.

New England Public Radio
Western MA Runner Talks Boston Marathon Security, Bombing Aftermath
Contributor: Henry Epp

Monday’s Boston Marathon explosions have devastated the city and its residents. Lost in the tragedy’s aftermath was the typically joyful post-marathon celebration – a payoff for the participants’ months of training. UMass Amherst economics lecturer John Stifler was at the race. He also writes about running for New England Runner Magazine and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Stifler spoke to New England Public Radio’s Henry Epp about the future of the race’s security and what it was like for runners who were stopped short of the finish line.

UMass Economics

Co-operative Enterprise Certificate Program

The UMass Amherst Department of Economics is proud to offer an undergraduate certificate in Applied Economic Research on Co-operative Enterprises. This credit-based certificate program involves 15 credits of coursework and an approved six credit field-based research internship with, or related to, a co-operative enterprise. Students gain experience in doing applied economic research in the context of collaboration with faculty, other students, and owner/managers of cooperative firms.


Undergraduate Students

Department Awards 2012-2013 Scholarships

Kevin Crocker and Hen Naeh
Kevin Crocker and Ken Naeh

Each year the department, college, and university award scholarships to deserving students. Scholarship funding comes almost entirely from the generous gifts of our alumni and friends and are intended to recognize the hard work and academic success of our students, as a well as assist them with the expense of their education. This year 21 economics undergraduates were recognized with 26 departmental awards. We congratulate our students on their achievements and thank our alumni and friends for their support.

Timur Abduljalil ’14– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Jonathan Berke ’14– Economics Writing Award

Elysia Eastty ’15– E.W. Eldridge Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Cameron Kackley ’14– Highest Academic Achievement Award

Ryan King ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Keith Kittelson ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Alexander Kniazev ’14– E.W. Eldridge Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Shawn LeLievre ’14– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Alexander Major ’14– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship, Economics Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, & Ward McCarthy Scholarship for Interns

Katelynn Mann ’15– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Timothy Martin ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Vickash Mohanka ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Ken Naeh ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship & Highest Academic Achievement Award

Victoria Pfenninger ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Eric Popp ’15– Ward McCarthy Scholarship for Interns

Ariel Richman ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

James Santucci ’13– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Luke Seaberg ’14– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship & Economics Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement

Sanjay Singh ’13– Economics Alumni Award for Distinguished Service & James Kindahl Award

Collin Whittier ’15– Sherry Barber Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship