International and Development Economics

Four New Faculty Members Bolster Department’s Strengths

The Economics Department welcomed four new faculty members at the beginning of this academic year. The four, all of whom specialize in international or development economics, add significantly to the department’s capacity to undertake teaching and research on the global economy and the economic performance of emerging markets. International economics is increasingly important as the U.S. economy has become more entwined with other economies in the world, both through international trade and through the integration of world financial markets. Development economics has become a major focus of research within the economics profession as well as a field of intense interest to graduate and undergraduate students.

James Harrigan is a professor of economics who comes to us from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where he was a research economist. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1991 and has taught at Columbia and Pittsburgh. His recent research has focused on empirical studies of international trade, including studies of the spatial aspect of trade and studies of trade policy. James will be teaching a graduate course on recent empirical and theoretical topics in international trade as well as undergraduate trade.

Ariell Reshef is an assistant professor who recently finished his Ph.D. at New York University under the supervision of Jonathan Eaton, who was a professor at Virginia in the 1980s. He also holds an M.A. in economics and a B.A. in economics and management sciences from Tel Aviv University. Ariell’s broad research agenda includes studies of the effect of international trade on the labor market, as well as the effect of technological change on the wage distribution. Recently, he has been studying the human capital composition and wage compensation in the financial sector of the U.S., from an historical, as well as a more current perspective.

Sheetal Sekhri, another new assistant professor, received her Ph.D. from Brown. She specializes in development economics. Her research looks at the effect of various policy interventions on groundwater irrigation systems in India. Sheetal teaches undergraduate environmental economics as well as coteaching graduate development economics with Kartini Shastry

Kartini Shastry, also a new assistant professor in development economics, comes to us with a Harvard Ph.D. Her research focuses on how school enrollment in India increased in response to globalization and opportunities in the outsourcing IT industry. Kartini also studies the determinants of savings and financial market participation. Her research has implications for policies aimed at increasing savings among low-income populations. Kartini teaches the fundamentals of undergraduate development economics, focusing on issues of fertility, education, health, savings and institutions. Along with Sheetal Sekhri, she is starting a new graduate field in development economics.