UNH Whittemore School Economic Seminars Continue This Spring
Next Session Addresses Fertility Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit

Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

Feb. 10, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. – The Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire continues its tradition of highlighting the wide-ranging research of UNH professors, visiting professors and graduate students with its 2005 Economic Seminars series.

The seminars are held Fridays from 2:10-3:30 p.m. in Room 318 McConnell Hall. The series is free and open to the public. Visitor parking at UNH is located just off Route 155A Mast Road and a free shuttle bus service is available to campus locations.

The next seminar is Friday, Feb. 11. Reagan Baughman, assistant professor of economics at UNH, will discuss her research paper, “Fertility Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit.” Government programs designed to provide income safety nets or to encourage work often restrict eligibility to families with children, in an attempt to keep the programs well targeted. One potentially unintended consequence of the design of these programs is that if they lower the costs associated with having children, economic theory suggests that they might encourage childbearing.

Baughman’s research considers whether changing incentives in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) affect fertility rates in the United States. The results suggest that EITC expansions over the course of the 1990s affected white and non-white women in significantly different ways. “We do not find evidence that white women responded to the increases in the EITC but we find evidence that non-white women had small but statistically significant increases in their fertility rates,” according to the paper.

Offered by the school’s graduate program in economics, the series has been taking place for more than 10 years. The seminars provide an opportunity for the public to learn from leading researchers in their field and participate in the lively question and answer period that follows. The presentations also allow faculty and graduate students to be exposed to new ideas and test their research before an audience.

All economics graduate students are required to attend the seminars during their first two years, and must write critiques and summaries for their advisors as part of the program. This provides students with an early opportunity to learn about how research is conducted. In their third year, the graduate students are required to present research and participate in the weekly discussions.

Upcoming visiting speakers scheduled include:

  • Feb. 18 Chris Ruhm, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, “Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?”
  • Feb. 25 Short Papers
    • Celeste Carruthers, UNH graduate student, “A Perspective on the Utility of Driving Drunk”
    • Edinaldo Tebaldi, UNH graduate student, “Innovation and Institutions: Opening the Black Box”
    • Minghua Li, UNH graduate student, “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Theory and Reality”
  • March 11 Edward Kutsoati, Tufts University, TBA
  • March 25 Shrawantee Saha, UNH graduate student, TBA
  • April 1 Matthew Kotchen, Williams College “Explaining the Appearance and Success of Voter Referenda for Open Space Conservation”
  • April 8 David Kempers, UNH graduate student, TBA
  • April 15 David Colander, Middlebury College “The Changing Face of Mainstream Economics” (Seminar will meet in the Reading Room, 1st floor McConnell.)
  • April 22 Cindy Zoghi, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, TBA
  • April 29 Amy Kallianpur, assistant professor of marketing at UNH, "A Model of Rumors"
  • May 6 Fabricio Linhares, UNH graduate student, TBA.

For more information, contact Reagan Baughman, assistant professor of economics, at 862-0800 or reagan.baughman@unh.edu. Copies of papers are available from Sinthy Kounlasa at 862-3457 or sinthy.kounlasa@unh.edu.