Andres Davila & Conor Moore | Staff Writers
The Department of Economics hosted the 5th annual Workshop in Applied and Theoretical Economics conference on Friday, Oct. 6th, fostering intellectual exchange and idea dissertation within the field of economics.
The conference provided seminars from economic researchers in Florida, as well as time to network with others for potential research opportunities and meet other students interested in doing research.
Organized by departmental chairperson, Michaela Pintea, and economics professors Hakan Yilmazkuday, Berrak Bahadir, Norihiko Matsuda, and Nicholas Wright, the seminars discussed a range of topics, varying from healthcare to crime rates.
Alvin Harris, an economics researcher from Jamaica, presented his research paper titled “The Impact of Crime Exposure on Academic Performance: Evidence From High School Students in Jamaica”, relating to the crime rates around Jamaican high schools.
“One barrier that is often overlooked is high crime rate, which Jamaica has consistently ranked unfortunately among the top 10 most violent countries in the world,” said Harris.
In his paper, he presented the analysis done to perform results about how impactful crime is for Jamaican high school students, adding other factors to look into the performance of students.
“[Of students’ livestyles], that’s probably one of the biggest drawbacks from this. We look at this as the impact of the school community where the person goes right to the school community and to the performance.”
Another seminar regarding the effects of spraying glyphosate, a herbicide that controls weeds and grasses, on illicit crops in Colombia was also presented by Anderson Patiño, a doctoral candidate at FIU.
“It was in the U.S. the areas in the presence of these illegal crops caused the war on the roads in Colombia because it exacerbates violence through security, deforestation, and other factors related to corruption,” Patiño said.
This seminar discussed the use of herbicides to eliminate illicit crops, particularly to target fields of cocaine and opium poppy and how it impacts Colombia’s agriculture in general.
Patiño emphasized how the results he presented at the conference are preliminary, but there will be other factors to look into.
He is looking more into the long-term effects of what the aerial spraying program will do to these crops, exploring more into the physical characteristics of these plants prior to the spraying.
To conclude the conference, there was a collection of presentations based on macroeconomics and trade.
The first, presented by macroeconomist Diogo Baerlocher, was titled “Old but Gold: Historical Pathways and Path Dependence”. The thesis of the paper was the development and population density in Brazil caused by the construction of gold mines in the 1700s.
“We’re talking about historical pathways from 300 years ago, and the location of those pathways influence the distribution of the population nowadays,” said Baerlocher.
The main focus of the paper was on Brazil’s economic development after the construction of gold mines, based on historical events and the inclusion of Portuguese colonization into the importance of the country’s economy today.
“These kinds of unobserved characteristics may determine in some way or another, the historical creation of pathways as well as the attractiveness of a region today.”