Gusties gain perspective on the economy through workshop

Associate Professor of Economics at West Virginia University Josh Hall came to Gustavus and gave a lecture on Mon., May 4. Hall’s areas of interest include applied entrepreneurship and microeconomics with an emphasis on economic freedom, state and local public finance.
Hall is the author of over fifty articles, some of which have been published in journals such as Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Public Administration, Contemporary Economic Policy and Southern Economic Journal. Hall also is the co-author of the widely-cited Economic Freedom of the World annual report.
In his lecture, Hall examined the connection between economic freedom and human wellbeing. He explained the concept of economic freedom, how easily people can engage in trade within the country, the strength of institutions and property protection, as well as other challenges and benefits that correlate with economic freedom.
As an expert in his field, Professor of Economics and Management Marta Podemska-Mikluch arranged for Hall to come to Gustavus and give his lecture as a part of the Workshop in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
“It relates to a lot of things that I teach. The workshop in philosophy economics and politics has been established to encourage students to think about innovation, economic growth and standards of living. It was a natural fit for that topic,” Podemska-Mikluch said.
The workshop was organized as an effort to broaden students’ understandings of ideas central to individual liberty, economic growth, and technical innovation.
“I think it is important for students to engage in conversations. Learning happens everywhere, not only in classroom. It is for our students to engage with speakers that are not their professors. It is another way to think critically about the world,” Podemska-Mikluch said.
The lectures and events hosted by the economics department for the workshop are free for students to attend. The workshop is helpful to students that are in the economics department to learn more about their topics of study, but also benefit the Gustavus community as a whole.
“It answers some really big issues that people all across our campus are looking at, like poverty, global equality and things that matter. The whole series that Marta has put together addresses a lot of those issues,” Associate Professor and Chair in Economics and Management and Associate Professor in Environmental Studies Jeff Owen said.
The economic lectures can be useful for undergraduate students to attend in order to gain an understanding of issues in the economy from a professional’s standpoint, rather than news sources and word of mouth.

“It is important for everyone to have a basic understanding of the economy and the Econ lectures at Gustavus helps non-econ students obtain a base level knowledge of the economy.”—Ryan Schultz

“Attending economic lectures increases an individual’s Economic IQ and thus allows them to formulate their own opinions on the economy and economic policy. In a democratic society it is important for everyone to have a basic understanding of the economy and the Econ lectures at Gustavus helps non-econ students obtain a base level knowledge of the economy,” Senior Mathematics and Economics Major Ryan Schultz said.

-Haley Bell


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