Everyday Economics

Lecture Series Description: Everyday our lives are affected by economic decision making, as individuals and households, as cities, states, nations and the globe. Yet economics seems so complicated. Macroeconomics, microeconomics, international trade, income inequality, public policy, and more. Economics has been described as “the science of common sense.” In this lecture series, members of the St. Thomas Economics faculty will use their expertise to bring common sense to the questions above.

Lecture Series Information: Thursdays, 10:00-11:45 a.m., starting September 22, 2022, O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, University of St. Thomas St. Paul Campus and simulcast online via Zoom.   

Fee for the series: $100.00 per person (this is a six-week series)

To register on-line with a credit card on our secure page, click on this linkhttps://secure.touchnet.com/C20237_ustores/web/store_main.jsp?STOREID=15&SINGLESTORE=true

To register by check or cash, or to redeem a voucher, please complete this registration form and mail back to the address on the form: Fall 2022 Printable Registration Form

Link to campus mapSt. Paul Campus Map (7-2022)

Program Sessions & Instructors:

Sept. 22

In this session we will cover common macroeconomic indicators such as GDP, unemployment, and inflation. Where do these numbers come from and what do they tell us? With that data in hand, we will explore how the Federal Reserve decides on and conducts monetary policy.

Instructor: Tyler C. Schipper is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of St. Thomas. His research focuses on real-time forecasting and issues related to informality in developing countries. He has published work in academic journals such as Journal of Development Economics, Review of Development Economics, and Economics Bulletin. He regularly appears on local media to explain economics topics and what they mean to real people. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two children.

Sept. 29

An introduction to microeconomics: consumer behavior, firm behavior, market structures, market failures, and applications to labor markets, health, the environment, and more.

Instructor: Andrea Sorensen is an Assistant Professor in the Economics department at St. Thomas. She is a microeconomist with specializations in experimental economics, behavioral economics, and microeconomic theory. Her recent research looks at individual vaccination decisions and other disease-preventative behaviors. She teaches courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, forecasting, and data visualization.

Oct. 6

Income and wealth inequality have steadily risen since the 1970s in the United States. By most measures, the U.S. is more unequal than any other developed country. We will explore some of what has driven the increase in income inequality and some of the potential solutions.

Instructor: Tyler C. Schipper

Oct. 13

An introduction to international trade will first provide some perspective and theory on why countries choose to trade and second explore the implications of when trade policy is invoked to restrict trade. We will then be prepared to explore current events such as World Trade Organization news, implications of COVID, new trade agreements and U.S. trade policy news.

Instructor: Suzanne Wisniewski is a Professor of Economics at the University of St. Thomas. Her research focuses on education in developing countries with a special interest in impact evaluations of school outcomes. Other areas of ongoing research include migration and linkages between child health and educational outcomes. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota in 2008.

Oct. 20

No session

Oct. 27

What makes for effective public policy? We will explore some of the ways that economics can help the design and evaluation of public policy.

Instructor: Matthew Kim is a public economist at the University of St. Thomas, where he is Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Data Analytics program. He studies the intended and unintended consequences of public policies and programs. His current research examines food insecurity, health care, and education. He is a graduate of Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D.).

Nov. 3

An introduction to development in low and middle income countries will explore views of development and growth, ideas on measuring growth and the human aspects of development: like inequality, poverty, health, education and access to credit and markets. With this background we can explore the key goals under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to understand where we, as a globe, need to to achieve them.

Instructor: Suzanne Wisniewski