ECO Career Blog is Live!

The Economics department is excited to announce that our new ECO Career Blog is now live! In addition to job opportunities, the blog will contain information about internships, webinars, graduate school, conferences, etc.  Please visit the site as often as you’d like to learn more about professional development opportunities, which are updated often.

You can navigate to the blog using this link:, or by clicking on the highlighted link on the Undergraduate Programs page :

2023–2024 Provost Research Fellowship recipients

The Economics Department wishes to congratulate Professor Klaus Desmet on being selected as a Provost Research Fellowship recipient!

In the fall 2023 semester, the Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the Vice Provost for Research and Chief
Innovation Officer and the University Research Council (URC), selected the recipients of this year’s Provost
Research Fellowship – a $15,000 cash prize designed to provide research support to SMU’s outstanding
scholars during the current academic year.
This fellowship was open to current SMU tenured faculty nominated by their dean or by the Faculty Senate.
Nominated faculty were invited to submit research proposals for review and evaluation by the URC, who then
recommended the most meritorious proposals for final selection by the Office of the Provost.
The following are the 2023-2024 Provost Research Fellows:

Alexandra Pavlakis – Professor, Department of Education Policy & Leadership, Simmons School of
Education & Human Development
Klaus Desmet – Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler Centennial Interdisciplinary Professor, Department of
Economics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
Jennifer Dworak – Associate Director of the SMU AT&T Center for Virtualization and Professor,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
David Taylor – Co-Director of the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation and Professor, Dedman
School of Law
James Lee – Professor, Perkins School of Theology

2023 Adjunct Teaching Award – Carlos Zarazaga

Carlos Zarazaga was awarded the 2023 Economics Adjunct Teaching Award at the annual Economics Department awards dinner in December.  Carlos joined the SMU faculty 3 ½ years ago, teaching Intermediate Macroeconomics. His professional experience working for the Federal Reserve System for 27 years gives him a unique perspective that students value. Carlos also participates in workshops with graduate students, and engages in research with faculty in the department. About his experience at SMU, Carlos says “…I find it rewarding that in the last class of the semester a bunch of them (undergraduates) usually come to shake my hand and tell me how much they appreciate that my Intermediate Macroeconomic class, albeit challenging, has allowed them to gain some understanding of the economic intricacies behind the Fed monetary policy decisions, about which they had read before almost daily in the press without a clue of what all the fuss was about. But perhaps my best claim to fame is to have managed to get only one disparaging email about my teaching skills from the 250 undergraduate students or so I have had in my courses since I joined the department.” Carlos is a great asset to the department, and we are deeply grateful for his collegiality and professionalism.

Spotlight Moment: Fall 2023 Master Student Graduate

We would like to highlight an amazing student, Salim Sharif. He is a first-generation student, who comes from humble beginnings in Tanzania. Salim has a positive spirit even through all the challenges he has faced. We are excited to see him graduate with his M.S. in Applied Economics and Predictive Analytics. He has been a great joy to know, and we are certain he is destined for wonderful things in the future. Overall, your Economics Department Family is extremely proud, and we know your country is too!

Congratulations Salim!


Alipio Ferreira receives University Research Council award

Assistant Professor Alipio Ferreira received a 2023-2024 University Research Council award.  URC research grants fund faculty research across the disciplines. Awards are ranked based on the significance of the proposed research, its value to the University and the career development of the proposer. A brief description of Alipio’s research follows.

“Inadequate waste disposal generates significant environmental risks, such as air, soil, and water pollution, with consequences for climate change (through greenhouse gas emissions) and human health (through the spread of diseases). In Peru, as in many low and middle-income countries, numerous waste disposal sites fail to adhere to safety standards, causing soil degradation, pollution, and health hazards for local communities. At the same time, the Peruvian national government lacks the capacity to monitor and enforce regulations. A potential solution to alleviate capacity constraints is to leverage remote-sensed monitoring, using freely available images from Sentinel satellites to inspect waste dumps. This initiative aims to aid the Peruvian national enforcement agency in developing a monitoring tool, enabling remote inspections and assessing their impact on regulatory compliance and environmental quality. The project involves utilizing satellite data to identify non-compliant sites, allowing authorities to communicate with local counterparts and implement necessary sanctions.”

SMU Professor Organizes Econometrics Conference

Professor Tom Fomby recently co-organized the Advances in Econometric (AiE) conference honoring the lifetime contributions of Professor Joon Y. Park. The event took place at Indiana University September 29-30, 2023. AiE is also home to a journal of the same name, which publishes scholarly papers that make use of, and broaden, econometric techniques. Professor Fomby has been a senior co-editor of the journal since 1986.


Reynolds Presented the 2023 Extra Mile Award

Dr. Helen Reynolds, Senior Lecturer and Maguire Teaching Fellow is one of three winners of the 2023 Extra Mile Award for exceptional work helping and inspiring students who learn differently.

She is known for her engaging teaching style, dedication to teaching and learning, and her caring demeanor. Students say she explains topics thoroughly and uses visual aids to help visual learners. She also helps students with accommodations for testing, working around their schedules and making herself available to answer questions. Congratulations on this well deserved award!



Assistant Professors Alipio Ferreira and Prasanthi Ramakrishnan join Economics Department faculty


Prasanthi Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan is a labor economist, with research interests at the intersection of Household Economics, Health Economics and Entrepreneurship. She focuses on different types of inequality in the labor market, either by gender or by race, and aims to understand the mechanisms causing these inequalities using cutting-edge microeconometric methods. Her research agenda explores the importance of incorporating education, marriage, and decisions within the household in analyzing changes to the social security system, a system that treats married and single households differently.  Her agenda also studies differences in gender and race amongst entrepreneurs and to understand policy prescriptions to boost entrepreneurship, as well as incentives to take up health insurance amongst the poor and rich. Read more

Alipio Ferreira

Before joining SMU, Ferreira worked as an environmental consultant in the Finance Department of the São Paulo, Brazil State Government, and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Abul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Toulouse School of Economics, a Master’s degree from Tilburg University, and a Bachelor’s degree from São Paulo School of Economics. Alipio’s research is focused on law enforcement issues in public finance and environmental regulation in developing countries. He is currently studying policies to increase the efficiency of environmental enforcement practices, with the goal of reducing illegal deforestation and improving environmental quality. Read more