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Tobin Undergrads Defy the Elements and Wow Economists

EEA2018
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Neither snow nor rain nor the gloom of disrupted transportation options prevented two Peter J. Tobin College of Business undergraduates from presenting their research to an influential group of economists last weekend.

Braving a fierce nor’easter that enveloped New England, causing rail and flight cancellations, seniors Johann Idsellis-Arthur and Rachel R. Proctor jumped on a bus to Boston in time for the Eastern Economic Association’s 44th Annual Conference on Sunday, March 4.

Idsellis-Arthur presented his paper on "The Spectrum of Economic Development: Finding the Reason for Development Stagnation in Developing Countries” and Proctor discussed her paper on "Income Inequality in the United States: The Demise of the American Dream?

“The post-presentation discussion was quite lively. The session was well attended and the audience didn’t realize that these were undergraduate students until the very end,” said Assistant Professor of Economics Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D., who taught both students in last fall semester’s Business Economics (ECO 3349) class.

Gevorkyan, who reached the conference by slogging his way up I-95 in a car rented in New Haven, Conn., was proud of both of his students.

“What made the entire experience absolutely unique to both Rachel and Johann was that their research and work was treated at par and at the same level as some of the top presentations in the conference,” he said.

Idelis-Arthur and Proctor also served as discussants in a different session, providing insightful comments on two papers by other economists.