Sharing Perspective at ‘Food for Economic Thought’ Talks

By Emma Holinko-Brossman ’20

Food for Economic Thought talks are hosted by the Department of Economics and range in topics from the interesting lives of CC alumni to insights from visiting professors to  relevant economic news. Assistant Professor of Economics Jessica Hoel presented a recent talk titled “Who Won the Nobel Prize and Why?” This year, the Nobel Prize in Economics was won by Michael Kremer, Abhijit Banerjee, and Esther Duflo for their work in poverty alleviation. Hoel discussed the economists’ award-winning research, and how she had herself worked with Kremer in Kenya where they researched clean water and water access. There, Hoel was also able to work with many governmental, local, and international entities.

A solid turnout of students and faculty participated at Hoel’s FEET talk. She shared an interactive presentation looking at the randomized controlled experiments for deworming students to increase school attendance rates. Hoel humanized some of the highest levels of economic research into an accessible topic for the audience. The discussion turned to students asking about the ethical implications of the research along with other external factors. And, Hoel is teaching a Block 4 class — Economics of Poverty — in conjunction with Associate Professor of Economics Kristina Acri, which may extend the exploration of the topics raised.

FEET talks range in topic, but there is always an interesting discussion of current events explored through the lens of economics. Anybody at CC is invited to join these talks to bring new perspectives and learn about some of the cutting edge-research of alumni and faculty in the field of economics. The FEET talk series is one of the hidden jewels of CC; small groups are able to gather and conduct discussions that bring together people from all backgrounds and disciplines outside the classroom.