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The incredible journey of Manyang Lual Jok

After fleeing war-torn South Sudan as a nine-year-old and spending 12 years in a Kenyan refugee camp, Manyang Lual Jok earns his BA from McGill in Computer Science and Economics.

In the fall of 2017, Jok took the huge leap, boarding his first plane, relocating to Canada and beginning his Arts degree at McGill. It was a bittersweet moment, as starting his new life meant leaving family and friends behind. “These are people I lived with my whole life,” he says. “It was difficult, but they were so happy that I had been given the opportunity to further my education.” When Jok stepped off the plane at Trudeau International Airport, he was a 22-year-old in a new country without a single friend. “It was scary,” he admits. But that would quickly change. He was met at the airport by students who were part of WUSC McGill. “They were very first people I met in Canada and they were also some of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” says Jok. Please see the McGill Reporter.


Congratulations to Lou Naigeon, graduating student in Economics, one of the two recipients of the Governor General’s Silver Medal

Selected by the Scholarship and Student Aid Office in a university-wide competition, the medal is awarded “to the graduating student who obtains the highest academic standing in a Bachelor degree program.”  The medal was presented to Lou Naigeon by Principal Suzanne Fortier at her convocation ceremony in May 2022.


In memory of our colleague Ngo Van Long

It is with great sadness we report that our esteemed colleague Ngo Van Long passed away on Saturday afternoon, January 15, 2022. Long was a James McGill Professor of Economics and long-time member of our department. In his distinguished career he made key contributions in several fields in economics including natural resource and environmental economics, international economics and applied economic theory in general. He will be missed.

Please visit the In Memoriam section of our website at: https://www.mcgill.ca/economics/people/history/ngo-van-long.


Our esteemed colleague Russell Davidson

Russell Davidson is supporting the greatest needs of his home Department of Economics, see https://giving.mcgill.ca/all-stories/mcgill-faculty-member-turned-philanthropist?lang=en. In 2016 the Department of Economics established the Russell Davidson Research Fund, which continues to grow thanks to Davidson’s generous contributions. The endowed Fund provides financial assistance to graduate students and assistant professors, and going forward it will support a seminar series, a visitor program, and an annual lecture series. “All these activities are essential to the intellectual life of our department,” says Prof. Francisco Ruge-Murcia, Economics Chair. “We are very grateful to Russell for his generosity.”


Welcome to Larry Epstein

Larry G. Epstein joined the Department of Economics at McGill in August 2021 as Full Professor. His main research areas cover topics in decision theory, mathematical economics, and asset pricing, and he has written influential and widely cited articles in those areas. Prof. Epstein is Fellow of the Econometric Society (since 1989), Fellow of the Canadian Economic Association (since 2019), Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (from 1994 to 1999), Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2013), and he has received the prestigious Frisch Medal of the Econometric Society and the John Rae Award of the Canadian Economics Association for Outstanding Research (both in 1994). In addition to his research work, he has also held editorial positions in numerous journals such as Econometrica and the Journal of Economic Theory.


Ranking News

The most recent edition of the Tilburg Ranking of Economics Departments ranks the McGill Economics Department third in Canada and among the top 60 in North America in all its three ranking categories. This ranking is based exclusively on journal publications over the period 2016-2020. Our excellent performance is confirmed by the latest edition of the Quacquerelli Symonds (QS) ranking by subject, which also places our department third in Canada and 38 in North America. The QS ranking is based on a combination of indicators, including citations, academic reputation, and employer reputation.


Winner of the Upjohn Institute 2021 Early Career Research Awards

Fernando Saltiel is one of the winners of the Upjohn Institute 2021 Early Career Research Awards, see https://www.upjohn.org/about/news-events/upjohn-institute-announces-2021-early-career-research-awards. The award is given to promising economists who have earned their PhD within the previous six years and who carry out policy-relevant research on labor market issues.


Welcome to Fernando Saltiel 

Dr. Fernando Saltiel joined the Department of Economics as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2020. He earned his BA in Economics, a Master of Public Policy (MPP), and a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park. He previously held a Postdoctoral Associate position in Economics at Duke University.

Dr. Saltiel’s research interests lie at the intersection of labor, education, and development economics. Within these fields, he analyzes how cognitive and non-cognitive skills affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes in developed and developing countries, exploring the importance of firms in determining the wage structure, and understanding the impact of government policies and unexpected shocks on labor market outcomes.


Opinion: Pay out emergency benefits or subsidize wages?

Francesco Amodio's article "Opinion: Pay out emergency benefits or subsidize wages?", in the Montreal Gazette, published March 30, 2020, speaks to the COVID-19 impact on the economy and the unprecedented economic measures that are underway.


Silver for McGill's team at the 2019 Bank of Canada's Governor Challenge

The team from McGill Economics finished in the first runner-up spot in 2019 Bank of Canada’s fifth annual Governor’s Challenge that took place on Saturday, February 8, 2020. This year’s team consisted of Frédéric Aubé, Henrique Mecabô, Zacharie Quiviger, Nikoline Svendsen, Léo Tronchon, with the support of Inbar Amit, and was coached by Professors Markus Poschke and Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado. Congratulations to all concerned! The Governor’s Challenge is a competition where university students simulate the monetary policy decision-making process at the Bank of Canada by playing the role of advisors to the Governing Council. The McGill team was victorious in the first two national competitions in 2016 and 2017.

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