Federal reserve partnership yields big benefits for emory’s economics department emory university atlanta, ga

Over the past decade, a dedicated group of faculty members in Emory’s Department of Economics has transformed a friendly but informal relationship with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta into a robust, formal partnership that allows the department to attract top faculty and students and offer rare research, internship and learning opportunities — all while sharing costs between the organizations.

Hashem Dezhbakhsh, chair of Emory’s economics department and Goodrich C. White Professor of Economics, says the collaboration has helped elevate the reputation of both organizations and positioned Emory Economics as an innovative and internationally-focused program.


A productive partnership

Zha and leadership within the Department of Economics and Emory College of Arts and Sciences quickly recognized that the already successful partnership had the potential to do much more and were determined to strengthen the ties between Emory and the Atlanta Fed. Atlanta Fed leadership began working diligently with the Emory economics faculty to create synergies.

The Atlanta Fed and Emory’s economics department now host a formal joint seminar series in macroeconomics, as well as jointly sponsored conferences and speaking engagements. The institutions are also poised to take advantage of joint recruiting opportunities when they arise, such as in 2014. That year, husband-and-wife economists Bin Wei and Vivian Yue joined the Atlanta Fed and Emory, respectively.

Today, Emory’s partnership with the Atlanta Fed is one of the most productive in the country. Only a very small group of universities nationwide (University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis) have such close collaborations with their local Federal Reserve Banks. Broad benefits

Emory’s economics department now has seven faculty members who have a joint affiliation with the Atlanta Fed as visiting scholars and split their research time between both locations. Three to four Atlanta Fed economists teach courses at Emory each semester.

“Partnering with the Fed, you have a larger faculty and more colleagues to collaborate with. In essence, you get a larger faculty,” says Juan Rubio-Ramirez, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Economics at Emory. Rubio-Ramirez, who joined Emory’s faculty in 2015 from Duke University with an affiliation with the Atlanta Fed, has also been very involved with Emory’s partnership with the organization.

The two organizations hold joint conferences and workshops several times a year, allowing each to split the cost. High-profile economists (recent speakers have included several Nobel Laureates) are also hosted by Emory or the Fed and members of both organizations attend, expanding the number of speakers that economists and students have the opportunity to hear. Real-world experiences

She says doing research at the Fed encouraged her to pay closer attention to macroeconomics policies and news and to think about the policy implications of her own research and the research she studies. She’s now more comfortable with online research and data analyzing tools, she adds.

“I was able to build many connections with influential researchers in my field of study. These connections will be vital for the next steps in my academic career, including publishing my dissertation and becoming a tenured professor,” Hannusch says. “And working on a joint research project with economists at the Atlanta Fed was a tremendous experience for me. I was able to draw from this experience when developing my dissertation research.”

While Hannusch gained experience and connections, the Atlanta Fed also benefitted from her expertise and help with its research. Because the partnership has been a win-win for both organizations, it will likely remain very active and even deepen, Zha says.