Great Recession gets closer look during 2014-15 Sichel Series at WMU

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO--Six award-winning economists will take a multi-faceted look at the Great Recession in the coming months when they visit Western Michigan University as part of the 2014-15 Werner Sichel Lecture Series.

This year's series carries the theme "Lessons from the Great Recession" and features leading economists from across the country.

The series begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in Room 2028 of Brown Hall with Dr. Laurence Ball, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. Ball's presentation is free and open to the public and is titled "Can We Reverse the Damage from the Great Recession?"

Dr. Laurence Ball


Dr. Laurence Ball

Ball earned his doctoral degree in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has taught at Princeton, Harvard and New York University. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1994 and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund. He also has been a visiting scholar at a number of central banks, including the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Central Bank of Norway, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Ball's research interests include unemployment, inflation and monetary and fiscal policy. His work has led him to testify before congressional committees on fiscal and monetary policy and financial services during the recent economic crisis. His recent research focuses on unemployment, inflation targeting and costs of deflation and macro policy responses following the Great Recession.

The Sichel Series

All Sichel presentations begin at 3 p.m. in Room 2028 of Brown Hall and are free and open to the public. Other dates, presenters and topics in this year's series are:

  • Nov. 12: Dr. Gary Burtless, the Whitehead Chair in Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution, "Lessons of the Great Recession for Economic Policymaking."
  • Feb. 18: Dr. Donald Kohn, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a 40-year veteran of the Federal Reserve System, "Central Banking in the Great Recession."
  • March 4: Dr. Kathryn Dominguez, professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, "International Dimensions of the Great Recession and the Weak Recovery."
  • March 25: Dr. Barry Eichengreen, the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and professor of political science at the University of California-Berkeley, "Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession and the Uses and Misuses of History."
  • April 8: Dr. Till von Wachter, associate professor of economics at the University of California-Los Angeles, "Cleansing Effects from the Great Recession."

The Sichel Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of Werner Sichel, a longtime WMU economics professor and former department chair, who retired in 2004. The series is annually cosponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The lectures are open to the public and formatted with the general public in mind.

This year's series is being organized by Dr. Eskander Alvi, a WMU professor of economics. For more information, contact Alvi at (269) 387-5547 or

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