December 2018 Faculty Spotlight
Faculty Spotlight with Marxe Marxe Chair in International Economics and Governance, and Associate Professor, Asli Leblebicioglu
We welcome new professor and Marxe Chair in the Master of International Affairs program, Asli Leblebicioglu to the Marxe School with a spotlight about her research, the origin of her interest in international economics, her upcoming classes, and more.
You’ve been named the Marxe Chair in International Economics and Governance and Associate Professor. Congratulations! What drew you to the Marxe School?
One of the main things that drew me to the Marxe School was the opportunity to work amongst colleagues that are all interested in policy issues. I am especially excited to be part of the Masters of International Affairs program, which aims to make education on international economic policies (among other topics) accessible to a diverse student body.
When did you first become interested in economics? And what attracted you to macroeconomics from an international perspective?
I am originally from Turkey, an emerging market that was developing substantially when I was growing up. Experiencing the economic transformations, as well as the crises, first-hand, I got interested in understanding why certain economies manage to develop and others fail to do so. This broad question has set my general research agenda since my graduate studies.
Tell us about your research program in international macroeconomics.
My research program focuses on developing theoretical and empirical models to study how international trade and financial linkages affect investment decisions, growth, and economic fluctuations in emerging markets, as well as the U.S. economy. Some of my empirical work involves using aggregate data for large samples of countries or states to investigate the impacts of capital accumulation and financial flows on economic growth and volatility. Another part of my research involves using firm-level data to understand how domestic and foreign investment decisions of firms are affected by policy changes, such as trade liberalization or banking deregulation, and macroeconomic fluctuations. More recently, I have started working on how policy changes affect the share of total income earned by labor. With my coauthor we have shown how the banking deregulation in the U.S. has lowered labor’s share in income, potentially contributing to the rise in income inequality. On the other hand, in a different study, we find that trade liberalization policies in India increased workers’ share of income, suggesting that globalization is not necessarily harmful for labor.
What will you be teaching in the spring 2019 semester? What lesson do you most look forward to teaching your students?
I will be teaching two classes: International Economics and Trade Policy. I am looking forward to talking about the current events and helping students interpret the impact of macroeconomic and trade policy changes on the economic environment. This is an exciting time to be studying trade policy. With all the recent backlash towards globalization and the alterations in the trade agreements, it is important to talk about the pros and cons of international trade, and discuss what trade policies can and cannot do for a country. We will study the economic mechanisms that give rise to costs and benefits of trade and analyze the varied experiences of developed and developing countries. I am looking forward to productive debates in class on these issues.