Economist selected as co-winner of Upjohn dissertation award

Author: Shannon Roddel

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research has selected Notre Dame economist James X. Sullivan as a co-winner of its 2003 doctoral dissertation award.p. Titled “Essays on the Consumption, Saving, and Borrowing Behavior of Poor Households,” Sullivan’s dissertation addresses policy-relevant issues related to the well-being of the poor, including the ability of households to endure unemployment, the hardships single mothers encounter while transitioning from welfare to work, and the repercussions of welfare reform on saving.p. The dissertation excelled in all areas of focus ? policy relevance, technical quality of the research, potential impact on real world problems, and presentation ?according to Randall W. Eberts, executive director of the Upjohn Institute.p. “We were particularly impressed with ? focus on consumption behavior of the poor and how temporary unemployment lowers consumption for those who are unable to access unsecured debt,” he said. “This issue and others ? are highly relevant to both anti-poverty and unemployment policy.”p. Now in his second year as an assistant professor of economics and econometrics at Notre Dame, Sullivan completed his dissertation at Northwestern University, where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in 1997 and 2002, respectively. A 1993 Notre Dame graduate, he shared the Upjohn award with Rucker Johnson of the University of Michigan.

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