Associate Professor Joanne Song McLaughlin is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Economics. She received her PhD from the University of California Irvine and focuses primarily on labor economics. You will see her teaching ECO 380, 480, and 481!
Why did you choose economics? Why did you choose your subfield?
JSM: I started out as an accounting major, but I changed my major to economics because I was really fascinated by the supply and demand curves. Basically, I was fascinated by the rigorous theory and testing the theory using real-world data really excited me. I have absolutely no regret choosing economics. I chose labor economics because I love econometrics and microeconomic theory, and working with data. Labor economists do all these. I also the privilege to work with many great labor economists as a graduate student.
What research are you working on right now?
JSM: Many projects: (1) Age discrimination, (2) Race and gender discrimination, (3) the Excelsior Scholarship program, (4) Young children and parents' work during COVID-19, (5) Health insurance, retirement, and health
What was your favorite paper to write, and why?
JSM: My favorite paper is "Falling Between the Cracks: Discrimination Laws and Older Women" because it's my first paper and it studies an important shortcoming in our legal system.
What is your favorite class to teach, and why?
JSM: Econometrics because it helps students to gain the skills that are in high demand.
What was your favorite class as an undergrad?
JSM: Microeconomic Theory (i.e., ECO 405, 406) and Econometrics (i.e., ECO 480, 481)
What is your top piece of advice for your students?
JSM: Learn to follow instructions and manage time wisely. These will help students to earn a good grade. Then, learn how to write and present. These skills are necessary to be successful at work.