Member of the Month



Jannett Highfill, Ph.D
Professor of Economics
Bradley University

At the 34th International Atlantic Economic Society Conference in Plymouth, Massachusetts Nobel Prize winner,William Vickrey, sat in the audience as Jannett Highfill and co-author Bill Weber presented their research paper.  It was at that time, Jannett Highfill decided IAES was an organization that she needed to be a part of! Since then, Dr. Highfill has played an active role in the society. Regularly attending conferences, serving on the International Advances in Economic Research Board, and even providing a tribute sonnet reflecting on conference memories in a special issue of the journal published in November 2013. “Economist Need People Too: A Tribute to John Virgo” 

What do you find most enjoyable about your involvement with the IAES?

The conferences.  Plenary sessions for incisive debates on headline issues, regular sessions for cutting edge research.   I never come home without a hundred sparks for new work, things to talk with my students and colleagues about, formal research lines.

What types of projects/research are you working on and what sparked your interest?

I and a coauthor Patricia Webber are writing a book A Tempered and Humane Economy:  Markets, Families, and Behavioral Economics (Lexington Books, 2015) which challenges economists to bring the insights of behavioral economics into their research and teaching on the macroeconomy, and it challenges everyone, economist and layperson alike, to bring the wisdom they learn from their families out into the larger economic world.

My research interests are applied optimal control theory (currently R&D subsidy games in intraindustry trade models), municipal spending and diversity, and issues in eBay auctions. 

What inspires/motivates you in your line of work or field of study?

Many things in life are more important than economics, but the economics of life have to work well enough to be able to attend to those more important things.   I have the quixotic idea that economists, myself as one person in the community, are essential to the general human enterprise.  It also helps keep a sense of proportion, not to mention a sense of humor, to bear in mind that economics is only a means to an end.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering entering your line of work or field of study?

My dissertation advisor insisted that I spend a summer reading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time,  Remembrance of Things Past, as it was called in English then—the rest of the time I learned technique. 

Favorite hobby:

Poetry is much more than a hobby for me, but it is the major counterweight to economics in my life.  My poetry chapbooks are Light Blessings Drifting Together (Finishing Line Press 2012) and A Constitution of Silence (Green Fuse Press 2013).

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