Amanda Michaud has joined the Department of Economics

February 11, 2019Amanda Michaud, Associate Professor, Department of EconomicsAmanda Michaud has joined the Department of Economics as an Associate Professor.

Michaud completed her PhD at the University of Minnesota.

Through the use of economic models, Michaud compares outcomes of policy changes in emerging economies with outcomes in developed economies.

Michaud also focuses on understanding trends in labour force participation, including why people are dropping out of the workforce entirely, and why women are entering the workforce. Based on this, Michaud considers the impact of these trends in the business cycle and potential policy implications of these trends.

“The macroeconomics world is always changing,” said Michaud. “There’s some things that we don’t know if policy can fix. For example, there is a segment of the population that is just on the sidelines, and left out of the economy. Can policy fix that?”

In a recent paper, Michaud examined the disability risks - such as health risks - and economics risks - such as slow wage growth and the risk of losing jobs - of specific occupations.

Men doing physical work, she found, face more disability and economic risks.

“This is important, because we need people to do those jobs, so we should insure them,” said Michaud. “If we provided social insurance for this type of work, say road crews, it would actually make the jobs and services cheaper. If there is a risk and people do not want to do the jobs, then wages need to be higher to get people in.”

Michaud is currently working on a project, funded by the United States Social Security Administration, looking at county level data to examine why disability beneficiaries are so geographically concentrated.

She is also working to ensure economic models include more information about women, a group whom are often not included in models.Data about female workers is often more difficult for economists to understand, said Michaud. “Women face more flexible employment patterns, and have had different employment trends over time.”

Historic data on women’s health could also be difficult, said Michaud. “The data was based on surveys completed by the head of the household, which were generally men, and wouldn’t necessarily have all or accurate information on the health of women.”