Economics and Political Science Partner to Create Forum on Political Economy and Economics

Assistant Professor Rachel Heath Assistant Professor Rachel Heath is one of the faculty convenors of the new Forum on Political Economy and Economics

The Departments of Political Science and Economics at the University of Washington are pleased to announce the creation of the Forum on Political Economy and Economics.

The Forum creates an arena to increase interdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration between political scientists and economists. Specifically, the forum will recruit faculty and advanced graduate students working at the intersection of political economy and applied microeconomics to provide a rare opportunity for these scholars to engage each other without respect to disciplinary boundaries, but rather as a community who shares overlapping theoretical, methodological, and policy concerns.

The goal of this engagement is to foster collaboration across disciplines, and between graduate students and professors. The forum will also provide graduate students the opportunity to learn about and discuss cutting-edge research across these disciplines, and engage with other graduate students and faculty members about opportunities and challenges in the design and analysis of contemporary research in political economy and applied microeconomics. The Forum will meet bi-monthly starting in January 2015.

For winter and spring quarters 2015, faculty convenors include Rachel Heath (UW Economics), James D. Long (UW Political Science), and Victor Menaldo (UW Political Science). Heath, an assistant professor hired in 2011, is a specialist in development and labor economics. Her research in areas such as labor market opportunity and property rights is garnering attention, most recently at the 2014 Dhaka Apparel Summit where she was an invited speaker. 

Those interested in participating in the Forum should have completed graduate level work in Development Economics and/or Applied Econometrics, in addition to regular attendance at Department-sponsored brownbags and seminars.

Funding for the Forum was generously provided by friend of the Department Dr. Richard B. Wesley, who passed away in November from complications related to ALS (read the Department's memorial of Dr. Wesley here). Dr. Welsey, who practiced medicine in Bremerton for most of his career, upon retirement took classes at UW in Economics, Political Science, and International Studies, including a Development course from Dr. Heath that spurned his interest in the potential for multidisciplinary collaboration in the discipline.

Questions or comments about the Forum can be directed to Professor Heath at