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UH Moment

UH Moment: “Economics of Education”

Studying economics may imply pouring over charts and graphs to determine the gross domestic product or unemployment, but for one University of Houston professor it means something else. Listen to this week’s UH Moment.



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“A lot of economics is not what people generally think of it,” said Scott Imberman, UH assistant professor of economics.  “You get reports from the government, what’s the unemployment rate, what’s the GDP. That’s part of it. But there’s a whole realm of economics which is all about how individuals interact with each other.”

Scott Imberman, UH Assistant Professor of EconomicsImberman studies the economics of education.  His current research focuses on the impact on learning when native and non-native English-speaking students share classroom space.  He’s using data from education records of all elementary school students in Texas dating back to the mid 1990s. 

“A lot of what we do in economics is evaluate policies from the perspective of an economist.  I’m trying to evaluate how different policies work and affect people from the point of view of having a deep understanding of how individuals interact with each other,” he said. “So, in this case, how do students interact with each other, how do teachers interact and what implications does this have for education policy.”

Imberman recently was named a National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, which provides funds to pursue the research.  He expects his current study to span two years.

“The ultimate goal is to use our understanding of these interactions among people to inform policy and create better public policy.”

Scott Imberman is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.

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