Download Image: Web
Lycoming College’s annual James and Emily Douthat lecture series will host Krista Ruffini, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics at Georgetown University, for a talk entitled, “Income, Health, and Government Policy: How the Social Safety Net Can Promote Well-being.” The talk, slated for Thursday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., will take place in the Trogner Presentation Room in the Krapf Gateway Center.
Ruffini will discuss how governments across the world provide their residents with income assistance through a number of programs with the intention to improve economic security. Historically, economists focused on how these programs affected economic outcomes, such as employment and income, but in recent years, there has been increased attention to the role that these programs can have in affecting recipients’ physical and mental health. Ruffini’s lecture will overview the landscape of income assistance programs and describe recent research documenting the health effects of several programs. It will conclude by outlining frameworks that citizens and policymakers can use in order to account for these non-economic benefits and obtain a holistic quantification of the benefits and the costs of various public policies.
“Dr. Ruffini’s work demonstrates the diversity of topics that economists study beyond the standard topics many students associate with the discipline like inflation, GDP, and employment. In particular, she shows how economists can make meaningful contributions to our understanding of how changes in government policy can impact people’s economic, physical, and mental health.”
“Dr. Ruffini’s work demonstrates the diversity of topics that economists study beyond the standard topics many students associate with the discipline like inflation, GDP, and employment. In particular, she shows how economists can make meaningful contributions to our understanding of how changes in government policy can impact people’s economic, physical, and mental health,” said Elizabeth Moorhouse, Ph.D., associate professor of economics at Lycoming College. “I am so pleased that Lycoming students will learn about these important findings by engaging with Dr. Ruffini and her research. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students.”
Ruffini work analyzes how government policies targeted to disadvantaged populations affect labor market, education, and health outcomes. She joined Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy in the 2021-22 academic year after spending the 2020-21 year as a visiting scholar at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve's Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute. Her work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR. Krista received her Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley in 2020 and holds an M.A. in economics from UC-Berkeley; an M.P.A. from the London School of Economics; and a bachelor’s degree in economics, international relations, and political science from Boston University.
In addition to her lecture, Ruffini will attend a number of economics and communications classes while on campus to discuss her work.
The lecture is sponsored by the James and Emily Douthat Distinguished Lectureship Series in the liberal arts and sciences, named for James Douthat, former president of Lycoming College, and his wife Emily, for their years of service to the College. The annual lecture, which is not field-specific, attracts top scholarly guest speakers to the College. Lycoming’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society for all academic disciplines, organizes the lectureship.