Scripps College Announces Dr. Taro Yamane Chair in Economics

Scripps College arches

Scripps College recently received a $1.5 million gift to establish the Dr. Taro Yamane Chair in Economics. Family members made the gift in Dr. Yamane’s honor. Yamane was a well-known statistician and the author of several books, including Mathematics for Economists and Elementary Sampling Theory. He is perhaps best known for developing the Yamane Formula, the standard used to calculate the sample size of a given population.

This professorship marks the sixth endowed faculty chair created during the More Scripps Campaign; upon completion of payment, it will be awarded to a professor in the Department of Economics. In addition, the Weinberg Foundation Challenge will match an additional $500,000. The College is grateful for this generous gift, which will serve as a fitting tribute to Yamane’s legacy of accomplishment in the fields of economics and statistics and substantiates the Scripps economics program as an essential component of a liberal arts education.

Scripps’ Department of Economics was established in 1984 with the appointment of Professor of Economics Patricia Dillon. Prior to this, Scripps students interested in majoring in economics were directed to declare an off-campus major at one of the other Claremont Colleges. Committed to supporting the growth and development of the fledgling department, Scripps invited Professor of Economics Kerry Odell to join the faculty in 1987. Since then, Professors Dillon and Odell have championed economics as an essential component of a liberal arts education, creating a rigorous curriculum in which students learned to analyze economic issues and apply that skill to a wide range of elective courses.

It is imperative to Professors Dillon and Odell that their students develop both a broad and deep understanding of economics. In support of their vision, the College has recruited additional economics faculty members over the past decade. In 2009, the appointments of Roberto Pedace, professor of economics and department chair, and Sean Flynn, associate professor of economics, expanded the department’s course offerings to include Labor and Personal Economics, Applied Econometrics, and Behavioral Economics. Nayana Bose, assistant professor of economics, joined the department in 2016, further enhancing the curriculum with her Economic Development course. Economics has also been integrated into the College’s signature academic program, the Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities; Flynn co-teaches the Core II course Incentives Matter: The Economics of Gender and Choice, and this fall Bose will teach the Core III course Women’s Rights: Does it Matter?

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall speaks to the importance of a robust economics department at Scripps: “Liberal arts colleges prioritize economics in their academic curriculum. As a women’s liberal arts college, it’s even more important that we offer a superb economics program.”

The creation of the Dr. Taro Yamane Chair in Economics further highlights the importance of Scripps’ Department of Economics and strengthens the academic excellence of the College. Scripps economics majors are prepared for further graduate study or careers in diverse fields, including economics, business, law, government, and public affairs. Odell, who will retire in 2019, reflects, “We have seen students think creatively and rigorously, and they have been able to write compelling senior theses on a broad array of topics, such as the impact of Japanese tsunamis on electricity prices and maternity leave policies in Europe,” she says. “Our faculty continue to conduct innovative research and elevate the reputation of economics at Scripps College.”

We are grateful to the family for their generosity and commitment to the College. Visit our website to learn more about the More Scripps Campaign and help us finish our goal!

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