This year AEDE welcomes Dr. Mauricio Vaz Lobo Bittencourt as a visiting professor to the department. Bittencourt comes to AEDE from his home country of Brazil, where he is a full professor in the Department of Economics at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR). At UFPR he teaches econometrics, economic development, international trade, and microeconomics courses for undergraduate and graduate students.
Bittencourt is no stranger to Ohio State – he earned both his master’s degree in economics, as well as his doctoral degree in agricultural economics, from the university. While a student at AEDE, Bittencourt studied with Professor Dave Kraybill and Emeritus Professor Don Larson.
While pursuing his studies at AEDE, Bittencourt developed strong working relationships with the faculty and he was recently invited back by AEDE Professor Stan Thompson to conduct new research related to international trade and economic development.
In particular, Bittencourt and Thompson are working together on a project that aims to identify the similarities in Chinese and Brazilian exports to trade partners in the United States and the European Union. As part of their analysis, Bittencourt and Thompson are trying to determine the quality of Brazilian goods in relation to the quality of the Chinese goods being traded. Their research focuses on determining if the Brazilian market is losing exports in comparison to the Chinese market, and if so, if it is in high or low quality goods.
Also while at AEDE Bittencourt plans to pursue several other research projects in collaboration with the department’s faculty, including an analysis of intra-industry trade between Brazil and OECD countries, which will be conducted through bilateral intra-industry trade decomposition and an investigation of trade determinants. He also hopes to examine the determinants for Brazilian trade at the sectoral level, as well as conduct a thorough Brazilian exchange rate analysis by examining how varying exchange rates affect trade in and out of the country.
In total, Bittencourt will work at AEDE for more than a year – he arrived in April 2013 and he is scheduled to return to Brazil in July 2014.
Bittencourt has been affiliated with UFPR in Brazil since 1995 when he started working there as a university faculty member. From 2000 to 2004 he left to pursue his doctoral work at AEDE. He is a well-respected researcher in Brazil and currently serves on the committee for the CAPES, which is equal in mission to the U.S. National Science Foundation. He was also leader of the Graduate Studies Program in Economic Development at UFPR for four consecutive years and recently he was awarded a CNPq (an agency of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) fellowship to visit AEDE.
He credits AEDE with giving him a strong foundation for his work as the applied economics skills he was taught at AEDE, such as econometrics and economic modeling, are tools that he uses in his research to this day.
He notes, “It is difficult to describe the good feeling to be at AEDE once again. It is very nice to see the people from whom I learned a good deal and have the opportunity to continue to do research with them after all of these years. I hope I can help AEDE to continue to build its research network with Brazilian researchers and institutions, which has had a strong history since the 1960s. In this same respect, I hope to help the department and the university to continue to build its international status as a well-respected American research department and institution.”
August 6, 2013