By Lian Bunny, '17
Dr. Dean Stansel, an associate professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University, will deliver a speech, titled “Economic Freedom: What It Is and Why It Matters,” at St. Bonaventure University at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11 in the William F. Walsh Science Center Auditorium.
“I’ll talk about what ‘economic freedom’ means; how the U.S., New York state and the Buffalo area rank compared to other countries, states and metro areas; why they rank where they do; and the implications of that,” said Stansel.
Stansel directs the Economic Freedom of North America index funded by the Fraser Institute. It is the primary source for analyzing the differences between U.S. states regarding economic policies.
This fall, Stansel is on sabbatical to travel and give economic lectures at universities, non-profit organizations and think tanks.
Associate economics professor Bryan McCannon arranged Stansel’s lecture. He received funding by applying for an $8,000 grant from the Koch Foundation, a group interested in promoting economics in education, according to McCannon. St. Bonaventure has received grants from this organization for the past three years.
McCannon uses this grant to bring in an economic speaker once a semester.
McCannon chose Stansel as this semester’s speaker because of his personal connection to Stansel’s work.
“I’ve known [Stansel] for years through academic conferences; we tend to go to the same ones a lot of the time,” McCannon said. “One of the research projects I’m working on right now uses data that he is the coordinator and creator of.”
This semester, McCannon is also teaching a class called Econometrics, in which students learn research methods in economic and finance. For the data-project part of the course, he had his students use the Economic Freedom of North America index.
“It’s a really good time to bring him on because I have a classroom of students who are getting their hands dirty with his data and learning how to do it,” said McCannon.
Because everyone is affected by economic policies, McCannon encourages everyone to attend the lecture, even non-business majors.
“If you are interested in any degree of economic policy or if you’re just going to feel the consequences of these things, it’s good academic exercise to understand the driving forces of the world around us,” said McCannon. “We have guys running for governor right now that differ in how they are going to revitalize New York’s economy; that affects all graduates.”
Stansel finds economics applicable to everyone’s lives.
“Whether you major in business, art history, or anything else, freedom is of fundamental importance to your future. We all need to be more knowledgeable about what's going on in the world around us,” said Stansel.
“One way to do so is to take advantage of opportunities like this to hear from people outside your immediate community and perhaps get a different perspective that may provoke you to think more deeply about the important issue of freedom and the appropriate role of government.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you