UMass Boston Professor Receives International Young Researcher Award
Assistant Professor of Economics Guy Numa is one of just two researchers worldwide to receive the 2016 Young Researcher Award from the European Society for the History of Economic Thought. Five senior scholars nominated Numa for the award, which is given to academics under 40 with outstanding publications in the field.
The award has a monetary value of 1,000 euros, but it also carries with it a great deal of visibility—Numa has already been contacted by editors interesting in publishing his forthcoming first book, about Say’s Law. Jean-Baptiste Say was a 19th-century French economist who argued that supply creates its own demand.
“Say’s Law says money is only a medium of exchange. If supply equals demand, money has no role,” Numa said. “In fact, in Jean-Baptiste Say’s writings, money is analyzed as finance, meaning that money does play a role in the economy. So the book will analyze the tension between Say’s Law on the one hand and monetary theory on the other hand: how Jean Baptiste-Say has been able to rework his law to show that capitalism is, in essence, a financial system – money plays the role of finance.”
Numa’s main areas of expertise are the history of economic thought, monetary economics, and development and industrial organization—the study of market structure. He just completed his first year at UMass Boston as a tenure track professor in the Economics Department and the Honors College. He is the first joint tenure-track professor in the Honors College since its elevation to college status in 2013.
“Dr. Numa’s courses, Sugar, Rum, and Slavery, and The Clash of Economic Ideas, are providing honors students with a rich exposure to economic history,” said Honors College Dean Rajini Srikanth. “His joint appointment between the Honors College and the Economics Department and this award he has received signal the university’s increasing excellence in interdisciplinary research and teaching.”
After earning his PhD from the Université Paris Dauphine, Numa had a research fellowship at Harvard University. He was an assistant professor at Stony Brook University for two years. Before coming to UMass Boston, he held a research position at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. His position at UMass Boston allows him to conduct research and teach.
“I get to interact with high-achieving students who feel they are here for a purpose,” Numa said.