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  • January 20, 2012 12:00 am

    Professor Spotlight: Dr. Gabriel Martinez

    Dr. Gabriel Martinez

    The new major in Global Affairs and International Business gives students the intellectual foundation to think about global interactions.  The program coordinator, Dr. Gabriel Martinez, is an economist specializing on global economic interactions, particularly the effect of the quality of institutions on living standards across countries.

    We know that we live a “globalized” world, in which interactions with other countries are inescapable.  “Globalization” is not just a political phenomenon, or an economic phenomenon, or a cultural phenomenon: it affects the very fabric of our lives, and it does so in a million directions.  Not only do we need to know about it, we need to have the intellectual foundation with which to think about interactions that span the planet.  For this reason, a major like Global Affairs and International Business is an attractive complement to a solid liberal education.

    While many schools may offer this kind of interdisciplinary major, what puts Ave Maria University in a position of strength is that we offer faculty in business, economics, and politics who not only have a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area but who also know each other very well and can help each other see these issues from many sides.  The Global Affairs and International Business major builds on and integrates a high-quality and rigorous curriculum in economics, politics, and business, helping students become careful thinkers and actors in the global society.

    Similarly, the majors in Managerial Economics and Strategic Analysis and Political Economy and Governmentcover areas of tremendous intrinsic interest and rely on the strengths of our current faculty and curriculum. 

    For example, Dr. Gabriel Martinez’s research focuses on global economic interactions, particularly the effect of the quality of institutions on financial sectors and living standards across countries.  In November 2011 he presented a paper at the Washington, D.C., meetings of the Southern Economic Association that investigates whether improving institutional quality lowers borrowing costs or raises them. Many people assume that improvements in institutional quality lead to more abundant and cheaper finance (by reducing lending risks and raising the supply of funds), which leads to more productive investment, and higher growth rates of output.

    It turns out that better institutions may actually raise borrowing costs if they raise the marginal productivity of capital, the demand for funds and the interest rate … if the country is relatively closed to international capital flows. Using data from 100 countries, this paper shows that the impact of institutional quality on borrowing costs depends on whether the country has favored improving financial institutions, controlling for a host of factors.

    At Ave Maria, Dr. Martinez teaches courses in macroeconomics, statistics, history of economic thought, development, and globalization.

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