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Impact of South Asian Tsunami to be Discussed

Roundtable to Discuss South Asia Tsunami Economic Implications

Two Economists and One Earth Scientist Share Expertise

(January 12, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - — The South Asian tsunami will be the topic of a roundtable discussion at UC Riverside Friday, Jan. 14, focusing on both the physical devastation of the earthquake-triggered waves, and the long-term economic fate of the countries affected.

The roundtable discussion, titled Catastrophe! Economic Implications of the South Asian Tsunami, is scheduled from 12:10 p.m. to 1:20 p.m., in room 1500 of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building. It is free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $6 per day and may be purchased for shorter periods.

The panel will consist of economics professors Anil Deolalikar and Azizur Khan, and Tien-Chang Lee, a professor of geophysics.

“Professors Deolalikar and Kahn are specialists in economic development with considerable experience in all of the South Asian economies that were heavily impacted,” said Richard Sutch, a professor of economics who will moderate the discussion. “Professor Lee is an expert on the geophysics of earthquakes and will provide a perspective from the earth sciences.”

He added that: “This is an opportunity to bring some of UC Riverside's expertise to bear on an issue so much in the world's thoughts.”

Sutch, director of the Center for Social and Economics Policy Research at UC Riverside, said the panel will address some of the important questions relative to the long-term implications for the prosperity and economic development of the area. For instance, could a tsunami warning system have minimized the loss of life and physical damage? Should we construct a warning system now, or is the danger over? What should be the longer-term development objectives of international aid to the devastated region?

Anil Deolalikar lectures in the Department of Economics and is a graduate student advisor. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and focuses his research primarily on developing countries. His areas of expertise are the Analysis of poverty and poverty-reduction policies in developing countries, the microeconomics of household decision-making in developing countries, and social protection.

Azizur Khan is a professor in the Department of Economics and received his Ph.D. in economics from Cambridge University, England. Most of Khan’s research can be classified into three main categories: Macro and micro level planning, and methods of project evaluation; employment, income distribution and poverty; and socialist development and the development of the transitional economies.

Tien-Chang Lee, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, will provide a geophysical view of the disaster. Lee received his Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Southern California. His research interests include hydrogeological studies and modeling, shallow geophysical studies, and tectonics and fault-zone characterization.

Richard Sutch received his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His teaching and research focus is on historical perspectives on economic policy issues and economics, and on the demography of aging immigration. He also studies the economics of slavery and reconstruction.

“The whole world is reeling in shock at the enormity and horror of the catastrophe in South Asia,” Sutch said. “Emergency aid is flowing in unprecedented volume to the area, but what are the long run implications for the prosperity and economic development of the area?”

This roundtable discussion will provide a great opportunity to learn more about the disaster, as well as ways of helping those in need. For links with additional information about the tsunami and relief efforts, visit the UCR homepage.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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