UCR Hosts the Pacific Conference for Development Economics

The Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PacDev) 2017 was held at UC Riverside on Saturday, March 11. PacDev is one of a handful of major annual conferences dedicated to international development.

In the photo (from left to right) are Anil B. Deolalikar, dean of the School of Public Policy; Steven M. Helfand, associate professor of economics; Martin Ravallion, keynote speaker and economics professor at Georgetown University; and Joseph Cummins, assistant professor of economics, on March 11, 2017. courtesy

The event brought together over 125 faculty, graduate students, and practitioners to present research and debate economic development, advances in theoretical and empirical methods, and lessons to improve economic development policy.

Eighty papers were presented by professors who came from all over the United States, and as far away as England, Chile, and China.

Martin Ravallion, Edmond D. Villani, professor of economics at Georgetown University delivered the keynote address on the topic of “Interventions Against Poverty in Poor Places.

Last year’s PacDev was held at Stanford, and in 2018 it will take place at UC Davis.

Biologists Study Major Diversification of Fish

UC Riverside biologists David Reznick and Mark Springer recently teamed up with two former UCR graduate students to study the origin of fishes in the family Poeciliidae, which are widely distributed in aquatic environments from Argentina to New Jersey and Illinois and on many Caribbean islands.

They report in PLOS ONE that they successfully integrated their prior database (a DNA-based phylogeny of Poeciliidae) with fossil-based time calibrations and the geographic distribution of the family to provide a detailed biogeographic analyses of families evolution.

Their research revealed that the family Poeciliidae originated in South America, but its major diversification occurred later, in Central America, then spread via a combination of migrations across land bridges or through the ocean to colonize North America and the Caribbean. It then recolonized South America.

Happy Spouse, Happy House

New study by UCR psychology professor finds focus on spouse an indicator of strong, healthy relationship. Achieving marital quality could seem daunting, even impossible to any couple, let alone a couple in which one of the partners is dealing with a serious illness.

But a new study by Megan Robbins, psychology professor at UC Riverside, may hold the answer.

The authors focused on participants’ use of first-person singular (e.g., “I,” “me”), and second-person (e.g., “you,” “your”) pronouns. Their analysis also focused on each participant’s positive emotion words (e.g. care, love), anxiety words (e.g. worry, stress), anger words (e.g. hate, resent), sadness words (e.g. cry, woe), and a category of negative emotion words that did not contain the words above.

“It may seem like an insignificant thing, but our research shows words can reflect important differences among romantic relationships,” Robbins said. “Spouses’ use of first-person singular pronouns, and patients’ use of second-person pronouns, was positively related to better marital quality for both partners as the focus wasn’t always on the patient. So, it reflects balance and interdependency between partners.

Read more on marital quality.

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