James Atsu Amegashie
Dalhousie Economics is the epitome of "small is beautiful".
I am originally from Ghana in West Africa. I graduated with a BA in Economics and Statistics from the University of Ghana in 1991. I taught in Ghana for two years and proceeded to the UK where I got a postgraduate diploma in Economics from the London School of Economics in 1994.
I arrived in Canada in September 1994 and obtained an MA in Economics from Queen's University in 1995. I was interested in development economics (all students from developing countries seem to be interested in development economics), so in late February 1996, I applied for a job as an economist at the International Development Research Center (IDRC) in Ottawa. After my interview on a cold winter's day in Ottawa, the IDRC was interested in hiring me but it could not make me an offer because I did not have the right to work in Canada. Back then the immigration rules in Canada were apparently tougher than they are now. I was still interested in Development Economics. But it was too late to apply to schools for admission in September 1996. So, I waited for a year and got into the Master of Development Economics (MDE) program at Dalhousie in September 1997.
After a year at Dalhousie, I proceeded to Simon Fraser University where I got my PhD in Economics in 2002. When I was on the job market, I came for a job talk at Acadia University in January 2002. I was not too far from Halifax. But my hectic schedule did not allow me to visit Dalhousie. I eventually got a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Economics Department of the University of Guelph, where I have been since July 2002, for almost twenty years. I teach microeconomics and public economics at Guelph and my research interests and published papers are in public economics (especially public choice), development economics, and experimental economics.
Dalhousie Economics is the epitome of "small is beautiful". I had a very good experience in the MDE program. It was exciting to discuss economics and development issues with my mates, some of whom did not have first degrees in Economics or had good intuition in Economics but were not used to the mathematical rigor of a standard MA program in Economics. I also liked the city of Halifax. It was not too big and it was not too small. I had supportive professors like Kuan Xu, Talan İşcan, Melvin Cross, and Ian McAllister. Some years ago, I invited Kuan Xu and Talan İşcan on separate occasions to give seminars at Guelph. My colleagues and I enjoyed their seminars. In 2006, I also gave a talk in the Economics department at Dalhousie. It was good to return to Halifax and Dalhousie.
I am happy to be a Dalhousie alum. Dal and Dal Economics rock!