Jorge Agüero adds to UConn commitment to Latin American studies
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 00:09
This article is part of a series highlighting this year’s new professors who have outstanding achievements in their career and major plans to bring to UConn.
Peruvian native Jorge Agüero is a new professor in two of UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences programs this semester.
He has a Ph.D in economics and is interested in Latin America such as Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Guatemala. Although economics is typically a consistent department, UConn stood out to Agüero in particular because many schools are getting rid of their Latin American studies programs, but UConn is not
Last July UConn opened a new research institute called “El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies.” Agüero is now a faculty member for the economics department and El Instituto.
“If you want to understand what are the main policies to improve life in Latin America, UConn is the right place to be.”
This semester he is teaching Econ 3473, Economic Development.
Economic development is his main research focus. He has studied the link between fertility and women joining the labor force, restrictions on learning in developing countries and the effect of health education.
Agüero’s example of his work was with the health of Latin American children. “In Latin America a lot of children get sick and sometimes even die because of diseases that are easily preventable, for example diarrhea … What are the factors? … The problem is the adults, 30 to 35 percent wash their hands.”
He said the reason he chose to become a professor was so he could do research like that, and academia was a good way for that the happen. Agüero’s research has led to relationships with the World Bank and International American Development Bank.
The capability to do research that is improving the life of people is one of his favorite accomplishments. “Also, I am proud to be able to train the future generation of economists,” he said.
He said that economics was an exciting field to teach students in because the future of the economy is uncertain, so future economists need to be trained in tools, but also analyzing, understanding, and evaluating.
Next semester Agüero will teach his specific developing area of interest in a Latin American and Caribbean economics course.
Besides his Latin American heritage and research background, Agüero’s first research started in South Africa. He is still involved with the “South African Journal of Economics,” and taught two courses at the University of Cape Town and the University of KwaZulu- Natal.
Before UConn, Agüero was a professor at the University of California, Riverside. He did his Ph.D at University of Wisconsin, Madison, master’s at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain, and undergraduate at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru, all in economics.