The Department of Economics would like to enthusiastically welcome Dr. Toni Whited! Professor Whited will be teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses. Having spent the last eight years teaching at the Ross School of Business, she said, “I am so excited to teach arts-and-sciences undergrads again after all these years.”
In Winter 2024, Dr. Whited will be teaching Financial Economics to LSA undergraduates for the first time. “It will be fun to figure out how they navigate the material. You just never know with a new group of students what will be easy and what will not,” she said. When asked about the importance of this class, Dr. Whited responded, “Economics undergraduates should know the basics of asset diversification, even if they do not want to work on Wall Street.”
Dr. Whited will also offer Structural Estimation to Ph.D. students this winter. “It’s the same course I was teaching at Ross,” she said, adding, “Ph.D. economists try to test economic theories. One way to do this is with a verbal connection between a mathematical theory and a statistical test. Another way is to test the mathematical theory directly. That’s what this course is about.”
In addition to teaching, Professor Whited will continue to advise students. “It’s a tough job. You have to strike the right balance between being too helpful and too hands off. You want students to be independent but not discouraged.”
Incorporating her love of statistical methodologies, Dr. Whited is currently working on a mathematical model that would help people to understand how much the introduction of government-issued digital cash would hurt traditional commercial banks.
A quick review of her remarkable CV reveals an incredible breadth of knowledge and experience. Highlights include publishing over 40 articles in renowned economics and financial journals, receiving a Jensen Prize for an article in the Journal of Financial Economics, two Brattle Prizes for articles in the Journal of Finance, as well as being the current editor-in-chief for the Journal of Financial Economics. With so many notable achievements, she mentioned a paper that she began working on in 1991 as one of her most prized accomplishments. “I started working on a new paper that used statistical techniques that I had never learned in graduate school. I learned a lot of new math and statistics working on that project, even taking some Ph.D. level math classes. The paper didn’t get published until 2000, but it changed the course of my career. My co-author and I tackled a known but little-addressed issue with an extremely highly cited paper. We developed our own statistical technique to address the issue and overturned all of the results of this highly cited paper. My paper (Erickson and Whited, 2000) is not my most highly cited paper. I think it’s fifth or sixth out of 40 or so, but it’s my favorite because it’s the most creative.”
Looking forward to this fall, she concluded, “I’m super thrilled to get back to my roots!”
Please click here to see Dr. Whited’s University of Michigan profile.