May 20, 2015

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Emily Blanchard

Emily Blanchard is an associate professor of business administration at Tuck. Her work centers on the economics and policy implications of globalization and has been published in leading economics journals, including the Journal of International Economics and the Review of Economics and Statistics

At Tuck, Blanchard teaches the second core economics course, Global Economics for Managers, as well as an elective research to practice seminar on Firms and International Economic Policy. Prior to joining the Tuck faculty, she was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Virginia, where she earned the “All University Teaching Award” in 2007. She holds an AB from Wellesley College and a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

What is your favorite maxim or proverb?

Warm heart, cool head.

What stimulates new research ideas?

Research is the process of asking and answering questions. The easy part is coming up with new questions, which bubble to the surface like a near-continuous spring as I read newspapers, engage with other scholars, and most of all challenge and build on my earlier research. The hard part is figuring out which questions are the most interesting, important, and feasibly answered.

What made you want to become a professor?

Like many young idealists, I decided in college that I wanted to save the world. I quickly realized that I would first need to understand how the world works before I could decide what should be done and thus what, exactly, I would need to do. I am still in step 1: trying to understand how the world works—in my case, focusing on the economics and politics of globalization.

If you were not a professor, what would you be doing?

Most days, I would answer diplomat or policy maker. But I have to admit that there are times I contemplate retreating to my gardens or opening a farm-to-table country inn and brewery. 

What is one thing that most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I am also Australian (G’day).

Best tip for success?

Live life on your own terms. Don’t be a jerk.

What are a few books you would recommend?

The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World, by Greg Ip. This little gem (pun intended) is a quick, readable, eminently sensible handbook for understanding the big-picture economics of our day. Ip is one of the world's foremost economics journalists, with an incredible knack for translating turgid economic prose into clear, compact descriptions of how the world works. A great book for GEM (Global Economics for Managers) preparation.

A Country is Not a Company, by Paul Krugman. In this Harvard Business Review article-turned-mini-book, Krugman sounds a cheeky but clear-headed warning to us all: good economic policy for countries is not simply a scaled-up version of good business practice. Krugman clearly and concisely articulates the key differences between firms and countries in a set of examples and lessons that will be familiar to any Tuckie. 

Factory Man by Beth Macy. This is an engaging narrative about the rise and fall of the furniture industry in the southeastern US. The book offers a first hand account of shifting comparative advantage, trade policy, WTO law and disputes, domestic politics, and more. It’s a great read.

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg. Every manager, professional, and decent human being should read it.  (I'll admit that I was hesitant to take the time, but I am glad I did.)