Go to Wesleyan Homepage Go to Navigation Menu Go to Directories Go to Events Calendar Go to Search Wesleyan Go to Portfolio Sign-in

 
NEWSLETTER HOME
ARCHIVES
E-MAIL US
 
 
   
 
ARTS INFORMATION
SPORTS INFORMATION
WESLEYAN MAGAZINE
WESLEYAN IN THE NEWS
WESLEYAN CLASSIFIEDS
 
 
   
 
MORE SNAPSHOTS
 
     

Cameron Shelton, assistant professor of economics, is an expert on public economics, political economy and macroeconomics. His office is based in the Public Affairs Center.
 
Posted 09.15.06

Economics Department Welcomes New Assistant Professor

Cameron Shelton has joined the Economics Department as an assistant professor.

Shelton’s research is based on the political economy of fiscal policy.

“By using panel datasets that cover multiple years and countries, I investigate how a country’s political institutions, economic institutions, and demographic factors combine to affect patterns of public expenditure and, ultimately, macroeconomic performance,” Shelton explains.

Shelton has written three papers based on tests of theories, which are under review for publication. Topics include political business cycles, supply and demand of public goods, and variation in government spending patterns. He will present his work at a conference this month in Ireland.

As a result of his studies, Shelton has learned that:

  • The explosive growth in government spending in rich countries since 1970 is due almost entirely to increased social security expenditures as populations age.
     
  • Countries with more ethnically diverse populations tend to spend less at the federal level and more at the local level so as to accommodate heterogeneous preferences. The same is true of more populous countries. The effect is particularly strong in education and healthcare-- goods where people are likely to have differing conceptions of proper policy.
     
  • Countries with a more unequal distribution of income tend to spend more on redistribution, as do countries with better political rights and broader political representation.
     
  • Recently, he has found evidence suggesting that US fiscal policy systematically favors “important” voters: those voters that parties target for mobilization or conversion.


  • The former Jaedicke Scholar received his Ph.D in political economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Afterwards, he spent one year teaching courses on game theory, economic growth and political institutions at the Stanford International Policy Studies Program.

    He came to Wesleyan in July seeking an environment with a balance between teaching and research and the opportunity to work with bright and eager-to-learn students.

    “Wesleyan rewards faculty both for teaching and advising undergraduates and for doing top quality research,” Shelton says. “Students and colleagues expect that both will be done in a diligent, competent, and inspired manner. The university and Economics Department seem to provide the resources to enable dedicated pursuit of all aspects of academia. And the students are, by all accounts, outstanding.”

    This fall, Shelton is teaching Macroeconomic Analysis and Introduction to Game Theory. In the spring he will teach a course on public economics and fiscal policy.

    Shelton grew up in Davis, Calif., with academia in his blood. His father, Robert, is a former professor of physics and is now the president of the University of Arizona. His mother, Adrian, is and has been a senior business/legal analyst for several universities. His brother, Christian, is a professor of computer science at the University of California, Riverside; and his sister, Stephanie, is a medical student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Shelton graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, with degrees in both physics and economics. As an undergrad, he worked in several labs both at the University of California-Davis and Stanford on a variety of research projects in solid state physics. Despite his love for the explanatory power of physics, Shelton came to appreciate economics more than physics, and pursued his graduate studies in economics.

    Shelton resides in Middletown. He enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee, volleyball and tennis, and going running, cycling, social dancing and inline skating.
     
    By Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection editor