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New faculty focus: Ivan Shaliastovich

February 7, 2017


Photo: Ilia Shaliastovich

Associate Professor | Finance, Thomas D. and Barbara C. Stevens Distinguished Chair in Finance • Hometown: Minsk, Belarus • B.A. in economics and mathematics, American University in Bulgaria, 2003; M.A. in Economics, Duke University, January 2009; Ph.D. in Economics, Duke University, May 2009 • Previous position: assistant professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania



How did you get into your field of research?

I have always been interested in understanding the connections between the capital markets and the economy. Duke University, with its excellent program in financial econometrics in the economics department and top-notch researchers in the business school, provided an ideal platform to pursue these research interests.

What attracted you to UW–Madison?

I was impressed by the university’s and department’s commitment to research excellence and innovations in teaching and learning.

What was your first visit to campus like?

It was in the end of October 2015. I came together with my wife, who was considered, and subsequently hired, by the La Follette School of Public Affairs. We were very impressed by how welcoming people were, and we felt very comfortable throughout the day packed with interviews, faculty meetings and presentations.

Favorite place on campus?

The Terrace. When the weather is warm, it is a perfect spot for lunch, and to bring an out-of-state visitor for an ice cream.

What are you most enjoying so far about working here?

I enjoy a high-quality, stress-free environment that the university and the city of Madison offer, and the peace of mind that comes with it. That allows me to focus on things that matter most.

Do you feel your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how.

I am impressed by the inspiring Wisconsin Idea. As a tenured professor, I look forward to expanding the reach of my research outside of the classroom to benefit all citizens of the state.

What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties?

Like cholesterol, uncertainty can be “good” and “bad.” “Bad” uncertainty (say, about the severity of an upcoming recession), will shake the economy and the markets. On the other hand, uncertainty about good events (we could expect that internet to be a good thing, but how good?) can actually lead to higher growth and help the stock market.

Hobbies/other interests:

Reading, spending time with the family