New Economics Professor looks forward to research at Huntsman School
Photo by Sterling Morris
Incoming Economics Professor Lei Guo holds a B.S. degree in mathematics from Wuhan University in China. Dr. Guo also earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from Wuhan University before coming to U.S. to study. Professor Guo will be coming to the Huntsman School after recently earning his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
We interviewed Dr. Guo to learn more about him and his experiences.
What made you interested in economics?
There used to be a huge gap in terms of development, living standard, and other factors between my home country (China) and much of the developed world. I felt frustrated, puzzled and sometimes angry by this, and I had tried to explain the cause of China’s lagging but found that explanation difficult. I believe that economics has offered the right perspective to answer my question.
Many individuals who study economics choose to build their careers outside of academia. What attracted you to academics?
The freedom to think and study by myself attracted me to economics. I have also been attracted to the ability to interact with other intellectual souls, with my college and with students. In addition, the opportunity to get great economic ideas across to people is exciting to me.
When it comes to your research, what are you most passionate about?
I mainly focus on the topics of asset pricing and portfolio choice. My economic ideology is focused around positive economics.
Who was your favorite professor as an undergraduate student? How did that professor shape your professorial approach?
I especially enjoyed a math professor I had at Wuhan University named Professor Ye. His style of teaching had great impact on me because he was friendly, intuitive, and full of examples. This is something I try to incorporate in my teaching.
What is your favorite book and how has it influenced your thinking and behavior?
One book in particular has been China: A Macro History by Dr. Ray Huang. To me, this book offers a perspective to look at history. Many people and studies in contemporary history have been dedicated to answer the question of why China is lagging behind the western world. Instead of blaming and criticizing historical figures and groups, this book, among many others by Dr. Huang, offers rationale behind choices of those figures and groups. It reshaped my perspective of economics in the sense that I learned that I prefer offering explanations to seemingly puzzling behavior than to giving instructions on how to behave.
Why did you choose to come to the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business?
The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is full of great, open-minded and ambitious leaders. I feel that the Huntsman School has a team of researchers who match my interest, from whom I am sure I can learn a lot. I was also attracted to the opportunity to teach smart, hard-working and disciplined students.