George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economics at Columbia University
Currently a Professor at Columbia University, Dr. Sharyn O’Halloran serves as George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economy, as well as Professor of International and Public Affairs. From 2002 through 2005, Dr. O’Halloran held the position of Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University. Sharyn O’Halloran’s relationship with Columbia University began when she became an Assistant Professor in the Institution’s Department of Political Science in the School of International and Public Affairs. She soon advanced to the role of Associate Professor within the same department, which she held until 2002 when she received a promotion to Professor.
Dr. O’Halloran’s research career began at Stanford University, where she undertook a fellowship in foreign policy studies through the Social Science Research Council. She was also a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Stanford Institute for Center for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). In 1997, Dr. O’Halloran returned to Stanford University as a Robert Eckles Swain National Fellow within the Hoover Institution. She was also a Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Business at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. In addition to her academic positions with Stanford and Columbia Universities, Sharyn O’Halloran has served as a Fellow in Positive Political Economy at Harvard University.
Sharyn O’Halloran began her own tertiary education at the University of California San Diego campus where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science. After receiving honors in these two areas, Sharyn O’Halloran stayed on at the University to get her Master’s in Political Science. She subsequently left the University of California San Diego with a PhD in Political Science.
Sharyn O’Halloran is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Law and Society Association, and the Midwest Political Science Association. She is on the Board of Directors at Community Impact, Columbia University’s volunteer organization that serves disadvantaged youth in the Harlem and Upper Manhattan areas. She regularly contributes her energies to the Legal Action Center, the Legal Aid Society, and Appleseed. In her free time, Dr. O’Halloran loves to train for marathons. She is part of the New York Road Runners.
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George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economics and Professor of International and Public Affairs
Chaired professor working in areas of political economy of regulation, trade and finance, minority representation and democratic institutions.
Instructor of graduate, professor and undergraduate courses; Chair of the University Senate; Director of Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis Program; Associate Director of the Applied Statistical Analysis Center
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Developments in the South Carolina Voting Rights Act Case By Sharyn O'Halloran
Last year, the Justice Department struck down a South Carolina law that required voters to display a state-issued photo identification card in order to vote. The Justice Department found that the statute violated the Voting Rights Act
. The VRA
was put in place in the 1960s to ensure that historically segregated southern states would not deny African-Americans their right to vote.
In early February, seeking to reinstate the law, the attorney general of South Carolina sued the Justice Department. The state of South Carolina argues that the statute does not violate the VRA, especially since the Supreme Court has upheld similar laws in states like Indiana. South Carolina argues that it has been unfairly singled out under the VRA.
On the one hand, South Carolina has a long history of segregation. On the other hand, none of the 10 most-segregated cities in America are in VRA states. In the 2000 census, South Carolina had a higher percentage of interracial couples than New Hampshire did.
If these voter ID laws really disenfranchise voters from minority groups, shouldn’t they be forbidden nationwide? Should the VRA be limited to the South if the most segregated U.S. cities are Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia? The courts must balance the arguments of South Carolina and the Justice Department. One thing remains clear: The VRA continues to be relevant in the new millennium.
About the author: Sharyn O’Halloran has a Ph.D in Political Science and is currently chairman of the executive committee of the University Senate at Columbia University in New York.
The Decade of Behavior Research Award, By Sharyn O’Halloran
The Decade of Behavior Research Awards are given to individuals whose research has impacted society or public policy by increasing knowledge of the principles of social or behavioral science or contributing to their use in policy settings. The awards are administered by The Decade of Behavior, a multifaceted organization dedicated to improving health care and education, enhancing safety, addressing the needs of the elderly, and limiting crime, drug abuse, high risk behaviors, racism, poverty, and cynicism towards government. Bestowing up to five awards annually, The Decade of Behavior has recognized contributions ranging from psychological research to the investigation of small-scale changes in U.S. cities related to migration and residential mobility.
About the Author:
Sharyn O’Halloran serves as the George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economics and Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Dr. O’Halloran, whose research focuses on statistical methods and institutional analysis, won the Decade of Behavior Research Award in 2005 for her work on voting patterns and African American candidates for office.
Sharyn O’Halloran on the Bear Stearns Takeover (Part 2 of 2)
In the first part of our interview with Sharyn O’Halloran,
we discussed problems with several proposed narratives regarding JP
Morgan’s takeover of Bear Stearns. Here, she tells us what scenario she finds most likely and what we can learn from it.
Q: How can we explain the lock-in provisions in the final purchase agreement of the takeover?
A: Using game theory and breaking down the sequence of events, we can show that the only party to the transaction with anything to gain from a bankruptcy was Bear Stearns’ shareholders, but that they also held the final option to accept or reject the deal. The lock-in provisions were the method by which JP Morgan, the Fed, and Bear Stearns’ managers attempted to coerce shareholders into accepting a takeover over bankruptcy.
Q: So what should we take away from that narrative?
A: That in a takeover, the preferences of the party least likely to ratify the deal shape its final form.
Professor Sharyn O’Halloran, PhD, holds the George Blumenthal professorship of political economy at New York City’s Columbia University, and is also a professor of international and public affairs. Outside the academic arena, Sharyn O’Halloran is an accomplished athlete, and recently completed her first 60-kilometer race, also known as an ultramarathon.
An ultramarathon is any race of longer than the standard marathon, or 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometers), and there are two general forms to the race. One involves a prescribed course, and the other a prescribed amount of time. In the former, the runner who reaches the finish line first wins, while in the latter, the runner who achieves the greatest distance is declared winner.
There are standard and non-standard ultramarathons. The generally accepted standard ultramarathon distances are 50, 100, 150, 200, and 1,000 kilometers, and 50, 100, 200, and 1,000 miles. The standard times are 24 and 48 hours, and 6 days. Runners are permitted to run or walk, and take breaks as necessary, with the only penalty being the time lost from their own performance. However, racers can be disqualified if they do not finish the race under allotted times.
There is no limit on an ultramarathon’s length; one of the longest certified ultramarathons is the Sri Chinmoy 1300-Miler, also called the Ultimate Ultra, run annually in New York’s Flushing Meadow Park on a 1-mile course. Another lengthy ultramarathon is the Trans America Footrace, a run from Los Angeles to New York City in 64 consecutive days.
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