Bates economics professor receives Kroepsh award

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LEWISTON — James Hughes, Thomas Sowell professor of economics at Bates College, has received the Ruth M. and Robert H. Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Hughes has taught at Bates since 1992. He teaches microeconomic theory and economics as it intersects with law, labor, health, the environment and gender. His areas of research include labor, health and law and economics.

Hughes has conducted research on sex discrimination in labor markets in the U.S. and China. His research into fee-shifting on litigation outcomes culminated in an invitation to contribute an entry on the subject to “The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law.”

With his wife, Debra Barbezat, Mitchell Family professor of economics at Colby College, Hughes is researching the disappearance of African-American jockeys from thoroughbred racing at the turn of the 20th century.

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Hughes received his doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan in 1987, and his bachelors and masters degrees at Boston University. Prior to coming to Bates, Hughes was on the faculty at Amherst College and The State University of New York at Albany.

Hughes, of Waterville, is a blues fan and builds guitars as a hobby.

Each year, Bates students and recent alumni nominate Kroepsch Award recipients on the basis of their outstanding performance as teachers. A committee of previous recipients selects the Kroepsch honoree from the list of nominees.

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