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Honors Lecture at BSU will focus on unemployment

Michael Murray, assistant professor of economics at BSU, will deliver an Honors Council Lecture titled “The Social and Psychological Consequences of Unemployment during the Great Recession: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth” at 7 p.m. Thursday in Hagg-Sauer 112.

The lecture will focus on the economic cost of unemployment, which includes permanent loss in aggregate output and aggregate income. This means that families have less disposable income, and businesses produce fewer profits in an economic downturn.

The economic costs of unemployment can have substantial weight on a nation, but the social costs can be much heavier. These include increased tension within families, increased occurrences of depression, social isolation, higher propensity of drug abuse, and increased incidence of both physical and mental illness. Unemployment positively correlates with a higher incidence of criminal activity, especially income-generated crime, and leads to poverty and an increased dependence on family, friends and government programs.

Murray will discuss the effects of unemployment on social and psychological variables – such as time allocation, maintenance of family, incidence of depression, incidence of drug and alcohol use, health problems and other effects – during the Great Recession, focusing on mid-career workers aged 42-55, and workers in the early stages of their careers, aged 23-27, at the onset of 2007’s Great Recession and running through 2012.

Murray teaches economics at Bemidji State. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and has master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The Honors Council Lecture Series is hosted by the Bemidji State University Honors Council. The council is the advisory group to the honors program composed of 12 faculty members from each of the University’s colleges. Student representatives also are elected to the council by their cohorts for one-year terms.

For more information about the Honors Council Lecture Series, call the honors program at 755-3984.