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Lander student exchanges ideas with top economic experts in Washington

June 28, 2010

Juan Manrique

Lander University economics major Juan Manrique, center, is flanked by Lander assistant professor of economics Alan Green, left, and economist Glenn Hubbard, right, during a break in the National Economics Insiders Symposium in Washington, D.C. Hubbard is professor of finance and economics in Columbia University's Graduate School of Business. He served as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2003 in the Bush Administration.

Lander University student Juan Manrique met with some of the nation's top economic experts when he and 11 other students representing schools from across the country competed in the Pearson National Economics Insider Symposium in Washington, D.C., in mid-June.

Manrique and the others were finalists in a competition that involved submitting a paper explaining how they would improve an aspect of the economy. Manrique did not win the title of Future Economics Insider, but he came away with another prize in the form of time he spent meeting with fellow students, listening to their presentations and sharing ideas with Pearson Economic Insiders.

The nine-member group includes Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke and Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics.

Manrique, whose home is in Bogota, Colombia, will be a senior at Lander in September. A major in business with an economics and finance emphasis, he is also a member of the Lander men's tennis team.

In his paper, he suggested a new global trade system in which rich countries would further open their markets to middle-income and poor countries, and gradually eliminate agricultural subsidies for farmers in rich countries. Subsidies, he argued, distort global agricultural markets and limit the ability of farmers in poor countries to develop crops for export.

Dr. Alan Green, assistant professor of economics at Lander, who nominated Manrique's essay for consideration, accompanied him to Washington and said later that it was a great experience for both of them. "We heard interesting presentations on topics ranging from social security and health care to energy and automated highway systems."

Manrique's mother, Claudia Romero, was able to attend to hear her son's presentation. Green said she also brought small gifts for symposium participants, which is a Colombian custom. He said the symposium organizer dubbed her the event's "house mother."