Professor Rivera-Batiz is the Chief Editor of the Encyclopedia of International Economics and Global Trade, to be published by World Scientific Publishers in 2019. The Encyclopedia, the first of its type in the field of international economics, consists of three volumes on (1) international money and finance, (2) international trade and protection, and (3) foreign direct investment.
Professor Rivera-Batiz delivered the Lewis-Oaxaca Distinguished Lecture at the 2018 American Economic Association (AEA) Summer Mentoring Pipeline Conference held at Michigan State University on July 27, 2018. The conference is one of the key activities of the AEA Mentoring Program, which is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, and is one of the main programs overseen by the AEA Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession (https://www.aeaweb.org/about-aea/committees/csmgep). The annual Lewis-Oaxaca Distinguished Lecture Series showcases economists who have been trailblazers in terms of their research/scholarship as well as in promoting diversity and inclusion throughout their careers. Previous speakers include Ronald Oaxaca (2014), Cecilia Conrad (2015), William Darity, Jr. (2016), and Susan Collins (2017).
In June 2018, a book volume containing selected research papers by Luis A. Rivera-Batiz, Prof. Rivera-Batiz’s brother, as well as selected writings by Prof. Rivera-Batiz himself and their joint, co-authored papers, was published. The volume, titled International Trade, Capital Flows and Economic Development, is dedicated to the memory of Luis, who died suddenly on April 16, 2006 at the early age of 56. The book includes papers co-authored with Carlos M. Asilis, Luca Barbone, Maria-Angels Oliva, Paul M. Romer (the 2018 Economics Nobel prize winner), and Danyang Xie. (https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/10431#t=aboutBook).
Prof. Rivera-Batiz was one of the signatories of an open letter sent to President Trump and the U.S. Congress urging them not to start a trade war with other countries. The letter states: “In 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Today, Americans face a host of new protectionist activity, including threats to withdraw from trade agreements, misguided calls for new tariffs in response to trade imbalances, and the imposition of tariffs on washing machines, solar components, and even steel and aluminum used by U.S. manufacturers. Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price. The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake” (https://www.ntu.org/governmentbytes/page/economists-join-ntu-to-voice-opposition-to-tariffs-protectionism).The letter was signed by 1,100 other economists, including 14 Economics Nobel prize winners.
In April 2018, the book International and Interregional Migration: Theory and Policy, a collection of research papers by Prof. Rivera-Batiz, was published by World Scientific Publishers in Singapore (https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/10413).
Prof. Rivera-Batiz was appointed in November 2016 as a member of the Puerto Rico Growth Commission, a task force entrusted with the mission of charting a road for sustainable development and future growth in this U.S. territory plagued by a more than a decade-long crisis. The Commission is organized by the Center for a New Economy (http://grupocne.org/), a research think tank in Puerto Rico. Prof. Rivera-Batiz’s colleagues at Columbia, Jose Antonio Ocampo and Joseph E. Stiglitz, are also members of the Commission.
On December 13, 2017 Prof. Rivera-Batiz published an op. ed. in Newsweek criticizing the House version of the U.S. Tax and Jobs Act, which proposed new taxes affecting Puerto Rico: an excise tax of 20 percent on products manufactured by subsidiaries of U.S. companies located on the Island, and a 12.5 percent tax on income derived from intangible assets (such as patents and intellectual property) by American companies located on the U.S. territory (http://www.newsweek.com/republican-tax-bill-devastate-puerto-rico-economy-eliminate-thousands-jobs-744898). The op. ed. was featured in the Rachel Maddow show. Because of the heavy outcry in the press and among Puerto Rican policymakers and other stakeholders, the excise tax measure was eliminated on the final bill passed by Congress but not the 12.5 percent tax on intangibles income.
The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) recognized Prof. Rivera-Batiz’s teaching efforts by granting him the 2016 Award for Outstanding Teaching. On the basis of student evaluations, his course Development Economics was ranked among the top large courses in the School, and students then voted to select him for the award. Dean Merit Janow conferred the prize during the 2016 SIPA graduation in May. It is the second time Prof. Rivera-Batiz has received this award, with the first one granted in 2010.
The American Society of Hispanic Economists (http://www.asheweb.net/) awarded Prof. Rivera-Batiz its 2010 Academic Achievement Award. This biennial award was designed to reward members of the Society who have made a vast array of academic accomplishments and contributions throughout their careers to the economics discipline and related areas. Previous recipients of this award have been Dr. Ronald Oaxaca and Dr. Refugio Rolchin. Prof. Rivera-Batiz received the award on January 3, 2010 at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association in Atlanta.
Professor John H. Coatsworth, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs awarded Prof. Rivera-Batiz with a “Top Five” award for excellence in teaching on September 2009. On the basis of student evaluations, his course, Development Economics, was ranked among the top five courses in the School, out of the 190 courses taught during the Fall 2008 semester.
Teachers College, Columbia’s Graduate School of Education, signed a memorandum of understanding with Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University on February 5, 2009 to foster a wide-ranging collaboration that includes assisting the Turkish institution in establishing a school of education and launching a center for education and economic development. This collaboration is spearheaded by Prof. Rivera-Batiz, who worked with Enver Yucel, Chair of the Bahcesehir University Board of Trustees, and other university officials at that university on shaping the contours of the partnership. More details are available at http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2009/04/02/tc-forms-academic-partnership-turkey.