economist leads the way

Dr Joaquin Vespignani is enjoying mentoring students at UTAS

DR JOAQUIN Vespignani left a high-flying job in investment banking to nurture the next generation of economists at the University of Tasmania’s Tasmanian School of Business and Economics (TSBE) and hasn’t looked back.

Dr Vespignani was recently named the top young economist in Australia for the second year running by the Research Paper in Economics ranking system.

He is also ranked in the top 10 worldwide, which means the university’s business students are being educated by one of the world’s leading young experts in economics and finance.

This recognition puts the University of Tasmania alongside leading institutions like Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford.

Dr Vespignani completed his masters at the University of New England and a PhD at the University of New South Wales, with his thesis examining Australian monetary policy.

Before his postgraduate studies, Dr Vespignani gained valuable industry experience while working in commercial banks in Argentina and Australia.

In 2010, Dr Vespignani was appointed as the principal economist for Australian and New Zealand at Barclays Investment Bank, where he was responsible for forecasting and commenting about the  Australian and New Zealand economies for international and domestic investment funds and other large institutions.

After two years, Dr Vespignani began to feel the pull towards academia, and began working at the University of Tasmania.

“I have the privilege to supervise very smart students in the honours program,” he said.

“I have had former honours students end up having the top graduate jobs in economics in Australia.

‘‘It is wonderful. And for the size of this university, we are putting more people in those positions than any other institution.

“The university’s influence carries overseas too, via our students who come here, get a job, travel with their family, then might go back to their own country and start to think about business with Australia.

“They also benefit the Tasmanian economy by recommending Tasmanian products and encourage more visitors to the state.”