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Release date: Nov. 1, 2000
Contact: Elaine Justice, Assistant Director, 404-727-0643, or

Emory's Dezhbakhsh Explores Answers to Stock Market's Roller Coaster Ride

With the U.S. stock market's wild roller coaster ride, Emory University economist Hashem Dezhbakhsh doesn't need a crystal ball to know the questions on everyone's minds these days: What is deriving the recent swings and turmoil in the stock market? Are we heading for a lengthy period of poor market performance? Dezhbakhsh will tackle these and other unsettling issues in his talk on "Bulls, Bears and Basics: What You Should Know About the Stock Market," part of Emory's Great Teacher Lecture Series, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 in 208 White Hall, 480 Kilgo St., on the Emory campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 404-727-6216 for details.

Dezhbakhsh will offer several explanations for stock market trends, drawing on traditional as well as modern approaches in financial economics. He also will look at questions such as: Is the stock market efficient and are the investors rational, as some economists argue, or is it governed by irrational exuberance and mob-like investor behavior? Was the recent roller-coaster ride the effect of a bubble and its predestined burst? Who should take the blame for the recent market losses: Alan Greenspan's interest rate hikes, OPEC's oil price increases, or the Euro's recent fall? What lessons can we learn from similar episodes in the past?

"For a while, even the sky did not seem to be the limit," says Dezhbakhsh, referring to the technology heavy NASDAQ Stock Index's breaking the 3000 mark last November, then zooming to 5000 in March. But the euphoria has given way to concern: NASDAQ is now back to earth and the Dow Jones Industrial dropped back to 10,000 after 19 months of meager performance. To make matters worse, both indices have been experiencing wide swings, sometimes dropping more than five percent in a matter of hours.

A popular teacher as well as chairman of the economics department and director of its undergraduate studies, Dezhbakhsh is the 1999 recipient of Emory's prestigious Williams Distinguished Teaching Award for the Social Sciences. In addition to courses on financial economics, and statistical methods and econometrics, he is the co-author of a study with fellow Emory economist Paul Rubin, titled "Lives Saved or Lives Lost? The Effect of Concealed Handgun Laws on Crime," published in the American Economic Review.

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