posted May 18, 1998

John Lunn of Economics Faculty Receives Fulbright Award

Dr. John Lunn of the economics faculty at Hope College has received an award through the Fulbright Senior Scholar Program for his study of self-employment in  Europe.

          The award will support Lunn as he conducts
  research and teaches at the University of Goettingen in
  Germany from January through July of 1999, during a
  sabbatical leave from the college.  He is one of
  approximately 700 scholars from the U.S. to receive one of
  the awards for the 1998-99 school year.
          Lunn's project has two objectives:  to calculate
  and explain the pattern of self-employment rates across
  industries and countries in the European Union, and to
  determine the extent to which minorities and immigrants are
  self-employed.  He subsequently hopes to relate the data to
  similar studies that have been conducted within the United
  States.
          "Hopefully, the European experience can shed light
  on the American experience with respect to the pattern of
  self-employment, and vice versa," said Lunn, who is the
  Robert W. Haack Professor of Economics at Hope.
          According to Lunn, immigrants in the U.S. tend to
  be self-employed more than native-born residents, while
  members of minority groups tend to be self-employed at rates
  below the national average.  He noted that there are also
  differences among ethnic groups.  Among Americans of
  European descent, for example, Russian- and Greek-Americans
  are self-employed at rates more than double of Belgian- or
  French-Americans.
          "If the pattern of self-employment across European
  countries is similar to the pattern of European-Americans,
  then factors such as culture, and the intergenerational
  transmission of human capital would be important sources of
  these differences," he said.  "If there are substantial
  differences between the American and European experiences,
  then other factors, possibly including discrimination, may
  be at work in the United States?"
          "Similarly, do immigrants in Europe opt for self-
  employment at higher rates than native-born residents, as is
  the case in the United States?," he said.
          The Fulbright Program awards grants to American
  students, teachers and scholars to study, teach, lecture and
  conduct research abroad, and to foreign nationals to engage
  in similar activities in the United States.  The program was
  established in 1946 under Congressional legislation
  introduced by former Senator J. William Fulbright of
  Arkansas.
          Lunn chose Goettingen because of its central
  location.  It is approximately midway between Bonn and
  Berlin, the former and new capitals of Germany, and also
  relatively near Brussels, Belgium, which is the headquarters
  of the European Union.
          Lunn has been a member of the Hope faculty since
  1992.  His specializations within economics are
  discrimination and industrial organization.  In 1995, he
  provided expert testimony before a U.S. House of
  Representatives subcommittee examining the issue of race and
  gender preference programs.
          Each year, the American Scholar Program through
  which Lunn received his award sends nearly 700 scholars and
  professionals to more than 100 countries.  The scholars
  represent a wide variety of academic and professional
  fields, ranging from journalism and urban planning, to
  music, philosophy and zoology.