January 18, 2018 10:15AM
Grimes was in Jakarta, Indonesia, located on the northwest coast of the world's most populous island of Java, as part of an international effort by the Global Economic Education Alliance to develop financial literacy for poor and vulnerable youth.
Specifically, the group was training teachers how to teach those skills to those who desperately need it.
"The idea is that then they are equipped to make better financial decisions and they're more employable, which in turn will make Indonesia's economy more stable," Grimes said. "And that is directly related to political stability."
The long-term effect, he added, is an improved business and trade relationship between the U.S. and Indonesia, which is an oil-producing country.
"It's very important," he said.
Jakarta is the center of economics, culture, and politics in Indonesia, with a population of more than 10 million; if surrounding urban areas are factored in, the population is 30.2 million.
While it has grown more rapidly than Bangkok and Beijing, that growth has come with challenges: overpopulation and ecological breakdown, gridlock traffic, and poverty and inequality.
The GEEA, a non-profit corporation, was founded in 2011 to promote global economic and financial literacy. The program Grimes is participating in is one of five to be funded; the programs will be evaluated later this year to determine their effectiveness, and one will be continued for five years.
"There would definitely be more trips," Grimes said.
Grimes said the people of Indonesia were very welcoming, and he had a chance to explore cuisine and culture during a street festival, as well as visit an alumnus, Thomas Quiko, who earned his BBA from Kelce College of Business in 1989.
About Dr. Grimes
A native of the region, Grimes earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in economics from Pittsburg State University. He received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 1984. His academic specializations are in the areas of labor economics, economic education, and the economics of public policy. He is the author of more than 70 scholarly research articles, notes, and other publications. He has received more than one million dollars in grants and contracts for his research and outreach activities over the course of his career from funders such as the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Education.