Price Theory Scholars

This visiting program allows PhD students in economics at other institutions to experience and learn to apply price theory in the Chicago tradition.

The goal of the program is to expose students to price theory in the Chicago tradition, which emphasizes the application of simple economic principles to important real-world problems.

Established in 2006 with the support of the Searle Freedom Trust, the program is geared toward students who are in their third or fourth year of study.

The idea for the Scholars Program grew out of Jesse Shapiro’s experiences at UChicago. As a Harvard graduate student, he had the opportunity to visit several times, work on his research with leading price theory faculty, and take the Becker-Murphy price theory class. His exposure to the Chicago environment and to price theory class in particular gave him a new perspective on economics that he took back with him to Harvard.

Shapiro returned to the center as a Becker Fellow and, realizing that Chicago offered a unique perspective on economics, he encouraged faculty to offer more students from other institutions the same opportunity to explore price theory and the unique Chicago approach.

Application process

This program is geared towards PhD students in economics who are in their third or fourth year of study, but PhD students at all levels may be considered.

Candidates are nominated for the Price Theory Scholars Program by those under whom they have studied. Applications are not accepted directly from the candidates themselves.

A letter of nomination should include an assessment of the candidate’s work and promise and the contact information of the candidate. Two (2) letters of nomination should be sent to Grace Hammond by May 31, 2017.

Former Scholars

2016-2017

 

 

Thomas Krussig

Thomas Krussig is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to entering graduate school, Thomas earned his bachelor’s degree in business and economics and hismaster’s degree in economics with highest distinction from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2013. At PUC Chile, he was active in research and teaching, and awarded academic excellence scholarships in 2007 and 2013. His research interests are in industrial organization and finance, with a theoretical bias. An example of his current work, joint with Professors Ben Handel and Philipp Strack of Berkeley, is an empirical study analyzing the effects of market mechanisms on formal reputation systems in illegal online drug markets, specifically The Silk Road, where seller reputation is the main explanation for the observed market stability. Thomas seeks to understand anonymous peer-to-peer markets through acquiring and analyzing new transaction and rating data, proposing new methods to interpret the data and connecting the data to economic concepts.

Sam Norris

Sam Norris is a PhD candidate in economics at Northwestern University. Prior to beginning graduate school in 2013, Sam earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Simon Fraser University in 2010, his master’s degree in economics from the University of Toronto in 2012, and worked as a Research Fellow at Harvard University for the following year. His work is in the area of applied microeconomics and engages with research outside of this field, touching on areas of sociology and public policy. His main areas of interest are in education, crime, and development economics. During his visit to the University of Chicago, he worked on projects on the prevalence of errors in the judicial system, and the long-term effects of incarceration. In his work on judicial decision making, Sam has developed a method for decomposing variation in judicial outcomes into judge-specific error rates and leniency. Using Canadian court data, he shows that judges vary widely in how often they make mistakes, and that this accounts for nearly as much variation in outcomes as between-judge differences in leniency.

Will Rafey

Will Rafey is a PhD candidate in economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to beginning graduate school, he earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2013, and his master’s degree in pure mathematics from Cambridge University in 2014. His research interests include theoretical and empirical topics in industrial organization and market design, focusing in particular on environmental regulation. He spent his second year at MIT initiating early-stage research projects that study the economics of the environment, climate change and energy, and will continue this research in his next two years with support from MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative. His current work launched a collaboration with economists in the Department of Agriculture and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to study tradable permits for water in Australia—the world’s largest market for water, and a litmus test for similar market-based approaches in other drought-stricken regions of the globe.

2014–2015

Andreea Enache

Andreea Enache is currently a PhD student in Economics at the Paris School of Economics.  Under the supervision of thesis advisers Jean-Pierre Florens and David Marimort, she pursues research in the areas of econometrics (theory and methods), auction theory and principal-agent models.  Her work focuses on structural econometrics applied to games of incomplete information. Her aim is to study identification and estimation of auction and dynamic adverse selection models, and also develop economic theory behind the repeated principal-agent models.  Andreea will spend Fall 2014 at the Becker Friedman Institute continuing to enrich her graduate studies in economics.

Miguel Espinosa

Miguel Espinosa is a PhD candidate in economics at the London School of Economics. His intellectual interests include theoretical and empirical industrial organization and its intersection with political economy. He is working on different projects at this juncture, including one that relates market concentration to lobbying expenditures. Miguel plans to spend the fall 2014 quarter at the Becker Friedman Institute advancing his research and investigating the robustness of his mechanism.

Josh Feng

Josh Feng is a PhD candidate in economics at Harvard University, where he also earned an undergraduate degree in applied mathematics. His general areas of interest are industrial organization, public finance, health, and labor economics. During his visit as a Price Theory Scholar, he will pursue work on issues surrounding patents, research and development in the pharmaceutical industry, and the digital economy.

2012–2013

Mike Mueller-Smith

Michael Mueller-Smith, a doctoral student from  Columbia University pursued research on program evaluation methodology, criminal justice in the US, and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Benjamin Schoefer

Benjamin Schoefer, PhD candidate in economics from Harvard University, focused on labor economics and macroeconomics, exploring theories and empirics of wage rigidity as an amplification source of employment fluctuations.

2011–2012

André Veiga

André Veiga completed his PhD at the Toulouse School of Economics in 2013, one year after his time as a Price Theory Scholar. He joined Nuffield College at Oxford University as a postdoctoral scholar in the fall of 2013. 

Veiga's fields of interest include industrial organization and contract theory. Current research explores the distortions associated with price discrimination in markets with consumption externalities and the role of consumer heterogeneity in product design.

He graduated from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School in 2007. 

Charles Nathanson

Charles Nathanson focuses on public economics and finance. His research during his visit explored the importance of speculative land markets in the recent US housing bubble. He also investigated how the income tax code might be designed to reflect the fact that progressive taxation affects which careers people choose.

Anita Mukherjee

Anita Mukherjee is a doctoral student in applied economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She works primarily in development economics, behavioral economics, and household finance. She conducted research on rainfall insurance in India, using data from  a large, randomized controlled field experiment that is in its sixth year and offers rainfall insurance to farmers living in 50 villages in Gujarat, India. 

2010–2011

Elizabeth Greenwood

Elizabeth Greenwood served as a Price Theory Scholar while a graduate student at Harvard University, where she completed her PhD in 2012. Her dissertation examined the economics of inequality and social issues.

Greenwood is currently an economic consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. She maintains research interests in labor economics and econometrics.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005.

Luke Stein

Luke Stein served as a Price Theory Scholar during his time as a graduate student at Stanford University, where his dissertation committee was chaired by BFI visiting scholar Nicholas Bloom. He completed his PhD in 2013.

Stein is currently an assistant professor of finance at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. His interests lie in labor economics and corporate finance. Prior to pursuing his doctorate, he spent five years working in private equity.

He completed his undergraduate education at Harvard in 2002, earning a bachelor’s in applied mathematics and a citation in the Japanese language.

2009–2010

Tatyana Deryugina

Tatyana Deryugina was an economics graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during her time as a Price Theory Scholar. She went on to complete her PhD in 2012. During the final year of her PhD candidacy, she was a lecturer in finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

After earning her doctorate, Deryugina stayed on at UIUC, where she is currently an assistant professor of finance and economics (the latter a courtesy appointment. Her recent work examines the role of beauty in determining choice and outcome.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics and environmental economics and policy from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006.

Mitchell Hoffman

After serving as a 2009-10 Price Theory Scholar, Mitchell Hoffman completed his PhD in economics at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. His thesis received the Kauffman Foundation Dissertation Award for 2011-12. Following graduation he spent 2012-13 as a postdoctoral associate at the Yale School of Management.

Beginning in 2013, Hoffman joined the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management as an assistant professor. His research specialties include labor economics, behavioral economics, organizational economics, and productivity.

Hoffman received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale in 2007. 

Michael Peters

As a 2009-10 Price Theory Scholar, Michael Peters was a fourth-year graduate student in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he completed his PhD in 2012. A common approach he took in his graduate research was to examine the determinants of firms’ technology choices.

Now, as an assistant professor at the London School of Economics, Peters maintains an interest in firm-level decision making, as well as in economic growth and development. He joined the faculty at the LSE in 2013 after a brief stint as an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia Business School and one academic year as a postdoctoral associate at Yale University’s Cowles Foundation.

He earned a diplom in economics from the University of Mannheim in 2005. 

2008–2009

Joshua Gottlieb

Joshua Gottlieb served as a Price Theory Scholar during 2008-09, when he was a PhD candidate at Harvard University. His graduate research examined international trade, the structure of production across regions, and the organization of financial markets. He completed his PhD in 2012.

Gottlieb joined the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics in the fall of 2012 as an assistant professor of economics. There, his research has focused on public economics, urban economics, and the economics of health and real estate.

In 2007, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard, where he spent time helping the Mexican government evaluate the country’s health care system.

Jonas Hjort

Jonas Hjort served as a Price Theory Scholar halfway through his time as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a PhD in economics in 2012. His graduate research examined attention and productivity in Kenya, the effects of employment in Ethiopia, and media and social networks in Uganda.

At present, Hjort is an assistant professor of economics and finance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is concurrently affiliated with Columbia’s Department of Economics. He retains a research focus on the economics of labor and development. In 2013, his working paper “Ethnic Divisions and Production in Firms” was named 2013’s best paper in applied microeconomics by CESifo.

He earned a master’s degree in international and development economics from Yale University in 2006, as well as a bachelor’s in economics from the London School of Economics in 2005. 

Przemyslaw Jeziorski

Przemyslaw Jeziorski served as a Price Theory Scholar in 2008-09 as a graduate student in the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ program in economic analysis and policy. At this time, he was also a visiting scholar at Microsoft Research. He completed his PhD in 2010, with a dissertation that discussed mergers and antitrust.

Jeziorski became an assistant professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University after earning his doctorate. As of 2012, he is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. His research focuses on industrial organization and dynamic games.

He earned master’s degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Arizona in 2006. He also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in quantitative methods and information systems from the Warsaw School of Economics in 2004.

2007–2008

Alex Kaufman

Alex Kaufman was a Price Theory Scholar in 2007-08, while a graduate student at Harvard University. He earned his doctorate in 2010, with a dissertation that examined household finance. His research interests lie in applied microeconomics, labor economics, and behavioral economics.

Since completing his PhD, Kaufman has worked for the Federal Reserve Board as an economist. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard in 2004.

Joshua Schwartzstein

As a Price Theory Scholar in 2007-08, Joshua Schwartzstein’s research focused on the psychology of economics, applied economic theory, and finance. Following this, he completed his PhD in economics at Harvard University in 2010.

Schwartzstein is currently an assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth College. He has held a visiting faculty position at the University of California, Berkeley.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in behavioral economics, economics, and mathematics from Cornell University in 2005.

Eric Glen Weyl

Eric Glen Weyl became a Price Theory Scholar after graduating from Princeton University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in economics (as well as certificates in finance and in applications of computing) and as valedictorian of his undergraduate class. He completed his master’s and PhD in economics, also at Princeton, just a year later.

In 2008, Weyl re-joined Price Theory as a postdoctoral scholar while taking on a concurrent junior fellowship at Harvard University’s Society of Fellows. At present, he is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago. His research interests include price theory, industrial organization, finance, market design, economic history, and law and economics.

Weyl is the recipient of an ongoing, multi-year research grant from the Becker Friedman Institute.

Heidi Williams

Heidi Williams was a Price Theory Scholar during her third year as a graduate student at Harvard University. She went on to complete her PhD in economics in 2010, before joining the National Bureau of Economic Research as a visiting fellow in aging research.

She accepted her current full-time faculty position, as assistant professor in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2011. There, her teaching and research specialties include labor economics, health economics, and public policy. She is currently on leave from MIT at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

She earned her MSc in development economics from the University of Oxford in 2004, and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 2003. 

2006–2007

John Beshears

John Beshears served as a Price Theory Scholar in 2006-07. He is an assistant professor of finance at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He conducts empirical research on the financial decisions of firms and households, with a particular focus on understanding how economic outcomes are influenced by the institutional environment in which choices are made. He received a PhD in business economics from Harvard University in 2009.

Jean Lee

Jean Lee served as a Price Theory Scholar in 2006-07, when she was a PhD candidate at Harvard University. Her research focused on discrimination and the economics of development, including work on topics such as rates of return to capital for small businesses in developing countries, fertility and the economics of the family, and peer effects in technology adoption.

Lee completed her PhD in economics in 2010, and has since gone on to work as an economic consultant for the World Bank. She currently works with the bank's groups in poverty reduction and economic management, development economics, and the African region. In addition to development economics, her interests lie in labor economics, applied microeconomics, and corporate finance.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard in 2003.