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.
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.
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 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 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.
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, 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.