BFI NewsJul 28, 2017

2017-18 Chicago Research Fellows Join Becker Friedman

The new cohort of Chicago Research Fellows has started their appointments with the Becker Friedman Institute (BFI). This innovative program allows early career scholars to focus on their research, leveraging the BFI’s rich collaborative environment in pursuing foundational projects that will inform their career’s body of work.
These four early career scholars — Rodrigo Adão, Lauren Falcao Bergquist, Piotr Dworczak, and Moritz Lenel — each recently completed their PhD studies and are considered among the top tier of their peers. A fifth recent graduate, Peter Hull, will join the BFI as a research fellow in 2018-19 following a year at Microsoft Research.
“We are delighted that BFI can serve as an intellectual destination, to help foster and support the work of this impressive cohort of scholars in the early stages of their careers,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor of Economics and Director of BFI. “In the spirit of Becker and Friedman, we look forward to engaging with them to develop economic ideas that carry on the legacy of rigor and excellence, and have the potential to improve our understanding of the world.”

These Chicago Research Fellows mark the largest and most distinguished group to date. As one indicator, four of these outstanding young scholars — Rodrigo Adão, Piotr Dworczak, Moritz Lenel, and Peter Hull — were selected to participate in the Review of Economic Studies Tour, which annually selects the world’s most promising graduating doctoral students ine conomics and finance to present their research at universities in Europe. Those recruited in the Spring 2017 market reflect an extradordinary cohort with varied interests across many aspects of economics:

Rodrigo Adão examines the intersection of labor markets and macroenomic forces at an international scale. In his job market paper, he quantifies the distributional effects of international trade with a model where workers are heterogeneous in terms of their skills. He applies this framework to study the distributional consequences of the recent movements in world commodity prices in Brazil. Further, in collaborative research, he develops an econometric approach for assessing models of international trade and applies them to study China’s recent integration into the world economy.

Adão received his PhD in economics from MIT in June 2016 and spent the last year with Princeton’s International Economics Section. He received his BA and MA in economics from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Following a year as a Chicago Research Fellow, he will join the Chicago Booth faculty in 2018.

Lauren Falcao Bergquist focuses her research on development economics and applied microeconomics. Her work conducts experiments to explore issues of market efficiency and barriers to arbitrage in African agricultural markets. She studies the degree of competition among agricultural intermediaries and evaluations of financial and technological products designed to help farmers reduce market inefficiencies.

Bergquist completed her doctorate at the University of California Berkeley this spring. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and political science with honors at Stanford University. Before her PhD studies, Lauren served as a junior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and as a senior research associate at the Center for Effective Global Action. After her term as a Chicago Research Fellow, she will join the University of Michigan faculty.

Piotr Dworczak studies mechanism and information design, with interests in auction design, matching theory, and information in financial markets. Mechanism design theory is a formal way to assess social and institutional arrangements that govern production and the allocation of resources. In particular, Piotr’s research examines problems where the designer decides how much information to disclose as part of the mechanism design problem. The theory has applications to auctions followed by bargaining or resale and to the design of financial over-the-counter markets.

In collaborative work, he studies the role and appropriate design of financial benchmarks, addressing concerns arising from recent scandals involving the manipulation of London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and foreign exchange benchmarks. A third strand of his work considers classical topics in matching theory, which is applied to help design the Polish kidney exchange program.

Before earning his PhD at Stanford, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the University of Warsaw and one in economics at the Warsaw School of Economics. He will join the Northwestern University economics faculty in 2018.

Peter Hull develops new econometric techniques to answer policy questions in education and health care. Prior to earning his PhD from MIT, where he received the Robert M. Solow Prize, he worked in the Research Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2010-2012. Hull has published peer-reviewed research in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, The American Economic Review, and The New England Journal of Medicine. He received his bachelors in mathematics-economics from Wesleyan University. Currently a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, Hull will join the UChicago Department of Economics faculty in the summer of 2019.

Moritz Lenel focuses on the intersections of macroeconomics and finance. His recent work studies how quantities of safe bonds affect interest rates and asset prices, a question that is relevant for understanding the transmission of unconventional monetary policy. In other projects, he analyzes the effects of housing policies on the homeownership rate (with Marco Giacoletti) and the interaction of corporate bank and bond financing.

Lenel received a PhD in Economics from Stanford University in 2017. He holds a degree in economics from Universität Konstanz and a master’s degree in international trade, finance, and development from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Following his year as a Chicago Research Fellow, he will join the economics department of Princeton University in the summer of 2018.