The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) at the University of Chicago and the Hutchins Center for Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution are pleased to announce the 2023 cohort of the Expanding Diversity in Economics (EDE) Summer Institute.
The EDE program was launched by BFI in 2021 and aims to increase diversity in economics through finding and supporting outstanding undergraduates who are interested in the field. Through the EDE Summer Institute, BFI and the Hutchins Center are dedicated to fostering a new generation of academics and professionals who draw on the tools of economics to offer new perspectives and research ideas, and eventually make a positive impact in the world. It recognizes the necessity of diversifying the study of economics and expanding the range of voices in the field.
The EDE Summer Institute will take place from June 8 to June 30, 2023, with two weeks of programming on the UChicago campus and a newly-added week of programming in Washington, DC, hosted by the Hutchins Center.
“As the EDE program begins its third year, we are already seeing its impacts in terms of building a community, its graduates take jobs in economics related fields, and doors to the world’s best graduate schools begin to open,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Director of BFI. “EDE was designed to expose more students to economics at an early stage to help promote a new generation of scholars and professionals who will help develop new answers to old questions, ask new questions, and ultimately make the world a better place.”
The 45 participants in the 2023 cohort were selected through a holistic and rigorous evaluation process involving more than 650 applications. The cohort represents 31 universities across 16 states. The majority of participants (96%) are first- or second-year undergraduate students, with an average GPA of 3.8. Approximately 40% are first-generation college students, and roughly 56% are Pell Grant recipients or have household incomes under $20,000. Women comprise 62% of the cohort; roughly 40% of the cohort identify as Black or African American, and 30% as Hispanic or Latinx, Native American, or Alaska Native.
Since 2021, the EDE Summer Institute has built an alumni network of 83 students, many of whom have remained active in EDE as UChicago summer research assistants, or other internships introduced to them by EDE.
“Through a highly competitive application process, we have an extremely talented and diverse cohort for the 2023 Summer Institute,” said Erik Hurst, the Frank P. and Marianne R. Diassi Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth and Deputy Director of BFI. “The breadth of experience and high level of academic qualifications that these students bring to the program will only be amplified when they are all brought together.”
The Chicago-based programming will focus on microeconomic research and applied economic analysis, giving students a rare chance to participate in programs including technical skill building, daily course instruction from faculty, guest talks, and field trips. Prior participants have engaged with more than 20 UChicago professors and renowned economists from a wide range of fields, including Nobel Laureates James Heckman and Richard Thaler, Freakonomics author Steve Levitt, Chicago Booth economist Marianne Bertrand, as well as business leaders and UChicago Trustees Jason Tyler, COO of Northern Trust, and John Rogers, Chairman of Ariel Investments.
The incoming cohort will also participate in an inaugural DC-based week, where they will learn about the important role that economists play in making fiscal and monetary policy, both domestic and international. Hosted by the Hutchins Center, participants will engage in coursework and applied group projects, and learn from current and former government officials, private sector researchers, and early career professionals.
“Diversifying the pipeline of young people studying economics and pursuing careers in public policy and academia is a Hutchins Center priority,” said David Wessel, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings and Director of the Hutchins Center. “We are looking forward to building on the foundation laid by the Becker Friedman Institute and hope this will be an inspiring experience for the participants.”
EDE prioritizes the inclusion of students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The costs of housing, travel and participation are covered for all participants, who also receive a stipend of $1,200 ($2,400 for Pell-Grant-eligible students) upon successful completion of the program.
The EDE Summer Institute is supported by UChicago’s Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, and the Division of Social Sciences, and the Brookings Institution. The program also relies on the generous support of outside sponsors, including the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Northern Trust, Ariel Investments, AQR Capital Management, Zurich Insurance Group, and the Lumina Foundation.
“The EDE Summer Institute provides an incredible opportunity for participants’ academic journeys to be enriched early in their college careers through exposure to a diverse range of academics and professionals,” said Quentin Johnson, BFI’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Program, and Program Director of EDE. “We look forward to getting to know this amazing cohort in the weeks and months ahead.”