Press ReleaseMay 12, 2022

Becker Friedman Institute at UChicago Announces Cohort for 2022 Expanding Diversity in Economics Summer Institute

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) at the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the 2022 cohort of the Expanding Diversity in Economics (EDE) Summer Institute, which will be held June 6 – 26.

The EDE Summer Institute was designed to identify and support talented undergraduate students from a broad range of backgrounds interested in the study of economics. BFI’s goal is to diversify the pool of students majoring in economics, who may go on to a graduate program of study or a career drawing on this important skill set.

Through a holistic review process, 43 participants were selected for the 2022 cohort, coming from 30 US-based institutions in 17 states. The cohort GPA average is 3.77 on a 4.0 scale; approximately 90% of participants are freshmen and sophomores, and all have expressed interest in learning more about the study of economics.

“It is crucial that we have more diverse perspectives in economics,” 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. This will nurture a new generation of scholars and professionals who will help the economics profession develop new answers to old questions, ask new questions, and ultimately make the world better.”

The 2022 EDE cohort is broadly diverse, with strong representation from underrepresented communities. The cohort is 70% female, with 33% of participants self-identifying as Black or African American, and 22% as Hispanic or Latinx. Approximately 60% of participants are Pell Grant recipients or have a household income of under $20,000, and about 50% are first generation college students. A snapshot of the 2022 cohort can be found here.

EDE launched in 2021 with a cohort of 43 students who participated in the three-week Summer Institute, engaging with more than 20 UChicago faculty members and outside speakers. From the 2021 cohort, 13 students were selected to participate in summer research assistantships on campus this year, working with UChicago economists on a range of research topics.

“We were extremely impressed with the caliber of students in last year’s class, and we already know to expect great things from the 2022 cohort based on the competitive application process,” 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 2022 EDE Summer Institute is supported by the Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the Division of Social Sciences, and numerous outside sponsors, including Northern Trust, Ariel Investments, and the Lumina Foundation. EDE is a first-of-its-kind summer program targeting early undergraduate students for exposure to economics.

The 2022 program will run for three weeks, with one virtual instruction week of intense skill-building, followed by two in-person programming weeks on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. Daily course instruction will focus on microeconomic inquiry and applied economic analysis taught by UChicago economists from the Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, and the Harris School of Public Policy, and daily guest lectures from UChicago faculty and outside guests. Confirmed speakers for 2022 include Nobel laureates Richard Thaler and James Heckman, former Council of Economics Chair Austan Goolsbee, Freakonomics author Steven Levitt, Booth scholar Marianne Bertrand, Northern Trust COO Jason Tyler, Ariel Investments Chairman John Rogers, and more.

EDE participants will receive a stipend for satisfactory completion of the three-week session, with Pell Grant eligible students receiving additional funding. They will also receive certification of completion from the University of Chicago.

“After a successful inaugural year, we look forward to continuing to build a close-knit network of students interested in economics,” said Quentin Johnson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for BFI, who is managing the Summer Institute. “It has been incredible to watch the students learn from each other and be inspired by some of the most influential scholars in the field.”