Professor Brian Baisa
Game Theory, Auction Design, Behavioral Economics

My main areas of interest are in microeconomic theory and game theory. I teach introductory economics and an elective on applying game theory to market design. In addition, I teach both the advanced and regular versions of our microeconomic theory core.

My main research interest is an area of game theory called mechanism design. At the broadest level, I am interested in understanding how a seller should design a market that sells her goods to interested buyers. More specifically, I study how to design optimal auctions when sellers have little information on the preferences of potential buyers. I have written papers on how risk aversion, financial constraints, and behavioral biases influence optimal auction design.

Professor Dan Barbezat
Economic History

My areas of interest are in: Economic History, Experimental Economics, and Behavioral Economics. I teach introductory economics and core macroeconomics, as well as electives in economic history, economic thought, and consumption and happiness.

I am interested in the effect of awareness on decision making and the nature of wanting. I have advised theses on a variety of topics, e.g., Why We Will (Sometimes) Not Sell What We Would Not Buy: Empirical Evidence of a Conditional Endowment Effect (2007); The Influence of Campaign Contributions on Legislative Voting: A Case Study of the 1996 Farm Bill (2008); Small is Beautiful? Small Farms and the Vietnamese Coffee Expansion (2009); Stability of Risk Preference Estimates Over Payoff Horizons (2010); and most recently Estimating the Effects of Corruption on Educational Outcomes in the Indian Public Schooling System (2011).

Professor Jake Blackwood
Macroeconomics, Firm Behavior

Professor Jake Blackwood completed his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. He researches the role of firm behavior in determining macroeconomic outcomes. Specifically, he employs heterogeneous agent models to understand how frictions and distortions have affected firm outcomes and how this has reverberated into long run impacts on the macroeconomic business cycle. He is particularly interested in the role of young firms in promoting growth and innovation.

Professor Jakina Debnam Guzman
Behavioral and Experimental Economics

Professor Jakina Debnam completed her Ph.D. at Cornell University. Her research seeks to understand the impact of economic policies and events on human well-being. As a behavioral economist, she introduces social and psychological features into existing economic frameworks. She has studied questions such as how consumers respond to behavior cessation campaigns, how to best construct subjective well-being measures, and learning and peer-effects in social networks.

Professor Mesay Gebresilasse
Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics

My areas of specialization are development economics and applied microeconomics. Using firm and household data primarily from Ethiopia and employing techniques from applied microeconomics, I study the causal effects of specific economic policies. Through my research, I aim to contribute to our understanding of the roots of underdevelopment and the role of policy in the process of structural transformation. A second strand of my research agenda explores the historical origins of contemporary economic and political outcomes.

I enjoy teaching both introductory and advanced courses in microeconomics and development economics. I consider my primary goals as a teacher to be helping students to develop strong economic reasoning, recognize the significance of each lesson beyond the classroom, and develop a lasting curiosity about economics. When possible, I use empirical projects as learning tools in my courses in order to provide students with opportunities to analyze and present complex issues using real data.

Professor Adam Honig
International Macroeconomics, Economics of Emerging Economies

My broad areas of interest are International Macroeconomics, macroeconomic aspects of International Finance, and the economics of emerging economies. Specific areas of interest include financial globalization, international capital flow movements, banking and currency crises in emerging markets, dollarization, exchange rate regimes, and institutions and governance. Another strain of my research aims to understand the role that the character of institutions, in particular the independence of the central bank, plays in determining monetary policy outcomes. For example, I have done research on the role that central bank independence plays in generating political monetary cycles. I have also looked at the effect of central bank independence on the performance of inflation targeting regimes. Recently I have been looking at the effects of political uncertainty on international capital flows.

Professor Joshua Hyman
Labor Economics, Public economics, Inequality, Economics of Education

I am a labor and public economist studying social and economic policy issues primarily focused on the economics of education, school finance, and inequality. Most of my research examines the effects of education policies implemented during primary and secondary school on reducing economic and racial inequality in student achievement and educational attainment. One strand of my work focuses on measuring the extent to which increased resources in schools leads to improved student outcomes. Another area of my research seeks to reduce informational and administrative barriers preventing high-achieving, disadvantaged students from applying to and succeeding in college.

My teaching interests align with my research. I currently teach Microeconomics (Econ 300), The Economics of Inequality in the United States (Econ 218), and Education and Inequality (Econ 419).

Professor Jun Ishii
Industrial Organization, Applied Micro, Applied Econometrics

My main area of research interest is in industrial organization (IO), particularly the empirical study of energy and transportation industries. I am generally interested in empirical analyses that are grounded in microeconomics – combining modern advances in micro theory and econometrics with real-world institutional facts. My current research focuses on applying "IO" tools to the study of strategic behavior in selective college admissions.

I regularly teach introductory economics, microeconomics, econometrics, and an elective in industrial organization. I have advised numerous theses at both the undergraduate and Ph.D. levels – mostly empirical micro in nature. Recent topics include: consumer valuation of corporate “green” behavior; welfare analysis of a potential GM-Chrysler merger; impact of the 2004 European Commission merger reforms; social networking and job search; a behavioral analysis of prize-linked savings; impact of social norms on student achievement; options compensation as a strategic commitment device; differentiation among college rankings; value of weak patents.

Professor Christopher Kingston
Game Theory, Institutional Economics, Economic History

My main area of interest is the economics of governance and institutions, especially applications of game theory to economic history, political economics, and economic development. I regularly teach introductory economics, microeconomics, game theory, and a seminar on institutions and governance.

Much of my research uses a combination of archival evidence and game theory to explore how the institutional structure of the marine insurance industry evolved from medieval times to the early nineteenth century. I have also written game-theoretic papers on a variety of other topics including corruption, dueling, and military coups.

Professor Jessica Reyes
Applied Micro, Health Economics, Environmental Economics

My main areas of interest are in applied microeconomics. In applied micro, we take economic theories and methodologies out into the world to make sense of individual behavior and societal outcomes. In that vein, I study interdisciplinary topics such as the social impacts of environmental pollution, the economics of crime and teen risky behavior, and explaining influences on the behavior of federal judges. The primary focus of my environmental work is on the ways in which childhood lead exposure can perpetuate socioeconomic disadvantage, and the role of policy in mitigating those adverse effects. Consequently, in recent years I have become actively involved in crafting lead policy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I teach electives in health economics and policy, environmental economics, applied microeconomics, inequality, and social policy. I also teach microeconomic theory in our core curriculum and direct the economics thesis process. In general, I enjoy using the economic approach to provide insight into questions of societal well-being and equity. In recent years I have advised theses studying racial segregation in U.S. schools, the role of women’s empowerment in changing reporting of violence against women, and the social impacts of poverty alleviation.

Professor Kate Sims
Environmental Economics, Development Economics, Applied Micro

I am interested in the impacts of policies to correct market failures. The majority of my research evaluates how land conservation policies simultaneously affect economic and environmental outcomes and how choices of management type, targeting, or enforcement can best balance conservation and development. I have studied policies such as protected areas, payments for ecosystem services, community-based forest management, biogas, and local zoning in Thailand, Mexico, Nepal, and New England.

I regularly teach introductory economics (with environmental applications) and econometrics. I am also affiliated with the Environmental Studies Department, and teach environmental economics and the senior seminar in Environmental Studies. I advise theses in microeconomics, particularly those pertaining to environmental topics or development topics or those using empirical econometric methods. I also have experience and interest in the spatial analysis of economic data.

Professor Caroline Theoharides
Labor Economics, Development, Migration, Education, Applied Micro

My main areas of interest are in applied microeconomics, primarily at the intersection of labor economics and development economics. I teach an elective on the economics of international migration, as well as econometrics and introductory economics courses.

Broadly, I am interested in how local labor market conditions affect human capital investment, both in the US and internationally. My recent work has focused on international migration from the Philippines, specifically on the effects of migration on children’s education and the effects of migration barriers on labor market decisions. I am currently conducting a large randomized controlled trial of the Philippines’ premier anti-child labor program, as well as a new project on the determinants of youth unemployment and how curricular changes in the Philippines may facilitate the school to work transition.

Professor Neil White
Macroeconomics, Macro Labor Economics, Monetary and Fiscal Policy

My main areas of interest are in macroeconomics, with a primary focus on the effects of government policies on labor markets. I have studied how monetary policy—changes in short-term interest rates controlled by the Federal Reserve—has effects that differ across groups of people, such as workers who have been recently laid off or who are in occupations and industries vulnerable to automation and off-shoring. I am also interested in how a better understanding of these issues can lead to better policy. In more recent work, I look at how government spending patterns affect the employment and migration decisions of workers and the hiring practices of firms.

I currently teach core introductory and macroeconomics courses. In an introductory course, I try to emphasize that the framework of economics is applicable to a broad variety of topics. Economists are not limited to subjects like income inequality or international trade policy or the benefits of education; economists also study topics as diverse as sports, terrorism, illegal drugs, and marriage. In my macroeconomics course, I try not only to teach students what economists have learned about long-run growth and short-run fluctuations in the last hundred years, but also to highlight those aspects of the macroeconomy that we still do not fully understand.