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1st Year

Alexander Cardazzi 

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Cardazzi is a first year economics Ph.D. student at West Virginia University.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Ramapo College of New Jersey.  After presenting a research paper on the voting process of the Basketball Hall of Fame at the 2017 SEA conference, Alex looks forward to continuing his research.  This semester, he is working as a research assistant for Dr. Humphreys and Dr. Ruseski.  He is looking forward to more experiences in researching, teaching and learning during his time at WVU.

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Erika Davies 

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Erika received BAs in economics and philosophy from Duquesne University. She has a Master's in economics from George Mason University, where she studied policy and behavioral economics.

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James Dean 

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Dean is a first year Ph.D. student in Economics. He comes to WVU from Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Lubbock Christian University. He is assisting Dr. Shuichiro Nishioka and Dr. Arabinda Basistha on various research projects ranging from Japanese trade and foreign direct investment to coal mining in the United States. He greatly enjoys CFE’s brown bag workshop, graduate student reading group, and public lectures. Dean’s research interests center around macroeconomics and domestic poverty.

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Sara Harper 

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Sara Harper is a first-year PhD student in Economics. She graduated from WVU in 2015 and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies. She has also studied at the University of Strasbourg. During her first semester as a graduate student, she assisted Dr. Brian Cushing with his Business and Economics Statistics course. Her areas of interest include international economics, political economy, and the European Union. 

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Kerianne Lawson 

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Lawson is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Economics. She received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Southern Methodist University in 2017. She also studied at the University of Cape Town. During her first semester at WVU, she assisted Dr. Dan Grossman in his Microeconomics course. She is currently working on research relating to the iconography of currency across countries. 

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Georgii Podshivalov 

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Gordon holds degrees in Economics from Albany State University and the University of Mississippi. He has a background in cost accounting and financial markets operations and his primary interests are financial economics and emerging industries.

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Zachary Rodriguez 

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Zach has earned an MA in Theology from Boston University and a MBA from St. Bonaventure University. His research focus is development economics, and specifically the spillover effects of development interventions on cooperation and social norms. Zach is the founder of Embrace It Africa (EIA), a nonprofit organization working to encourage sustainable community growth in southern Uganda. EIA enacts its mission by addressing issues of economic development, public health, access to education through its microfinance institution, community health clinic, and student sponsorship program.

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Noah Trudeau 

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Trudeau is a first year PhD student in the Department of Economics. Currently, he is assisting Dr. Feng Yao in the instruction of Principles of Microeconomics. His research interests include public economics, law and economics, and applied microeconomics. His recent research project involves investigation into the effects of occupational licensing on both industries and consumers. Noah is particularly excited at the opportunities the program presents to share his love of economics with undergraduate students and he revels in every opportunity to be in front of a class. 

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Allyssa Wadsworth 

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Wadsworth is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics. She received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with Honors from Niagara University in 2017. While working on her undergraduate degrees she published a coauthored paper in the Journal of School Choice International Research and Reform. Currently, she is a research assistant for Dr. Gregory DeAngelo & Dr. Alexander Lundberg, attends CFE brown bag & seminar series presentations and the graduate reading group meetings. Her research interests center around regional & public economics.

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2nd Year

Benjamin Blemings 

Blemings is a second year Ph.D. student, CFE research fellow, and currently the teaching assistant for the first phase of graduate microeconomic theory. Regularly attending CFE sponsored presentations, workshops, article discussions, and seminars has motivated him to work on a range of research topics falling broadly within the categories of public economics and crime. Recently attending the Economics of Corruption 2017 has catalyzed his interest in experimental and empirical methods for investigating corruption, resulting in ongoing empirical research examining the relationship between electoral cycles and maritime piracy. 

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Margaret Bock

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After successfully passing the comprehensive exams in June, she has spent her second year in the program on exploring research ideas. Currently, she is taking courses in the International and Public fields with a plan to add the Urban & Regional field starting in 2018. In her field courses, she is working on several projects with the intent to publish. One paper examines the rise of populist parties in Europe and the subsequent impacts on trade and immigration. Another examines the impact of U.S. foreign aid on recipient countries' U.N. General Assembly votes. She is also currently working on a research project with CFE affiliated professor Bryan McCannon on voting participation and ballot consolidation in West Virginia elections. 

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Daniel Bonneau 

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Bonneau is a second-year graduate student taking field courses in public and health economics.  For the Fall of 2017, he is the teaching assistant for Dr. Daniel Grossman’s introductory microeconomics course.  Receiving the CFE Fellowship has allowed him to develop his research interests with the guidance from CFE affiliated faculty and students.  With interests in public choice and law and economics, he is collaborating with CFE affiliated professor Dr. Bryan McCannon on a paper investigating the distortionary effects of police officer deaths on the legal system.  Over the summer, he attended the CFE sponsored empirical workshop, allowing him to network with graduate students from other universities and learn valuable tools for future research.

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Candon Johnson

Johnson is in his second year, with his research focused on the economics of professional sports. Coursework in urban and public economics has both deepened his research interests in professional sports and broadened interest to other topics within urban and public. He has two papers under review. One solo authored paper and the other with Dr. Brad Humphreys. His paper with Dr. Josh Hall, “Do National Basketball Association Players Need Higher Salaries to Play in High Tax States? Evidence From Free Agents” was published in Applied Economics Letters in 2017. He will present his research with Brad Humphreys at the SEA conference in Tampa. 

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Eduardo Minuci 

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Eduardo graduated from Winthrop University with a B.A. in Economics in 2016. He is now in his second year of the program at WVU. His main fields of study are monetary policy and international trade. He also enjoys the field of behavioral economics. With the assistance of the CFE, he has had the opportunity to attend to two conferences in his first year (APEE and the Western Economic Association conferences). In addition, he has two papers (co-authored with CFE affiliated faculty Dr. Josh Hall and Dr. Bryan McCannon) under review in different journals and several others in progress. He has also had the opportunity to increase his teaching experience by working as a T.A. for undergraduate classes during his first year, and now as a T.A. for graduate classes during his second year. At WVU, he has had the opportunity to discuss economics in a friendly environment which helps generate great research ideas. This has been possible due to extra activities organized by the CFE such as the reading club and brown bag presentations.

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Justin Parker 

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Parker, currently in his second year at WVU, is seeking to expand his body of research in the areas of fine arts economics, state legislative voting, and tax policy. He has chosen as fields of study both Public and Regional/Urban Economics. On another note, this past summer he had the opportunity to teach his first class, gaining valuable experience along the way. A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in 2016, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics and Applied Mathematics. Parker has benefitted greatly from CFE funding, which has been essential to his development as a scholar. He is immensely thankful to the donors and faculty who make this opportunity possible!

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3rd Year

Perry Ferrell

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In his third year, Ferrell has started teaching both introductory micro and macro economics courses.  He has completed his course work in the Public and Urban/Regional fields which has served as a great stepping stone into his dissertation research. Ferrell is writing his dissertation under Dr. Hall.  His current focus is applying the lessons from public choice economics to understand the difficulties in reforming corrupted property rights institutions around the world.  The CFE has provided many great opportunities for Ferrell and he looks forward to many more as he works to complete his dissertation.

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Ning Ge

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Ge is currently in his third year as the Peter Thomas Bauer Fellow. With the support of the CFE, he has recently finished his coursework. Currently Ge is focusing on his dissertation and other research projects. During the past year, he has started two research projects in his health and urban economics classes; his dissertation project aims at using international trade data to estimate the size of the North Korean economy and the share of different departments in the total output. In addition, he recently served as teaching assistant in principle economics classes and he will soon begin teaching his own courses. With the help of the CFE, he has had valuable opportunities to meet fellow researchers in various fields and explore his research interests.

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Josh Matti

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Matti is in his third year and has finished his field classes in public and urban economics. He began teaching over the summer with a Principles of Macroeconomics course and is currently teaching Intermediate Macroeconomics. In addition to teaching, receiving the Swiger Fellowship has allowed him to focus on research. His recent research has appeared in Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Review of Regional Studies, and Applied Economics Letters. He has presented his research at three conferences this past year and will present at the Public Choice conference in March 2018. Going forward, he will study the spatial location of consumer service firms under his advisor Dr. Joshua Hall as part of his dissertation.

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Joylynn Pruitt

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Pruitt is a Mary Wallestonecraft Fellow who has seen much progress regarding research, conference presentations, and teaching opportunities. She recently had two articles accepted for publication, one of which is at the Journal of Public Economic Theory and the other at Economics Bulletin. She anticipates presenting new research at various conferences during 2018. She has also recently begun teaching her own courses, both in-class and online. Through the CFE, she has had many opportunities to share research and other interests with colleagues and has grown in pursuit of economic scholarship. She hopes to continue pursuing research interests in public and urban economics, as well as law and economics.

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Paul Walker

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Walker is a Ph.D candidate in his third year as the Antonio De Viti De Marco Fellow. In the past year he has presented at multiple conferences including Public Choice and the Southern Economics Association. Additionally, he had the opportunity to attend the American Economics Association's Continuing Education Program on machine learning and econometrics. Paul has also begun teaching and is currently in the process of teaching his second class. Lastly, he currently is working on what will become his third publication under review.

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Yang Zhou

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Yang Zhou is currently a third year Ph.D. student in Economics and the Hugo Grotius Fellow with the Center for Free Enterprise. He started teaching (summer 2017), with full responsibilities, the undergraduate course “Principles of Microeconomics”. He has also served as the teaching assistant for both undergraduate & graduate level courses and has been the research assistant for Dr. Roger Congleton. His research interests mainly include public economics, urban and regional economics, public choice, and Austrian economics. His recent work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in European Journal of Political Economy, American Journal of Entrepreneurship, Review of Regional Studies, The Academy of Economics and Finance Journal, Applied Economics Letters, The Independent Review, and Economic Affairs.

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4th Year

Amir Neto

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Neto is a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of Economics at WVU focusing on regional/urban economics and public economics. In 2017, he was awarded the Jon Vilasuso Advanced Doctoral Student Award from the Department of Economics at WVU and was the co-winner of the Best Graduate Student Paper in Economics in the Academy of Economics and Finance Conference. As he continues to work toward the completion of his degree, he has several projects under way, some of them with CFE affiliated faculty (Drs. Josh Hall and Brad Humphreys), and some with current and former CFE affiliated students (Jamie Bologna Pavlik, Eduardo Minuci, and Josh Matti). He had four publications in 2017-2018. Being funded by the CFE has also provided him with the opportunity to improve his teaching experience, being an instructor of record since the Summer 2017. The CFE brown bag presentations and reading club were also part of his routine. Both provided valuable opportunities to get acquainted with different and important research by fellow graduate students/professors as well as other scholars in the field.

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Hyunwoong Pyun

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Pyun is a fourth year graduate student currently on the academic job market. His research focuses on evaluating urban and health-related policy. In 2017, he was awarded the Best Doctoral Student Award from the Department of Economics at WVU and the Graduate Student Award from the Southern Economic Association’s 86th Annual Meeting. He had one paper published this year and has three papers under review at peer-reviewed journals. He is also developing other papers with his advisor, Dr. Brad Humphreys. Lastly, he successfully defended his dissertation proposal and taught multiple courses over the past year. 

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5th Year

Patrick Reilly

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Reilly is a fifth year graduate student currently on the academic job market. His research focuses on evaluating how policy affects educational outcomes. He has two papers under review at peer reviewed journals. Additionally, he is presented two papers at the Southern Economics Association Conference in November 2017. In addition to research, he successfully defended his dissertation proposal and he taught multiple courses over the past year. 

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