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1st Year

Ross Brady


Ross is a first year graduate student that received his Bachelor's degree in economics from the University of South Carolina and his Master's degree in economics from George Mason University. Currently he is serving as a research assistant for Joshua Hall. His primary research interests are in public economics and monetary economics.

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Carlos Cabral


Carlos Cabral is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Economics. He received a bachelor's degree in Economics and a master's degree in Finance from Lindenwood University. His research interests involve Monetary, International and Financial Economics. During his first semester at WVU, he assisted Dr. Eric Olson in his Principles of Macroeconomics course.

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Clay Collins


Clay is a first year PhD student in the Department of Economics. Originally from Mineral Bluff, Georgia, Clay earned his BA in economics from Berry College and his MS in economics with a concentration in quantitative methods from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His paper "Taxing the Travelers: A Note on Hotel Tax Incidence (with E. Frank Stephenson)" was published in the Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy and other work has been covered by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and PolitiFact Georgia. He presented his paper "Sports Tourism in Small Cities: The Case of Rome Georgia" at the 2015 annual conference of the Eastern Economic Association. another paper, "Staying Home on Race Day: An Economic Impact Analysis of the United States Grand Prix using Daily Hotel Occupancy Data" was a finalist for the NAASE best graduate student paper. He will spend the Fall 2018 semester working as a research assistant under Dr. Humphreys. He is interested in the fields of sports economics, urban economics and public choice.

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Alexander Marsella

Alex is a first-year economics PhD student at West Virginia University. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Economics with a minor in Mathematics from West Chester University in 2018. During his first semester, he worked as a research assistant to Dr. Congleton modeling the effects of median voter preferences and special interest groups on increases in social security benefits. His research interests involve public choice, urban/regional, and development economics. 

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Josh Martin


Josh Martin is a first-year economics PhD student at West Virginia University. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics from Oklahoma State University in 2017. He has also studied at the University of Houston and Université Stendhal in France. During his first semester at WVU, he worked as a teaching assistant for Principles of Microeconomics. His research interests center around health and urban & regional economics. 

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Monica Moses


Monica Moses is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Economics. She received a bachelor's degree in Economics as well as Statistics from St. John Fisher College in 2018. During her first semester at WVU, she assisted Professor Joylynn Pruitt in her business & economic statistics course. Her areas of interest include monetary and public economics

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Nicholas Shkreli


Nick is a first year Ph.D. student in Economics. He received a BS in Economics from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2017, where he was invited to join the International Honor Society for Economics known as Omicron Delta Epsilon. His research interests include natural resource & environmental economics, public policy, and sports economics. 

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Colin Steitz


Colin is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Economics. He received his bachelor's degree in Economics from Ball State University. While his interests are currently varied and vast, he expects to settle down with a combination of Public Choice and Monetary Economics.

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2nd Year

Alexander Cardazzi 

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Cardazzi is a second 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 public policy and behavioral economics. During her first year as a PhD student at WVU, Erika assisted Dr. Josh Hall in estimating the marginal cost of a public school student in West Virginia. Erika's work has been in various publications, such as the Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Hill, and the Mercatus Center's book series Advances in Austrian Economics.

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James Dean 

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Dean is a second 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. Scott Schuh on various projects in monetary economics regarding payment methods and cash demand. 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 second year PhD student in Economics. She graduated from WVU in 2015 with a BA in International Studies. During her first year as a graduate student, she assisted two sections of the Business and Economics Statistics course. Currently she is a research assistant for the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Her areas of interest include globalization and political economy. She is taking fields in International Trade and Urban & Regional Economics. 

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Kerianne Lawson 

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Lawson is a second-year graduate student taking field courses in public and urban & regional economics. She received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Southern Methodist University in 2017. During her first year at WVU, she assisted professors Grossman, Humphreys, and Hall. For the Fall 2018 semester, Keri is teaching an online Principles of Microeconomics course. She is currently working on several projects with plans to present at the Public Choice and APEE conferences in 2019.

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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. Exposure to economic theory with the department and immerse empirics with CFE allowed him to focus on market regulation. Gordon is currently working on data for monetary and financial market studies, while also exploring new topics in international economics.

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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 through economic development, public health, access to education indicatives.

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Noah Trudeau 

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Noah Trudeau is a second year PhD student in the Department of Economics. His research interests include public economics, social choice, law and economics, and applied microeconomics. He is currently working on fields in public economics as well as urban and regional economics. His recent research involves the investigation of the effects of occupational licensing on industries and consumers.

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Allyssa Wadsworth 

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Wadsworth is currently a second-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. She has been a research assistant in public economics, attends CFE brown bag & seminar series presentations, the graduate reading group meetings, and is currently a teaching assistant. Her research interests center around health & public economics. 

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3rd Year

Benjamin Blemings 

Blemings graduated from Miami (OH) in 2015 with a B.S. in Quantitative Economics, doing his undergraduate thesis under Dr. Bill Even; he started the program after a data science internship in 2016. Now entering his 3rd year, Blemings’ research focuses primarily on unintended consequences, such as health outcomes and crime, of higher education policy. Secondary work focuses on how criminal organizations interact with institutional stability in developing countries. He has attended multiple workshops and presented at multiple conferences. He has been a teaching assistant for graduate microeconomic theory, introductory microeconomics, and introductory statistics and been given full instructional responsibility for an online introductory microeconomics course. Blemings is extraordinarily grateful for CFE support and looks forward to continuing to participate in scholarly activities and events this semester.

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Margaret Bock

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Margaret is currently in her third year of the program. After this coming year, she will have completed three fields: Public, Urban/Regional, and International. She began teaching over the summer with a Principles of Microeconomics course, and she is currently the Advanced Macroeconomic Theory teaching assistant.  This past year, with the help of the CFE, Margaret was able to attend two conferences to present her research: the AERUS conference and the MCRSA conference, serving as a session chair at both conferences. Currently, in addition to several working papers, she is working towards developing her dissertation to connect ideas gained in her field course work. Her current line of interest deals with the economic impacts of public infrastructure projects, with specific attention given to migration, regional growth, political polarization, and public choice through causal mechanisms. 

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Daniel Bonneau 

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Bonneau is a third-year graduate student who will have completed fields in Public, Urban/Regional, and Health after this academic year.  For the Fall of 2018, he is serving as the teaching assistant for the Advanced Microeconomic Theory class for first-year graduate students.  His research is primarily concerned with studying the behavior of actors within legal institutions in response to peer, political, and other extralegal pressures.  Additionally, he currently has research under review at the New York Economic Review, and working papers with CFE-affiliated faculty members Dr. Bryan McCannon and Dr. Joshua Hall.  In the classroom, Bonneau enjoys creating new ways to engage undergraduate students and help them discover how economics can be easily identified in everyday situations.  In the Summer of 2018, he was given full teaching responsibilities for a Principles of Microeconomics course which gave him great feedback on how to improve his instruction for future courses.  Bonneau is grateful for the support of the CFE and the many activities they host to aid in the professional development of graduate students.

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Candon Johnson

Johnson graduated from West Virginia University with a B.S. in Economics in 2016. He is now in his third year of the program at WVU, with research interests including urban and regional economics, health economics, and the economics of professional sports. 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. His paper co-authored with a graduate student at Wayne State is under review at the New York Economic Review. In addition, he is undergoing multiple projects with the intent to publish. He has presented his research with Brad Humphreys at the SEA conference in Tampa, as well as his research with Eduardo Minuci at AERUS hosted by WVU and WEAI in Vancouver. He has also gained valuable teaching experience by working as a T.A. and teaching his own Principles of Microeconomics course during the summer semester in 2018. 

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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 third year of the program at WVU. His main field of study is money and banking, but he also enjoys the field of sports economics. He has two papers (co-authored with CFE affiliated faculty Dr. Josh Hall and Dr. Bryan McCannon) under review in different journals and several other working papers. Eduardo really enjoys teaching as well, which he has had the opportunity to do in the WVU Economics Department since the end of his second year in the program. At WVU, he has also 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 book club and brown bag presentations on a weekly basis.

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Justin Parker 

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Justin is a third-year PhD student in Economics. He has previously attained a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics and Applied Mathematics from Hampden-Sydney College (2016). Currently, Justin is a graduate research assistant with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), in which he works with permanent staff on various projects focused on economic development in West Virginia. His current research interests, in addition to his work with the BBER, include the economics of television, media, and the performing arts; factors influencing the price valuation of cryptocurrency, and factors influencing the price valuation of fine arts—he currently has several papers in the pipeline centered on these topics, with an intent to publish in the near-future. 

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4th Year

Perry Ferrell

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In his fourth year, Ferrell continues teaching introductory economics courses.  His coursework in the Public and Urban/Regional fields served as a great stepping stone into his dissertation research. Ferrell is writing his dissertation under Dr. Hall.  His current focus is on applying the lessons from public choice economics to understand the difficulties in reforming corrupted property rights institutions around the world.  His first paper on the topic focused on Colombia was a finalist for the Ostrom prize at Public Choice Society meetings and it has been accepted for publication at Public Choice.  Additionally, he is working on research on the political economy of law enforcement with CFE affiliated Dr. Bryan McCannon and Josh Matti.  The CFE has provided many great opportunities for Ferrell as he completes his dissertation. 

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Ning Ge

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Ge is currently in his fourth 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 a 4th year PhD candidate currently on the academic job market. He is an applied microeconomist working in the areas of public and urban/regional economics. Collaborating with different faculty and graduate students, he currently has five publications and three papers under review. As an active member of the research community, he has presented his papers at seven academic conferences. In addition to research, he has experience teaching three undergraduate courses with full responsibility and is currently teaching his fourth during the fall 2018 semester. He will be available for interviews at both the SEA meetings in Washington, DC and the ASSA meetings in Atlanta.

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Joylynn Pruitt

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Pruitt is a Mary Wallestonecraft Fellow who has pursued many opportunities regarding research, conference presentations, and teaching. She has had five articles accepted for publication, one of which is at the Journal of Public Economic Theory. She anticipates presenting new research at various conferences during 2019. She has begun teaching her own courses, both in-class and online, which has been enriching and exciting. 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 law and economics, as well as public and urban economics.

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Paul Walker

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Walker is a Ph.D candidate in his fourth 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.

Yang Zhou

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Yang Zhou is currently a fourth year Ph.D. student in Economics and the Hugo Grotius Fellow with the Center for Free Enterprise at West Virginia University. He received the Master's degree in Austrian Economics from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid, Spain) in 2014 and the Bachelor's degree in Economics from University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei, China) in 2013. As an applied microeconomist, he mainly works in the fields of public economics, political economy, urban and regional economics, and machine learning. His recent work has appeared or been accepted 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. Yang has taught several courses with full responsibilities at West Virginia University, including “Principles of Microeconomics”, “Intermediate Macro-Economic Theory”, “Business and Economic Statistics”, “Intro Mathematical Economics”, and Econ Ph.D. Mathematical Economics Boot Camp.

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5th Year

Amir Neto

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Amir Neto is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Economics at WVU focusing on regional/urban economics and public economics. 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). 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 fifth 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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Taining Wang


Taining Wang is a fifth year Ph.D. student in Economics at West Virginia University and is currently on the job market. He received the Bachelor's degree in Economics and Mathematics from Ohio University in 2014. He has awarded the Summa Cum Laude student at Ohio University, 2014, and the Best Doctoral Student at West Virginia University, 2018. His primary research field is in econometrics with an emphasis on Nonparametric Regression Analysis, Nonparametric Hypothesis Testing, Stochastic Frontier Analysis and Inference. He also applies advanced econometric models on Development Economics and Health Economics, Wang’s recent works have been published in Economic Letter, Empirical Econ. In the first two years of the program, Wang served as a tutor for all-level economics courses and statistics for undergraduate students. Afterwards, he taught seven undergraduate courses with full teaching responsibilities, including “Principles of Microeconomics”, “Principles of Macroeconomics”, and “Intermediate Macroeconomics”. He also offered tutorial sessions for Ph.D level Econometric and Mathematical Economics.

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