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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 

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

Ning Ge

Ge is currently in his third year as the Peter Thomas Bauer Fellow within the CFE. In the past year, he has started two research projects on economic institutions and economic reform. In addition, he has acted as the teaching assistant for Dr. Josh Hall's microeconomics class, during which he gained experience essential to his future teaching career. 

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Josh Matti

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Matti is in his third year and taking field classes in public and urban economics. Receiving the Swiger Fellowship has allowed him to focus on research. In the last year, he has had two co-authored papers accepted for publication. He is currently working on several different research projects related to his field classes. One project explores the trade-offs between consolidated versus fragmented local governments. Another paper tests for the influence of political factors on the distribution of USDA rural development funding. He has presented his research at two conferences this year and will present at the Public Choice conference in March 2017.

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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 currently has two articles under review, one of which is at the Journal of Public Economic Theory. She presented both of these articles at a number of conferences in the fall of 2016, including the RCN on Understanding Guilty Pleas in Arlington and the Southern Economic Association’s annual meeting. She is currently working on a project inspired by the research presented at the Understanding Guilty Pleas conference, which reinforces the benefits of participating in multi-disciplinary gatherings. In tandem with her research interests in public economics, she expects to have new research on public financing ready to present at the upcoming 2018 Public Choice Meeting. 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 in his third year as the Antonio De Viti De Marco Fellow in the Center for Free Enterprise. In the spring of 2016, he gave presentations for the Center sponsored Brown Bags as well as his first academic presentation at the Association of Private Enterprise Education’s meeting. He is also working on an experimental economics research project with CFE affiliated Dr. Bryan McCannon. Over the summer, he attended the CFE sponsored empirical methods workshop, where he was able to network with other graduate students and develop better research tools. During the following fall semester, he served as a research assistant for Dr. McCannon, with whom he co-authored his first publication in Public Choice. He had a second co-authored publication accepted and published in the Review of Law and Economics. Additionally, he presented research at the Southern Economics Association, attended conferences and continued his professional development, all of which I would be unable to do without my fellowship and funding from the CFE.

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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 in European Journal of Political Economy, Review of Regional Studies, Applied Economics Letters, The Independent Review, and Economic Affairs. Recently, he was awarded the 2016 O.P. Alford III Prize in Political Economy by the Mises Institute. 

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4th Year

Amir Neto

Amir Neto

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. He had three papers published this year. Additionally, he was able to participate, funded by CFE, in the Academy of Economics and Finance Conference, in which he was the co-winner of the Best Graduate Student Paper in Economics; also, he was able to attend the Public Choice Society Conference as well. He currently has eight papers under review in different journals; one is with former CFE fellow Jamie Bologna. 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 CFE affiliated students (Eduardo Minuci and Josh Matti). Being funded by the CFE has also provided him with the opportunity to improve his teaching experience. In 2017 he was the instructor for courses in the Summer and in the Fall. 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

Pyun is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Economics and earned candidacy in the end of last year. His research interests generally focus upon sports, urban, and health economics. This last year, he won the Best Young Researcher Paper Award from the 8th ESEA Conference for his paper, “Exploring the causal relationship between Major League Baseball games and crime: A synthetic control analysis.” He was able to accomplish this, in large part, due to the CFE’s generous support. He now has two (one co-authored and one solo-authored) papers under review in Applied Economics and Empirical Economics. He is also developing other papers with advisor Dr. Brad Humphreys. Lastly, he is teaching an online course (Principles of Macroeconomics).

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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 presenting 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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