Rice Economics Fall 2020 Newsletter - Page 3

Rice Economics Breaks into Top Ten in National Ranking
Jeremy Fox Awarded New NSF Grant
Recent RISE Event : Conversations with Our Faculty
Rice Economics Breaks into Top Ten in National Ranking
We are delighted to report that our undergraduate program was ranked 8th in the nation by Niche Magazine in its latest rankings of undergraduate economics programs in the United States – up from a 14th place ranking last year . According to the Niche website , it rankings of economics programs are based on “ rigorous analysis of academic , admissions , financial , and student life data from the U . S . Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni .” In addition , we maintained our 12th place in the nation ranking in the latest version of a similar evaluation of undergraduate economics degree programs by College Factual .
Jeremy Fox Awarded New NSF Grant
Jeremy Fox is the principal investigator on a new three-year National Science Foundation grant that will support his research on repeated matching games , which models how economic agents form relationships in a multi-period setting . Matching models are currently one of the hottest topics in microeconomic theory and have many practical applications , ranging from marriage choices to employment relationships to business alliances .
Jeremy notes that most matching models are applied at single point in time , but because many matching relationships change over time , a dynamic model of repeated matching games will provide a more accurate representation of such behavior , especially since data sets tracking matching choices over time are becoming increasingly available . His grant research will focus on three empirical applications of the theoretical results on matching behavior that he will develop : ( 1 ) a model of marriage , divorce and remarriage that considers how children and labor market success affect marital sorting and betweenhousehold inequality ; ( 2 ) an analysis of the careers of engineers focusing on how job assignment and interfirm mobility affect promotion to more prestigious roles ; and ( 3 ) an examination of how early rounds of venture capital funding , including accelerator participation , raise the probability of receiving later rounds of funding and eventual startup success . The research project will include the development of computer algorithms to find model solutions , and the creation of new estimators for the parameter values of the model .
Jeremy is a specialist in empirical industrial organization with interests in econometrics and labor economics . Over the summer , he was appointed
to the prestigious Shatto Endowed Chair of Economics . He has been on the economics department faculty at Rice since 2015 and is a Rice alumnus , receiving his B . A . in economics , political science , and statistics ( Baker College , ’ 98 ). This year he will be teaching the capstone course on research in econometrics for the MTEC program ( ECON 597 ) and our graduate courses in empirical industrial organization ( ECON 517 ) and computational economics ( ECON 504 ).
Recent RISE Event : Conversations with Our Faculty
We hope you were able to attend our recent RISE ( Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics ) event , a webinar entitled “ Conversations with Our Faculty ,” which was held on Tuesday October 27 . The webinar featured two of our prominent scholars , Ted Temzelides and Mallesh Pai , who discussed their ongoing research projects . A video of the webinar is available on our website .
Ted ’ s talk “ Ecology and Economics for Pandemic Prevention ” examined how investments in limiting the associations between humans and wildlife disease reservoirs , such as preventing deforestation and regulating wildlife trade , could reduce the potential for the global spread of deadly viruses . He also showed that such relatively simple preventive efforts would cost substantially less than the economic and mortality costs of responding to these pathogens once they have emerged , such as the costs that have been incurred in battling COVID-19 .
Mallesh ’ s talk “ Efficiency vs . Equality in Equilibrium ” examined various tradeoffs between economic efficiency and social equality . For example , he showed that an anonymous auction , a commonly used auction approach designed to enforce fairness , may be totally ineffective as a seller can readily design such an auction to achieve unfair goals ( e . g ., to favor a preferred buyer ). He also investigated how efficiency and fairness interact in designing the machine learning algorithms that are having an increasingly large impact on our lives .
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