Research Affiliates and Fellows
Yang Liang | San Diego State University
Yang Liang is an Assistant Professor of Economics and the Assistant Director of CHEPS. He is an applied economist specializing in labor and international economics. Recent projects examine the spillover effects of recreational marijuana legalization and e-cigarette taxes, as well as how workers and firms respond to trade policy and technological upgrading. He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 2018.
Caterina Muratori | San Diego State University
Caterina Muratori is a Postdoctoral Affiliate in Economics at the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS) at San Diego State University. She received her MS from the University of Bologna in 2018 and her Ph.D. from the University of Torino and the University of Reading in 2022. She is an applied microeconomist and her research interest includes women's health and abortion access, gender inequalities in the labor market, violence against women, substance use and regulation, and educational inequalities.
Faculty Research Fellows
Ryan Abman | San Diego State University
Ryan Abman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at San Diego State University. He joined the faculty at SDSU after completing his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research lies in the areas of environmental and natural resource economics as well as political economy. Recent work has aimed to improve our understanding of the relationship between agricultural productivity and deforestation, trade and deforestation, and governance and forest conservation.
Audrey Beck | San Diego State University
Audrey Beck is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Ph.D. in sociology with specializations in demography and stratification from Duke University. Following graduation, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Office of Population Research and Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University. While there, her primary focus was the impact of union formation and dissolution on child health, parenting, and child school readiness. She first came to San Diego State University as a postdoctoral research associate before joining the Sociology Department as an Assistant Professor in 2015. Her work uses a variety of demographic methods to understand race, ethnic, and nativity disparities in health. Recent work, with colleagues at USC, explores a) the impact of neighborhood economic conditions and crime on birth outcomes and b) the collection of police-involved death data and the contextual and policy correlates of such deaths. Dr. Beck has received a number of grants and fellowships and has published her research in Demography, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Gerontology, Social Science Quarterly, American Journal of Public Health, Sociology of Education, and the Journal of Marriage and Family, among others.
Ryan Brown | University of Colorado Denver
Ryan Brown is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado Denver. His research interests span multiple fields of applied microeconomics including development economics, labor economics, health economics, economic demography, and political economy. Dr. Borwn's work has primarily focused on applying econometric techniques to population representative data in both developed and developing country settings, to examine how changes in the social, physical, and/or economic environment can have a persistent impact on health, preferences, and human capital accumulation. Recently, he has also begun to explore the relationship between the success of women competing for positions in entry-level positions and its subsequent impact on the gender gap at the top of the career ladder.
Hao Fe | San Diego State University
Hao Fe is an Assistant Professor of Economics at San Diego State University. Her research
combines econometric models with emerging big data sources to create novel causal
inference approaches. My areas of interest include child development, education policy,
the economics of crime, social networks, and health economics. My recent project implements
a newly developed identification strategy to estimate the effect of children’s time
allocation on their skill formation. I am currently investigating the causal impact
of social networks on consumer behaviors, and the relationship between neighborhood
change and crime. One of her working papers has been recently published at a high
quality, peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Applied Econometrics.
Shoshana Grossbard | San Diego State University
Shoshana Grossbard is Professor Emerita of Economics at San Diego State University and Research Fellow
at the Institute of Labor Economics. She is also a member of the Family Inequality
Network at the University of Chicago. Shoshana is a leading scholar in the economics
of marriage and the family. Her work has been published in such journals as the Journal
of Political Economy, the Economic Journal, and the Journal of Population Economics.
She serves as president of the Society of Economics of the Household (SEHO) and is
currently a CHEPS Scholar in Residence.
Brandy Lipton | University of California, Irvine
Brandy Lipton is an applied microeconomist specializing in health economics and public policy. Her core interests lie in exploring the connections between health care policies and both health and economic outcomes. The majority of her work leverages state-level variation in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program policies. For example, recent research has explored the effects of optional benefits in Medicaid on adult health and labor market outcomes. Ongoing work is examining whether adult Medicaid benefits affect outcomes among children of adult enrollees.
After completing her graduate studies in economics at Northwestern University, Dr. Lipton spent several years working for health agencies within the federal government. Her work involved analysis of nationally representative household surveys fielded by these agencies to address a variety of health and public policy topics. This work was published in high quality peer-reviewed economics and policy journals including the Journal of Health Economics and Health Affairs.
Dr. Lipton is currently a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Society, and Behavior at the University of California, Irvine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at San Diego State University. She is an active participant in the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS) seminar series, and also sits on the advisory board for the Center.
Jacob Penglase | San Diego State University
Jacob Penglase is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College. Prior to joining SDSU, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bordeaux and an associate economist at Analysis Group. His research focuses on measuring poverty and individual well-being. His past work has examined consumption inequality among children in the context of child fostering in Malawi. More recent research studied the relationship between poverty and household size in Bangladesh. His work has appeared in Economic Development and Cultural Change.
Prashant Bharadwaj | University of California, San Diego
Prashant Bharadwaj is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California,
San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. Prashant’s research
interests are in development and labor economics, focusing on the interactions between
early childhood health, gender, and education. He is also a Research Fellow at the
National Bureau of Economic Research and holds research affiliations at the Center
for Effective Global Action, the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development,
and the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Prashant is co-editor at the Journal
of Human Resources and an associate editor at the Journal of Development Economics.
Jeffrey Clemens | University of California, San Diego
Jeffrey Clemens is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego.
He is also a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research and
an affiliate of the Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute at the University
of California, Irvine. He is currently an associate editor at the Journal of Health
Economics and American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. He has previously held
visiting positions at Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin.
He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2011 and his B.A. from Harvard College
Zach Fone | United States Air Force Academy
Zach Fone is an Assistant Professor and Analyst for the Office of Labor and Economic Analysis (OLEA) at the United States Air Force Academy. As an analyst for OLEA – a newly formed research center at the Air Force Academy – he looks forward to helping build OLEA’s profile as a trusted and respected source of military manpower analysis and labor economics research more broadly. He is an applied microeconomist with research interests in health, crime, labor, public, and sports economics. Zach received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire in 2020.
Gokhan Kumpas | California State University Los Angeles
Gokhan Kumpas is an Assistant Professor of Economics at California State University Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Izmir University of Economics in Turkey and his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire in 2021 in Economics with specializations in health economics and policy analysis from the University of New Hampshire. His dissertation focused on The Spillover Effects of Anti-Discrimination and Anti Violence Policies. His research interests include applied microeconomics (specifically health, risky behaviors, crime, and education). Gokhan's recent research has been published in high-quality peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Human Resources and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He has been a CHEPS Research Affiliate since the Fall of 2017.
CHEPS Research Affiliates
Brittany E. Bass | Semel Institute, University of California, Los Angeles
Brittany Bass received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine in 2019. She is currently an Economist for the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs in the Semel Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining UCLA, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Sacramento State University. Brittany is a health economist, primarily researching the impact of policies related to substance use disorder treatment on youth and adult health and economic outcomes. Her past research has focused on examining the impact of sex education mandates, maternity leave laws, minimum wages, and technology funding. Brittany's research has appeared in peer-reviewed economics and policy journals including Economics of Education Review, Contemporary Economic Policy, IZA Journal of Labor Policy, and Journal of Population Economics.
Drew McNichols | Amazon
Drew McNichols received his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. He is an applied microeconomist specializing in labor economics and public economics. His most recent work studies the impact of policies related to gender pay inequality. In other work, he studies topics such as youth criminality and the impacts of marijuana legalization. Drew was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California San Diego, and the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies (CHEPS) at San Diego State University.
Post Undergraduate Students
Sama Aziz | San Diego State University
Sama Aziz is a recent graduate of San Diego State University, with a B.A. in economics
and German. Through her studies and work with the American Civil Liberties Union,
she became interested in public policy, as well as international trade and development.
Within the next year she hopes to continue her academic journey into graduate school,
including international economics oriented master’s and Ph.D. programs, and enter
the field of consulting. As a polyglot she enjoys traveling, cooking, and foreign
Kate Mahoney | San Diego State University
Kate Mahoney graduated from SDSU with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Sustainability
in the fall of 2022. During her stay at SDSU, I took International Trade Theory with
Professor Liang and attended numerous CHEPS seminars. Taking a theoretical course
inspired her to construct economic models that can influence policy changes to better
our economic system and increase societal welfare. In the meantime, the applied seminars
exposed Kate to the fact that economists are constantly attempting to refine and test
the models we employ. She is currently applying to the Master of Science in Quantitative
Economics degree at California Polytechnic University in order to acquire the quantitative
abilities essential to contribute to this innovation. In the future, Kate hopes to
work in the public sector as an economist.
Daichi Siegrist | San Diego State University
Daichi Siegrist received his B.A. in Economics from UC Davis in 2012 and his M.A.
in Economics at San Diego State University in 2019. He has worked in the energy industry
as a market settlements analyst since 2014. He is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. and
his research interests include energy and environmental economics. In his capstone
course for the M.A. Economics program, Daichi used a difference-in-differences approach
(two-way fixed effects) in which he exploited the staggered adoption of state renewable
portfolio standards (RPS) laws, which provided an incentive for renewable energy investments,
on (1) renewable Daichi has joined the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies
as a Graduate Student Research Affiliate in December 2022.
Yiying Yang | San Diego State University
Yiying Yang recently graduated from Nangyang Technological University with an M.A.
in Managerial Economics. She graduated from Sichuan University with B.A. in Finance.
She used to be an exchange student at San Diego State University and currently doing
research in Economics at there. She is interested in applying a Ph.D. program focusing
on Economics. Her research interests include labor, international and public economics.
In her free time, she like reading, watching movies and traveling, and she has travelled
to Italy, Greece, Spain and Switzerland this year.
Alona Bilokha | Fordham University
Alona Bilokha received her M.A. in Economics from San Diego State University in 2018.
She earned Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and graduated with Honors
in Advanced Business Analysis from Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College (CUNY).
She has work experience in Strategy and Policy (NYC Department of Education), Financial
Strategy (Kenneth Cole), Investment Banking (UB.S.), and Credit Risk (Société Générale).
Her research interests include public economics in the areas of health, education,
and labor, among others. Additional interests include data science, predictive modeling,
and machine learning. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Business at Fordham University.
Matthew Braaksma | University of Minnesota
Matt Braaksma received his B.A. in Accounting with a minor in Economics from Eastern
Washington University and an M.A. in Economics from San Diego State University. He
is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.
His interests include environmental resource economics, natural resource economics,
and developmental economics.
Cal Bryan | Colorado State University
Cal graduated in 2013 with a B.S. degree in Bioenvironmental Sciences at Texas A&M
University, and minored in Economics. After graduation, he worked for a few years
as a recreation technician and type 2 wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service
in Colorado. He recieved his M.A. in Economics from SDSU in 2020. His interests include
environmental policy, welfare economics, and the economics of outdoor recreation.
After he finishes his degree he would like to pursue a Ph.D. or work in a government
Andrew Dickinson | Univeristy of Oregon
Andrew Dickinson received his M.A. in Economics at San Diego State University in 2019.
He is currently a first year graduate student at the University of Oregon. He is interested
in researching a wide range of applied microeconomics including health and public
economics. Upon completion of his degree he plans to one day become a university professor.
Toshio Ferrazares | Univeristy of California, Santa Barbara
Toshio Ferrazares is currently in his third year of the Economics Ph.D. Program at
the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses largely on Public
and Labor Economics. His current work focuses on the economics of policing and crime,
where he has studied the effect of body-worn cameras on police and civilian safety.
In 2021, he received an award for "Best Second Year Paper." Before attending UCSB,
he obtained a M.A. degree in Economics from San Diego State University where he was
a CHEPS MA affiliate.After obtaining his PHD, he hopes to pursue a career in teaching
at the university level.
Russell Leonard | University of California, Irvine
Russ Leonard is a Ph.D. student in economics at UC Irvine. He earned his M.A. in economics
from San Diego State and his B.A. in philosophy and economics from CU Boulder. His
interests include various topics in public and labor economics, such as media and
transportation. Upon completing his Ph.D., Russ hopes to pursue a career in academia
or industry. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and fishing.
Rebecca Margolit graduated with a B.S. in Economics from the University of California,
Davis. Directly following, she worked for several years in the insurance industry
as a claims adjudicator. However, as she had an opportunity to follow her passion
for economics, she returned to graduate school to obtain her M.A. in Economics from
San Diego State University where she began her career in research as a CHEPS affiliate.
Rebecca’s interests include labor, health, and environmental economics.
Alicia Marquez | Cornell University
Alicia Marquez received her B.S. degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Economics
and an M.A. degree in Economics from San Diego State University. In the fall, she
will be attending the Policy Analysis and Management Ph.D. program at Cornell University.
She chose this program because of its interdisciplinary nature, with strong faculty
in fields ranging from health economics to demography to environmental economics.
Her specific interests include natural resource economics, health economics, and public
Kyutaro Matsuzawa | University of Oregon
Kyutaro, also known as Kyu, received his B.A. and M.A. in economics and B.S. in statistics
from SDSU. He is currently a second-year Ph.D. student at University of Oregon and
is working on several projects with CHEPS. The first set of projects include re-examining
the effects of minimum wage on poverty and public benefit assistance. The second project
examines the effect of California's indoor mask mandate on COVID-19 spread. Another
project is examining the effect of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests that occurred
in 2020 on human behavior. This paper recently received a revise & resubmit at the
Journal of Human Resources, one of the top labor economics journals, and some of the referee comments involved
working with more complicated data such as individual COVID-19 case data and hospitalization
Cameron Milani | Claremont Graduate University
Cameron Milani received his B.A. in economics from the University of California, Los
Angeles and his M.A. in economics at San Diego State University. In the fall he will
attend Claremont Graduate University. His interests include labor economics, economic
development and housing markets.
Thanh Tam Nguyen | University of New Hampshire
Thanh Tam Nguyen is a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of New Hampshire.
She received her B.A. and M.A. in Economics at San Diego State University and is trained
as an applied microeconomist. Her research examines the effects of public policies
(including minimum wages, medical marijuana laws, and physical education laws), the
effect of the business cycle on religiosity, and the relationship between sexual identity
and labor market outcomes among Australian sexual minorities. Tam has presented her
work at the Western Economic Association, Eastern Economic Association, American Society
of Heath Economics, and Population Association of America annual conferences. In May
2015, she won an award for "Best Poster" at the Population Association of America
Niranjana Prasad | Université catholique de Louvain
Niranjana Prasad is a Ph.D. student at the Université catholique de Louvain, where
she is an affilate at their Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE
Institute). She received her M.A. in Economics from SDSU in 2018. She has previously
worked with the World Bank, Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRM.A.) and the Belgian
diplomatic mission in India. During her stint with the World Bank she worked on the
Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) and with IRM.A., on survey design and
quantitative research for academic papers. She has also completed a Masters in Economics
and International Financial Economics from the University of Warwick. Her areas of
interest are Applied Econometrics, Health Economics, and Public Policy. She is currently
a Ph.D. student at Université catholique de Louvain.
Samuel Safford | Michigan State University
Samuel Safford received his B.A. in Applied Economics from California State University,
Los Angeles (Cal State LA) and his Masters of Arts in Economics at SDSU. In the fall
he will attend Michigan State University’s Ph.D. program in Sociology. His interests
include political economy, housing markets, economics of education, and public policy.