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 has served as lead applied econometrician at CHEPS and principal coding advisor to junior student researchers at the Center. He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 2018. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Health Economics, The World Economy, and China Economic Review, as well as book chapters and policy briefs with the Upjohn Institute and Peter Institute for International Economics.
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 whose research interests include 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
Ed Balsdon | San Diego State University
Ed Balsdon joined the SDSU faculty in 2000 after earning a Ph.D. in Economics from UC Santa Barbara. His scholarly work specializing in natural resource economics, public finance, and behavioral responses to risk has appeared in Land Economics, the Journal of Urban Economics, the National Tax Journal, and other publications. He has served as the SDSU Associate Dean of Graduate & Research Affairs from 2014–2020 and the Interim Dean of Graduate Studies from 2020-2021. During this administrative period, he contributed economic analysis to a large NSF grant project examining coastal flood risk in California. Ed rejoined the SDSU Economics Department in Fall 2021.
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.
Thiago de Lucena | San Diego State University
Thiago de Lucena is an assistant professor in Economics at San Diego State University. He joined the faculty at SDSU after completing his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California, Davis. He is interested in development economics, labor economics, and political economy. His recent work seeks to understand the relationships between the gender of institutional leadership and the gender gap in top positions. He also studies the relationship between corruption and political participation.
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 crime. Her work has been published in
the Journal of Applied Econometrics and the Journal of Urban Economics.
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 served as past-president of the Society of Economics of the Household (SEHO).
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 Journal, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and 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.
Alex Chesney | United States Air Force Academy
Alex Chesney completed his Ph.D. in Economics at UC Davis in 2022 and now works full-time
for the United States Air Force in Idaho. He received his master’s degree in Economics
from San Diego State University in 2012 and his bachelor’s degree from the United
States Air Force Academy in 2011. Alex is interested in Public and Labor Economics
and studying policies that impact military personnel and their dependents. His current
research focuses on how active-duty military members make education investment decisions,
and how these investments augment human capital formation. Dr. Chesney’s recent research
was published in the Economics of Education Review, and another paper is at the revise-and-resubmit
stage at the Journal of Public 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. He is helping to build OLEA’s profile as a trusted and respected source of military manpower analysis and labor economics research more broadly. His research interests span the economics of crime and punishment, sports economics, labor economics, and health economics. His work has been published in the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Law and Economics, and the Journal of Sports Economics. Zach received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire and has been a CHEPS Research Affiliate since 2017.
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
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.
Sama Aziz | Yenching Academy, Peking University in China.
Sama Aziz graduated from 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.
She will attend the Master's of Chinese Economy program at Yenching Academy as part
of Peking University in China. She selected this program due to its interdisciplinary
and research-focused nature. Sama is also keenly interested in international economics,
and studying in another country with esteemed faculty from around the world will aid
me in my career and academic aspirations. As a polyglot she enjoys traveling, cooking,
and foreign literature.
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.
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
Calvin Bryan is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at Colorado State University. He received
his undergraduate degree in 2013 with a B.S. in Bioenvironmental Sciences at Texas
A&M University and minored in Economics. After graduation, he worked as a recreation
technician and type 2 wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado
for a few years. He received his M.A. in Economics from SDSU in 2020. His interests
include environmental policy, welfare economics, and the economics of outdoor recreation.
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 in his fourth year of the Economics Ph.D. Program at the University
of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses mainly on Public and Labor Economics.
His current work focuses on the economics of policing and crime, where he studied
body-worn cameras' effect on police and civilian safety. In 2021, he was awarded "Best
Second Year Paper." Before attending UCSB, he obtained an M.A. in Economics from San
Diego State University, where he was a CHEPS M.A. affiliate. Toshio is interested
in researching macroeconomics, labor, and public finance. After obtaining his Ph.D,.
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 is a research associate at the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities
at the University of Notre Dame. She is currently managing ten research projects,
often supervising undergraduate research assistants and teaching them the same coding
techniques that she learned at CHEPS. This has been a new step for her in her career
and has sparked an interest in becoming an economics professor after completing her
Ph.D.. Rebecca will be applying to Ph.D. programs next cycle. She has been very excited
to work on a revise and resubmit at the Journal of Applied Econometrics, along with
her coauthors Dr. Joe Sabia and Dr. Dan Rees.
Alicia Marquez | Cornell University
Alicia Marquez received her B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Economics
and an M.A. in Economics from San Diego State University. She is a second-year Ph.D.
student in 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 interests include natural resource economics, health economics, and public policy.
Kyutaro Matsuzawa | University of Oregon
Kyutaror Matsuzawa received his B.A. and M.A. in economics and B.S. in statistics
from SDSU. He is a third-year Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon and is working
on several projects with CHEPS. The first set of projects includes re-examining the
effects of minimum wage on poverty and public benefits assistance. The second project,
joint with Benjamin Hansen at the University of Oregon, explores the impact of K-12
school reopenings/closings during the COVID-19 pandemic on arrests. Kyu’s work has
appeared in leading economics field journals, including the Journal of Human Resources,
the Journal of Law and Economics, the National Tax Journal, and the Journal of Urban
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 government policies
on labor market outcomes, health outcomes, risky behaviors, and crime. Tam is currently
working on her dissertation examining the effects of public policies on vulnerable
populations. 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 meetings.
Niranjana Prasad | Université catholique de Louvain
Niranjana Prasad is a Ph.D. student at the Université catholique de Louvain, where
she is an affiliate 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, the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), 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 IRMA on survey design
and quantitative research for academic papers. She has also completed a Master's in
Economics and International Financial Economics from the University of Warwick. Her
areas of interest are Applied Econometrics, Health Economics, and Public Policy.
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 Master of Arts in Economics at SDSU. He will begin
a Ph.D. in Sociology at Cornell University this year after completing doctoral coursework
at Michigan State University. His interests include political economy, housing markets,
economics of education, and public policy. Sam is particularly interested in studying
the health outcomes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals.
Yiying Yang | Fordham University
Yiying Yang will begin doctoral studies this fall at Fordham University in New York. During her research experience at CHEPS, she has been participating in research on the impact of using robots on welfare and poverty rate, as well as other projects related to international trade.Yiying 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.