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Research Affiliates and Fellows

Faculty Research Fellows

Ryan AbmanRyan 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 N. BeckAudrey 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 BrownRyan 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 FeHao 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 GrossbardShoshana 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.
Yang LiangYang Liang is an Assistant Professor of Economics at San Diego State University. Dr. Liang's research focuses on how countries, firms, and individuals react to globalization and market integration. Recent projects examine the impact of trade expansion on US labor markets, heterogeneous effects of offshoring on Korean manufacturing firms, and how China’s foreign investment policies shape foreign firms’ entry and export decisions. One of his working papers has been recently accepted for publication at the China Economic Review. Prior to joining SDSU, he has one published book chapter with the Upjohn Institute and a policy brief with the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Brandy LiptonBrandy 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 joined San Diego State University’s Health Management and Policy division within the School of Public Health in August 2017. Since joining SDSU, she has been 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 PenglaseJacob 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.

Faculty Affiliates

Prashant BharadwajPrashant 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 ClemensJeffrey 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 in 2005.
Gokhan KumpasGokhan Kumpas is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his B.A. in Economics at Izmir University of Economics and his Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics at 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, education. Gokhan also teaches online graduate level economics classes at the University of Hartford as an adjunct assistant professor. 

CHEPS Research Affiliates

Brittany BassBrittany 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 McNicholsDrew 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.

Student Affilates

M.A. Students

Evan KimEvan Kim is a recent graduate of San Diego State University with a B.A. in Economics. Evan is currently taking Master’s-level courses in Economics and working with CHEPS to strengthen his Ph.D. application. Evan is interested in International Finance and International Trade policy. Evan worked closely with CHEPS Assistant Director Yang Liang to examine the effects of industrial robot prevalence on the local labor market and crime outcomes, particularly drug-related offenses. Evan intends to apply to Ph.D. programs in Economics this coming cycle.
Tim PhillipsTim Phillips is an incoming master’s student at SDSU. He grew up in San Diego, CA. He decided to go to Sonoma State because he was recruited to play soccer there. He will receive his B.A. in Economics from Sonoma State University in 2022. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Economics at San Diego State University. He aspires to obtain a Ph.D. in Economics after completion of the M.A. program at SDSU. Some of my favorite subjects within the economic scope include econometrics along with advanced microeconomics.
I’m currently pursuing a data analytics internship for this summer. Some of his hobbies include being outside and spending time with friends and family
Marianne SawiresMarianne Sawires graduated from the University of California, San Diego, in 2017 with a B.A. in political science with a specialization in international relations and a minor in economics. After graduating, she fundraised for a non-profit benefiting children in low-income communities. She is now continuing her education at SDSU by joining the M.A. in Economics program. Post completion of this program, she hopes to work in the field of economic development to improve the quality of life of people born with inherently less opportunities.
Cooper SmileyCooper Smiley graduated from San Diego State University in 2021 with a B.A. in Economics with an emphasis in International Economics. Prior to attending SDSU, he was a Civil Affairs Medic in the United States Army. Working in remote, third-world countries sparked his interest in economics. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Economics at SDSU. Upon competition of the M.A. program, he hopes to continue to a Ph.D. program in Economics or Public Policy. His interests include development economics, health economics, and labor economics. In his free time, Cooper likes to cook, workout, and play with his dog, Tess.
Eric ThomasEric Thomas received his B.S. in economics and BA in political science from The University of the Pacific in 2017. During his undergrad, Eric developed an interest in both international economics and institutions. After graduation, he worked in banking as a credit analyst before deciding to pursue further graduate studies in Economics at SDSU. His tenure at the bank resulted in an interest in financing and the role it can play in encouraging community growth. His research interests include international trade, labor policy, migration, and financial economics. Specifically, he is interested in how these intersect and relate economic development. After completing the program, he is planning on attending a Ph.D. program in either economics or public policy.

Isaiah ValenciaIsaiah Valencia received his undergraduate in Statistics at the University of California, Davis. He is currently pursuing his M.S. in Statistics at San Diego State University, though he aims to continue onto a Ph.D. in Economics in 2023. His primary research interest is causal inference, particularly in the economics of risky health behaviors and poverty.

Doctoral Students

Alona BilokhaAlona 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.
Cal BryanCal 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 agency. 
Andrew DickinsonAndrew 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 FerrazaresToshio Ferrazares received his M.A. and B.A.. in Economics from San Diego State University (SDSU).  He is currently a first year Ph.D. student in Economics at the Univeristy of California, Santa Barbra. He is interested in researching macroeconomics, labor, and public finance. After obtaining his PHD, he hopes to pursue a career in teaching at the university level. 
Travis FreidmanTravis Freidman is Ph.D. candidate in Economics at the Paul College of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire; specializing in applied macroeconomics.  His research focuses on the effects of trade policy both historical and current. He has written about Vilfredo Pareto’s sociology and war’s effects on religiosity. Travis has presented at INET’s YSI Plenary in 2016 .
Taylor MackayTaylor Mackay is currently a graduate student at UC Irvine. He earned an M.A. in economics from San Diego State University and a B.A. in philosophy with a concentration in law from George Mason University. His research focuses on the economic impact of policy interventions in the labor market, with a focus on crime and poverty. Currently, he is studying the labor market and crime-related impacts of policies affecting the disclosure of criminal records during the job application and hiring process. He has previously conducted research on the poverty-related effects of changes to the tipped minimum wage. 
Alicia MarquezAlicia 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 policy. 
Kyutaro MatsuzawaKyutaro, also known as Kyu, received his B.A. and M.A. in economics and B.S. in statistics from SDSU. He is interested in research about incentives, public policy, and risky, illegal behavior. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. to become an economist. 
Cameron MilaniCameron 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.
Tam NguyenThanh 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 meetings. 
Niranjana PrasadNiranjana 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 SaffordSamuel 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. 
Usamah WasifUsamah Wasif is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of New Mexico. He received his B.A. in Economics and Accountancy at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and an M.A. in Economics from San Diego State University. During his time in SDSU, he carried out research on risky behaviors, Medical Marijuana Laws and labor force participation rates, research that influenced his Ph.D. research focus. He is in training to become an applied micro-economist with a primary interest is in Public/Labor and Health Economics. 

Postdoctoral Affiliate

Zach FoneZach Fone is an applied microeconomist who began a postdoctoral position in the Initiative for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis (IRAEA) at Montana State University last July. He received his Ph.D. (2020), M.A., and B.S. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire. His doctoral research examined the effect of minimum wage increases on crime. For his M.A. thesis, Zach wrote a paper titled "Efficiency in the MLB Free Agent Market", which analyzed the Major League Baseball labor market. His paper won the award for Outstanding Master’s Paper.