The Department of Economics has over 20 permanent faculty members, with research and teaching interests that span a broad range of areas within micro- and macroeconomics, and the evaluation of public policy. Building on strengths in econometrics (Bayesian and classical), public choice, and empirical microeconomics particularly in transportation, energy, industrial organization, labor, and urban development, the Department offers both a B.A. degree program and a Ph.D. degree program. These web pages provide more information about those programs, the faculty and the Department's research activities.
We demonstrate the possibility of conducting synchronous, repeated, multi-game economic decision-making experiments with hundreds of subjects in-person or remotely with live streaming using entirely mobile platforms. Our experiment provides important proof-of-concept that such experiments are not only possible, but yield recognizable results as well as new insights, blurring the line between laboratory and field experiments. Specifically, our findings from 8 different experimental economics games and tasks replicate existing results from traditional laboratory experiments despite the fact that subjects play those games/task in a specific order and regardless of whether the experiment was conducted in person or remotely. We further leverage our large subject population to study the effect of large (N = 100) versus small (N = 10) group sizes on behavior in three of the scalable games that we study. While our results are largely consistent with existing findings for small groups, increases in group size are shown to matter for the robustness of those findings.
This article reviews how the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) has contributed to our understanding of the links between childhood economic conditions- in particular, the household incomes with very young children-and the economic attainment and health of those children when they reach adulthood. From its beginning, the PSID has provided data useful for addressing intergenerational questions. In the mid-1990s, PSID data supported a series of studies that link early childhood income to early adult attainments, particularly to completed schooling. At the same time, discoveries in neurobiology and epidemiology were beginning to provide details on the processes producing the observed correlations. These discoveries led to a more recent set of PSID-based studies that focus not only on labor market and behavioral outcomes, but also on links between income in the earliest stages of life (including the prenatal period) and adult health. Links between economic disadvantage in childhood and adult health, and the developmental neuroscience underlying those links, are promising areas for future research.
The present study uses nationally-representative data to estimate longitudinal associations between core executive function (EF) components—working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility—at kindergarten entry and third grade academic achievement. We focus on one key question: to what extent do EF components uniquely contribute to children's subsequent reading and math achievement over and above academic skills, social-emotional behaviors, and learning-related behaviors? Study findings indicated that the three core EF components have differential associations with third grade achievement. Evidence of associations across domains of math and reading achievement are strongest for working memory, and these associations are stronger for math than reading achievement. Early working memory was also shown to be just as predictive of academic achievement as were learning-related behaviors. The evidence for achievement associations was weaker for inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility, with estimated effect sizes on reading and math achievement of less than a tenth of a standard deviation. We discuss implications for future studies and consider the measurement issues that arise in examining EF and its relations to longitudinal achievement.