My work in economics has spanned from education to market design to development to healthcare, not to mention my passing interests in a half-dozen other fields. Still working on narrowing it down!
- “Evaluating Strategic Play: Manipulations with Symmetric Information in the Boston Mechanism”
- Undergraduate Thesis advised by Parag Pathak. 2021.
- I work a lot with ESP and their programs, and for my thesis, I analyzed the mechanism ESP uses to assign students to classes, a variant of the Boston system extended to many-to-many matching. My initial proposal considered a lot of topics, like “better” mechanisms and the welfare gains/losses due to strategic play. While I’d love to delve into those topics, time constraints led me to focus in on whether a student with symmetric information (in the spirit of Roth + Rothblum (1999)) can benefit by misreporting their strategies. Writing a thesis was fully optional for me, but I decided to do it because of my interest in market design and to see how I enjoyed a larger research project. In the end, my feelings about finishing a thesis played a non-zero role in my choice to enroll in grad school (versus working in industry).
- “A Rising Tide for All or Wave for One?: The Effect of Charter School Competition on District Achievement”
- Written for 14.33. MIT Undergraduate Journal of Economics, Vol. XX. 2021.
- This paper was my first independent research project, and uses variation in the effectiveness of state laws to identify the impact that charters have on overall student performance. I don’t think that this paper was fantastic, but I do think that it was a very worthwhile exercise to help me understand a bit more what the process of research is actually like. If I were to go back and re-do this paper, I’d probably discretize the state law measure and repeat the analysis.
- Other past work
- J-PAL Southeast Asia: TransJakarta Bus Optimization (with Ben Olken, Gabriel Kreindler, Rema Hanna, and Arya Gaduh. A summer RA project where I developed a pipeline to process 60 million riders’ data.
- “The Surprising Hybrid Pedigree of Measures of Diversity and Economic Concentration” (NBER WP #26512, with Ernst Berndt, Rena Conti). A paper understanding the theory behind measuring market concentration, and applying said measures to the pharmaceutical industry. Adajar, P., Berndt, E., and Conti, R. NBER Working Paper Series 26512. 2019.
- “Values: How do they Contribute to Economic Success?” (Journal of Orgainzational Psychology, Vol. 18(1), with Mark Pingle). My first ever RA project (primarily helping with a literature review), and my introduction to economics and research as a career.
- Bridgewater Associates
- Investment Engineer Intern, Summer 2020
- Bridgewater is a company known for its culture of “radical transparency.” Interning at Bridgewater gave me a chance to grow a lot as a person as I learn how to better respond to feedback. Regarding the work itself, I think I learned a lot from my first experiences in the financial world about being in industry and building systems for understanding the economy; you can read more of my thoughts on this blog post.
- Anti-trust Intern, Winter 2020
- NERA showed me what economics “industry” feels like: faster-paced, more emphasis on office communication, and the impetus to have deliverables. Perhaps the most interesting thing I figured out at NERA was how some employees who initially planned to return to graduate school were slowly being convinced otherwise. Talking to these people, I realized that their reasons for not going to grad school didn’t resonate with me at all, and helped push me to apply to grad school.
- Government Accountability Office
- Student Intern — Applied Research and Methods, Summer 2019
- I worked at GAO as part of the MIT-DC Internship Program, exposing me to the world of policy. During the internship, I got to talk with many PhDs working in public policy about their experiences and why they chose to work in the public sector.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- PhD in Economics, 2021–
- As a second-year, I’m still mostly in the take-many-classes and have-vague-ideas-for-research phase of graduate school. While the amount and interesting-ness of my work ebbs and flows, I do think that I’m enjoying it so far c: Currently working on my second-year paper!
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- SB in Mathematical Economics, 2017–2021
- MIT was a wonderful place to do my undergrad, filled with people who were all excited about something. Three reflections (which I also think I would have figured out anywhere else, too):
- At MIT, you learn, mostly in unexpected ways. You’ll learn a lot in classes, yes, but also how to learn, how to handle stress, and how much you want to challenge yourself.
- I spent a lot of time in structured non-academic pursuits: deliberate time around others, ESP, science bowl, and much more. During college, I found how necessary it is for me to have non-academic things filling my life; I am not a person that can just do work forever.
- One of the most difficult parts of MIT is that it sometimes feels bad to do things just for your own sake. Not in the sense that MIT is competitive (it is not), but when you are surrounded by so many smart and high-achieving people who have done amazing things, it can feel like you need to be “productive” all the time. I am still learning how to let go of this feeling.
- Davidson Academy of Nevada
- HS Diploma in Mathematical Economics, 2013–2017
- I was very lucky to go to Davidson. While I’m still piecing together my thoughts on the concept of gifted education, I will always be grateful to have had access to so many resources at DA (classes, teachers, activities…) and also to the friends who shaped much of my values and identity.