Herb Scarf Summer Research Opportunities

2018 Scarf RA group photo

The program is supported by the Cowles Foundation, the James Tobin Fund for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (which was created by friends and former students to honor Tobin’s lifelong devotion to undergraduate education), Paul Joskow ‘72 PhD, and the Yale School of Management.

Proposals for Summer 2019

Note: We will accept applications until March 1, 2019

Herb Scarf Summer Research Opportunities in Economics is a program designed to give Yale students a chance to get directly involved in the ongoing research of your professors. Working closely with a professor, you will get a better idea of what “doing research” actually means, and why your professors view it as exciting and worthwhile. You will also have an opportunity to learn, through practical experience, some of the skills associated with the process of doing research. You will learn largely through practical experience–data collection, coding, writing and other tasks involved in a research project. The program also includes group activities including faculty talks, programming lessons and social events that teach research and help build a community of RAs who can support each other.

Participating students (Herb Scarf RA’s) will be required to work 160 hours (flexible) from May 28 to July 19. The students’ work schedules will be arranged with the professors at the onset of the program. Because the goal of the program is to have students and professors working together, if you are selected for a project you will be expected to be in New Haven during the work period. Participants will be paid $3,300.

After completing the projects, students will be required to write a summary (one page or less) of their research activities. 


Any student who has not previously participated in the program may apply, but students who have completed more of the required coursework in economics (particularly the core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics) are more likely to possess the quantitative skills that professors find useful in conducting research. Herb Scarf RA positions are not available to seniors (Class of 2019).

Projects and Applications

The project descriptions (see below) explain both the goals of the professor’s research and the activities that undergraduates would be engaged in as part of that research. For some projects, the professor will be seeking a small team of 2 or 3 research assistants.

If you are interested in participating in a project you should submit an online application form, including a curriculum vita (or resume) and a brief cover letter explaining why you are interested in the project. A copy of your application and CV will be sent upon submission to the professor leading the project, as well as Prof. Ebonya Washington (Director of Undergraduate Studies in Economics) and Qazi Azam (Undergraduate Registrar in the Department of Economics). You may apply to at most four projects (but accept and participate in only one!).  

Students will be contacted directly for interviews by interested faculty following the deadline. The awards will be posted on this site once faculty have made their decisions.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact Prof. Ebonya Washington or Qazi Azam.

HSSRO Projects

Bond Returns and Bond Issue Waves
Professor Matthew Spiegel
  • Award: Jon Deuber
  • Award: Nikita Saleev
  • Award: Matthew Fantozzi
Find a Job, Move, Crash the Real Estate Market
Professor Matthew Spiegel
  • Award: Douglas Hagemeister
  • Award: Annie Zhao
  • Award: Mathew Jacob
  • Award: Neil Braganza
Human Capital, Migration, and the Returns to Schooling
  • Award: Liana Wang
  • Award: Aaron Dickstein
Popular Financial Advice vs. Economic Theory
Professor James Choi
  • Award: Rohan Angadi
  • Award: Rob Brinkmann
  • Award: Vod Vilfort
Price Impact in Financial Markets
Professor Eduardo Davila
  • Award: Raj Ramnani
Closed to further applications
Refugee Panel Data
Professor Mushfiq Mobarak
  • Award: Robel Mulugeta
Shadow Banking
Professor Eduardo Davila
  • Award: Johnny Xu
Closed to further applications
The Evolution of Wealth Inequality Over the Lifecycle
Professor Cormac O'Dea
  • Award: Ian Salvamoser
  • Award: Michelle Kim
Voting Rights of Native Americans
  • Award: Nikita Raheja
Closed to further applications
Adverse selection and health care provider network formation
Professor Jacob Wallace
  • Award: Dominique Desroches
  • Award: Cody Clements
Capacity Discipline in the Airline Industry
Professor Kevin Williams, Professor Fiona Scott Morton
  • Award: Ryo Tamaki
  • Award: Hersh Gupta
Causal Machine Learning
Professor Yusuke Narita
  • Award: Devesh Agrawal
  • Award: Keniel Yao
  • Award: Fatih Celikbas
Evidence about Evidence-based Policy Making
Professor Yusuke Narita
  • Award: Jacob Carlson
  • Award: Ling Dong
Foreclosures and empty houses in CT
  • Award: Thomas Atlee
  • Award: Benjamin Wong
How have national and multinational bodies responded to financial crises?
Professor Andrew Metrick, Professor Christian McNamara
  • Award: Jorge Colmenares-Miralles
  • Award: Adrian Kulesza
The Geography of Economic Growth in the US since 1850
Professor Costas Arkolakis, Professor Michael Peters
  • Award: Lydia Wickard
  • Award: Loften Deprez
The Growth Slowdown and Rising Market Power in the US
Professor Michael Peters
  • Award: Jordi Bofill
  • Award: Tra Nguyen
  • Award: Farouq Ghandour
  • Award: Gloria Wu
  • Award: Chuang Tang
Behavioral Economics and Persuasion
Professor Zoe Chance
Award: Charles Taylor '18
Award: Katherine Xiu '18
Award: Jakub Madej '20
Bringing the Regulatory Commission Back In
Professor Ivana Katic
Award: Sarah DiMagno '18
Award: Eric Wang '18
Award: Andreas Ravichandran '19
Combinatorial Discrete Choice on Plant Location and School Choice Decisions
Award: Justin Katz '18
Award: Jake DiCicco '17
Award: Stanislav Atanasov '17
Award: Yicong Shen '18
Award: Ronny Choudhury '19
Award: Adam Krok '19
Award: Pascal Ungersboeck '19
How Costly is Spatial Mobility?
Professor Michael Peters
Award: Noah Stetson '18
Award: Adam Harris '17
How Did the US Industrialize?
Professor Michael Peters, Professor Costas Arkolakis
Award: Andrew Sparkman '19
Award: William Smith '19
How Have National and Multinational Bodies Responded to Financial Crises?
Professor Andrew Metrick
Award: Timothy Rawlinson '19
Award: Xavier Sottile '19
Award: Yavuz Ramiz Colak '20
Marijuana Legalization: Implications for Individual Behavior
Award: Sonia Wang '18
Award: Nathalya Do Leite '19
Narrative Economics - Further Work
Award: Lewis Ho '18
Award: Michael Zanger-Tishler '18
Narrative Structures in Financial Media
Award: Nidal Hishmeh '18
Award: Jacob Hoops '18
Award: Shah Khan '19
Playing Checkers in Chinatown
Award: Cayley Geffen, 2019
Award: Arjun Prakash '19
The Costs and Returns to College Majors
Professor Joseph Altonji
Award: William McGrew '18
The Design and Price of Information
Professor Dirk Bergemann
Award: Justin Young '18
Tracking the Global Economy
Professor Samuel Kortum
Award: Lixing Liang '18
Award: Lihua Xiao '18
Zone Pricing in Retail Oligopoly
Professor Kevin Williams
Award: Nicolas Jimenez '19
Summer 2016 Herb Scarf Summer Research Projects
Summer 2012 SRO Research Projects
Summer 2010 SRO Research Projects
Summer 2008 SRO Research Projects
Summer 2007 SRO Research Projects
Summer 2006 SRO Research Projects
Summer 2005 SRO Research Projects (formerly ROME)