Student Research

The Department of Economics provides several avenues for students to become researchers.

Students may elect to do independent study in economics, and majors in pursuit of honors will take the Economics Research Seminar as part of their coursework. Other opportunities include:

2024 Case Summer Fellows Program

Launched in the summer of 2015, the Case Summer Fellows Program fosters research collaboration between Economics faculty and student research assistants. The program will run from May 30 to July 26, 2024.

Students will be expected to work full time (35 hours) for 8.5 weeks in-person and will receive a pre-tax stipend of $525 paid out weekly through the Karl E. Case Fund. On-campus housing will be provided by the College. Students will be responsible for $1,025 towards the mandatory campus meal plan.

The Economics department is interested in hiring several 2024 Case Summer Fellows. Fellows will provide research assistance and curricular support for one or more members of the economics faculty and will provide general department support as needed.

Fellows are not permitted to accept any other full-time or part-time positions or enroll in any summer courses (virtual or otherwise) that would coincide with program dates. This position is a full-time work commitment.

Applicants should apply via Workday and provide a resume, unofficial transcript and a statement of interest (maximum of 250 words) in the Summer Case Fellowship. Note that you are applying to the program in general, not a particular faculty member. However, in your statement, please indicate areas of interest in economics (and coursework completed in that area, if relevant), your qualifications (e.g., proficiency in data analysis or programming tools, other relevant skills), and indicate your commitment to the program and full-time participation, noting any potential summer travel or other work/education plans that may be anticipated at this time.

Students will also have the option of splitting their time between one of the projects described below and the American Economic Association (AEA) replication internship, in which students perform replications of papers for AEA journals using programs including Stata and R. To be eligible for the AEA internship, students should have completed Econ 203 by the end of this semester and should be available for an all-day training session at Wellesley on April 6. If you would like to be considered for the AEA internship, please indicate this in your statement of interest and confirm your availability on April 6 and completion of Econ 203.

Applications received by Friday, February 23, will receive full consideration.


Summer 2024 Case Projects


Baafra Abeberese:

The Fellow will help with work for a randomized control trial on the effect of business incubators on entrepreneurship as well as on related projects using firm-level data from developing countries. The Fellow will also help with the preparation of course materials for intermediate microeconomics.

Qualifications: Knowledge of Stata (has taken Econ 203) preferred.

Joe Joyce:

I am writing a monograph on international investment income. A student could assist me in collecting data and also making tables and figures.

Qualifications: Familiarity with Excel is necessary and a command of Stata would help.

Kyung Park:

We will work on research on the economics of immigration and on the housing market using Current Population Survey data and data scraped from online real estate websites. The research questions include topics such as the labor market effects of the ongoing migrant crisis and the analysis of home price dynamics during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will clean and analyze the data, and produce exhibits including research tables and figures.

Qualifications: Facility with coding (Stata, R, or Python). Detail oriented. 

Casey Rothschild:

I am looking for research/instructional assistance on four projects, three of them curricular and one of them scholarly.
(1) Help in developing/refining a set of lecture notes for Econ 101P/101.
(2) Help with curricular planning for Econ 251H (WISE), including: identifying and reaching out to potential external speakers for 2024/25; identifying and researching readings for one or more potential debate topics.
(3) Help in developing a popular press/political platform "reading list" for Econ 215: Tax Policy.
(4) Research assistance on a survey paper on theoretical models of equilibrium in dynamic insurance markets.
I do not necessarily expect the fellow who works with me to contribute to all four projects, but item (1) is a priority.

Qualifications: Experience with 101P/WISE (preferred) or 101 is a priority. Willingness to learn to work/code in LaTeX. For project (4), comfort with intermediate micro theory (i.e., econ 201) and probability theory will be important -- but, again, the fellow does not necessarily need to work on (4).

Kartini Shastry:

The Fellow will work on different projects related to child health or education in developing countries, such as studying the impact of foreign aid for vaccination on disease prevalence or studying the impact of technology-aided instruction in primary schools in India. In addition, the Fellow will assist with preparation of class materials for Econ 101.

Qualifications: I am looking for a student who is familiar with Stata (taught in Economics 203), is detail-oriented, is willing to learn more Stata, and has good communication and organization skills.

Olga Shurchkov:

The first project which I will need assistance with is titled "The Role of Social Media in Academic Careers." In May, we will be launching a post-treatment follow-up survey to gauge effects of social media exposure and presence on professional activities and outcomes. The RA will assist with project management and data collection. The second project, tentatively called "What do we believe? Big Lies or Small Lies", delves into perceptions about lies using an online controlled experiment. The RA would be involved in experiment implementation and potentially data cleaning and analysis. Editorial work, as well as help with curricular development, will also be likely.

Qualifications: Proficiency in Excel and Stata (taught in Economics 203), attention to detail, willingness to learn Qualtrics and more Stata, and good communication and organization skills.

Rachel Werkema:

Analyzing the College Board as a "firm" with major market power in the college application, financial aid, and high school curriculum "industries". Conducting background research and literature reviews in these areas. Possibly looking into some early stage ideas on other education-related topics (TBD). Help with curriculum development (drafting Econ 101 and Econ 102 quiz questions and review materials).

Qualifications:  Proficiency in introductory economics, interest in economics and education.  Comfort with spreadsheets but no STATA required. Good organizational skills.

Faisal Ahmed:

We will work on research related to the political economy of climate aid and international trade.  The first project will probe the economics and politics surrounding the allocation of foreign aid that is designed to mitigate climate change. This project will also examine whether climate aid can promote the exports of climate technologies and goods from donor countries.  The second project examines the role of bureaucrats in shaping bilateral trade, with a particular focus on US ambassadors since the country's inception (in 1776).  Students will help gather, clean, and analyze the data, produce exhibits including research tables and figures. The student will learn about climate policy, commercial diplomacy, and how to compile and analyze detailed product-level trade data.


Research Opportunities for Students and Alumnae

The economics department offers the Peggy Howard Fellowship for advanced study or research. Students may also apply for research fellowships such as the Jerome A. Schiff Undergraduate Fellowship. They may be interested in the multidisciplinary approach of The Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute and apply for a fellowship (and further internship) there. Outside organizations also offer possibilities for economics students, such as The Fulbright Program or The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, among many others.

Internships are also available via the Wellesley Department of Economics Audrey Freeman '51 Summer Internship in Economics , general College internships that can be pursued with an economics focus, such as Wellesley Internships in Latin America , or internships through other academic or research organizations such as The Brookings Institute .

Career Education as well as economics department faculty can help guide students to promising internships and fellowships for their own research.

The Ruhlman Conference

Made possible by the Barbara Peterson Ruhlman Fund for Interdisciplinary Study, the Ruhlman Conference takes place each spring semester and is intended to foster collaboration among students and faculty across the disciplines and to enhance the intellectual life of the College. The conference celebrates intellectual life by sponsoring a communal, public event where students have an opportunity to present their work to an unusually wide audience. By providing an opportunity for public presentation of what is often a private, isolated activity, the conference demonstrates that research can be part of the ongoing conversation in a community of scholars.

Students in the Economics Department frequently participate in this conference as an invaluable opportunity to present the findings of their thesis research.