Faculty grant

MSQE Alumni Networking Panel September 7, 2022

Tyler Terbrusch (MSQE December 2018) and John Rolfe (MSQE December 2019) participated in a virtual MSQE Alumni Networking Panel on September 7, 2022.

Tyler currently works at McLagan Data & Analytics, as a Consultant.  John currently works at Spreetail as a Senior Demand Planner.  They spoke highly of their MSQE training in Python, R, and Economic Theory, and gave several examples of how they use these skills in their current positions.  They recommended applying early and often for summer internships.

The panel was moderated by Professor Harmon.

Professor Baggio Awarded ‘Research Funding in Academic Themes’

Professor Michele Baggio (Economics) and Professor Mark Urban (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) have received a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences grant for ‘Research Funding in Academic Themes’

This funding, to “help to build new connections among CLAS scholars across units” in support of the goals of the CLAS Strategic Plan, has been awarded for their collaborative proposal On Infectious diseases and Climate Change: Evidence from the Lyme Disease.

Professors Agüero and Shor Receive CLAS Grant

Professors Jorge Agüero and Mike Shor have been awarded a grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for Research Funding in Academic Themes.

Funding is awarded to “individuals who are conducting research at a novel intersection of disciplines or to groups of faculty members working together to advance research stemming from a unique junction of their individual programs of scholarship.”

The project, titled “ ‘Résumé Overload’ and Heuristic Racism,” will use field experiments to examine whether job recruiters are more likely to employ implicit biases when selecting among an overwhelming number of job applicants than when facing a small, manageable number of applicants.

Professor Agüero and Professor Zhao receive CLAS Summer Funding

Professor Agüero and Professor Zhao have received CLAS Summer Funding for their research projects, respectively. Professor Agüero’s project will conduct an experimental intervention providing information about college scholarships to disadvantaged high school students in Peru to motivate their study efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic. The project has also received the approval of the Ministry of Education.

Professor Zhao received funding for his project titled “Health Inequality over the Life Cycle and Its Implications for Economic Well-Being”. In this project, Professor Zhao and his coauthors examine the relationship between health inequality and lifetime earnings inequality, paying close attention to the role of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in facilitating the tradeoff between health and economic well-being.

Professor Prakash receives CLAS Summer Funding

Professor Nishith Prakash (Economics) and Professor Kim Chaney (Psychological Sciences) have received CLAS Summer Funding for their project entitled “Proposal: Can “Guilt” Change Police Attitude towards Gender-Based Violence?” with co-PIs Sofia Amaral (ifo Institute), Girija Borker (World Bank), and Asmi Khushi (IFMR).

The project aims to implement a field experiment with 500-700 police officers in India using confrontation of mis-handled gender-based violence (GBV) cases as an intervention to evoke guilt, and in turn promote more positive future responses to GBV crime. It ties together insights and expertise in causal inference and field experiments from development economics, with the study of countering discrimination and prejudice from social psychology.

UConn Researchers Awarded Grant to Study Domestic Violence and COVID-19

UConn’s Nishith Prakash and Lindsey Buck, along with coauthors Maria Micaela Sviatschi and Sofia Amaral were awarded a $76,000 grant from Princeton in order to study COVID-19’s implications on domestic violence.

Project Title: Macroeconomic Shocks and Domestic Violence: Evidence from COVID-19


Domestic violence (DV), defined as stalking, rape, or physical violence, is a global problem with 35% of women worldwide reporting experiencing DV (WHO 2017). In this project, our goal is twofold. First, we aim to look at COVID-19 – a large macroeconomic and health shock — on an important outcome from a welfare perspective: domestic violence (DV). DV is an important outcome to study because it has large financial and health implications; DV survivors suffer reductions in earnings and poor health (Aizer, 2011) and the CDC spends $5.8bn annually on health costs related to DV (St. Jude House). Second, we also aim to test two interventions that are likely to determine pathways to aid victims of DV during a pandemic: one consists of providing labor market opportunities for women and a second one on providing information on how to identify and respond in DV cases. We will sample 4000 women in the U.S. on the M-Turk platform and collect information on their financial, emotional, and relationship stress levels. Then, we provide two interventions. The first treatment will provide information on the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), where trained advocates are available to talk confidentially and provide resources on DV. We will also provide the NDVH’s resources on healthy relationships, legal help, and conflict resolution. The second treatment will provide a cash transfer to women for completing tasks on M-Turk; in this way we will increase women’s labor market opportunities at home. Our results will shed light on two important questions: First, can information mitigate the effects of DV? Secondly, can labor market opportunities mitigate the effects on DV? Our goal is to look at the broad implications of COVID-19 on DV and illustrate policy opportunities to mitigate DV in the wake of an unprecedented macroeconomic shock.

More information on the project can be found here: https://www.eeassoc.org/index.php?site=JEEA&page=298&trsz=299 and in a recent article in UConn Today:

How will COVID-19 Affect Domestic Violence?

Associate Professor of Economics Nishith Prakash and graduate student Lindsey Buck are part of a research group that was awarded a $76,000 grant from Princeton University to study COVID-19’s implications on domestic violence. They will test two interventions that are likely to determine pathways to aid victims of domestic violence during a pandemic: One consists of providing labor market opportunities for women, and a second one that provides information on how to identify and respond in domestic violence cases.


CLAS Faculty and Students Shifting Work to COVID-19

Professors Prakash and Fiala receive 2017-2018 Research Excellence Funding

Professor Nishith Prakash and Professor Nathan Fiala have received 2017-2018 Research Excellence Program funding for their proposal:

Wheels of Change: Impact of Cycles on Female Education and Empowerment in Zambia

This funding will supplement Professor Prakash’s project studying the impact of bicycles on female education and empowerment in Zambia.

Professor Prakash Studies the Impact of Bicycles on Female Education and Empowerment in Zambia

Ken Couch Receives Research Grant from Social Security Administration

couchProfessor Kenneth Couch has received a research grant from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Couch will work with research staff at SSA to develop micro-simulation models that consider potential adjustments to the Social Security retirement benefit structure in response to increased longevity of Americans.  A key concern is distributional equity of benefits for groups with shorter life expectancies and disproportionate rates of poverty.

Professor Prakash Receives World Bank Grant

prakashProfessor Nishith Prakash has received a $200,000 Knowledge, Learning and Innovation grant through the World Bank in support of the research project Performance-Based Incentives for Students – Answering Design and Operational Questions in Zanzibar. This is a joint project with Dr. Shwetlena Sabarwal (World Bank) and Professor Asadul Islam (Monash University).

This project will provide clear guidance to the Government of Zanzibar on how best to design and operationalize a results-based financing (RBF) approach for improving student performance in early grades of the secondary cycle, thereby reducing the high levels of student drop-out before secondary completion.

To this end, the grant will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of performance-based incentives targeted directly at students. Within this broad question, the evaluation will also examine the relative effectiveness of (i) different RBF design choices; and (ii) different RBF operational choices for most effectively mainstreaming such incentives using country systems.

The interventions are a part of a Government-led pilot that is being intensively supported by World Bank and is expected to help define the design of a new education project for Zanzibar.

CCEA, Geography SUNSHOT DOE Award

 The Connecticut Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA, formerly CCEF) has asked CCEA to help developing a grant proposal for the Department of Energy (DoE) Sunshot Grant Program.  The objective of the grant is to provide tools and strategies to reduce the non-hardware costs of solar photovoltaic systems, and it is meant to be developed as a multi-phase multi-disciplinary program. The proposal involves a very broad cooperation with private entities and other institutions, among which CEFIA itself and Yale University.

CCEA with the support Prof. Willig (CESE) has recruited and will work along with the Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and the Dept. of Geography. UConn participants will be Prof. Fred Carstensen (CCEA, Director), Prof. Daniel Civco (CLEAR, Dirctor), Prof. Jeffrey Osleeb (Dept. Geography, Head) and Prof. Chuanrong Zhang (Geography). The proposal was one of the winners, and UConn has a proposed budget of about $149,000 for the first year, with additional $169,000 for Phase II, which will take place over two years.