Research is an excellent way to both deepen your knowledge and prepare you for a career as a professional economist.
Economics majors work on both independent and collaborative research projects during the school year and summer. Examples from Summer 2016 include:
“Examining the Relationship between Facility Readiness and Facility Based Deliveries in Ghana,” Zawadia LeFang (Mentor: Diana Ngo)
“Trade Finance During the Great Recession,” Harrison Luft (Mentor: Jesse Mora)
“Does Federal Financial Aid Raise College Tuition?,” Trevor Osaki (Mentor: Robert Moore)
“Influences of Deception: Examining Lie Aversion,” Preston Harry (Mentor: Brandon Lehr)
“Racetrack Betting and the Favorite-Long Shot Bias,” Samuel Cua (Mentor: Brandon Lehr)
“Assessing the efficiency level of health facilities in Ghana,” Eva Yiyun Wang (Mentor: Diana Ngo)
“Historical events and Prussian bond prices, 1808-1830,” Maile Kawasaki (Mentor: Kirsten Wandschneider)
You should consult your advisor or a professor who specializes in your field of interest about possible research opportunities. In addition, consider the following sources of funding:
Summer Research Program
The objectives of the summer research program at Occidental are to:
- Sponsor faculty/student collaborative research
- Provide an academic alternative to nonacademic summer jobs
- Increase students' preparation for leadership roles in professions and/or public service
- Create an intellectual community, with opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange
- Enrich the academic experience of our most capable and promising students
- Encourage good students, especially students from under-represented groups, to consider careers in the scholarly professions
Additional Information: URC
Academic Student Project (ASP) Grant
The College maintains a fund for support of small academic projects performed by full-time degree-seeking students during the academic year. In addition, a limited amount of funding is available for students to attend conferences for presentation of results of academic projects.
Additional Information: URC
Bennett W. Schwartz Fund
The Schwartz Fund is an endowment that was given to the College in memory of Bennett Schwartz, a member of the class of 1972 who was an economics major and who undertook significant independent studies in finance. The endowment is used in a variety of ways. For example, we use it to sponsor the award that goes to the outstanding senior major and to pay for the expenses of students flying to the meetings of the American Economic Association to interview candidates in economics faculty searches.
The most frequent use of the Schwartz Fund is "to support students in significant learning experiences outside the classroom in the areas of economics, investment and/or finance." Schwartz Awards have helped students attend conferences (by paying for registration fees and/or travel expenses) and have supported students doing independent studies in economics and finance around the country and around the world. Recent grants have allowed students to travel to Jordan, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela, but you don't need to travel to get a grant. One student recently studied the gentrification of Eagle Rock and its impact on the local real estate market! Schwartz grants also can be used to support internships in finance, to do research with faculty members, and to undertake independent research over Spring break.
How can you get a Schwartz Grant? You will need to do is to write up a one-page proposal of what you'd like to do and submit it to Professor Studenmund along with a budget. Schwartz grants can be anywhere from $100 to $3500, depending on the proposal, and applications are funded on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline.
John Parke Young Fund Student Grants
The Department of Diplomacy & World Affairs is pleased to announce the availability of financial support, made possible through the John Parke Young Fund, for full-time DWA and Economics majors to conduct independent research, undertake internships, and to participate in conferences, colloquia, or workshops. Projects must be related to global politics and/or international economics to be eligible for support. Funds are available for short-term travel during the academic year and longer-term projects pursued over summer or winter breaks. Young grants will be awarded to students on a competitive basis, based on an application process and review by the Young Student Research Committee.
Additional Information: here
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