Students from across the globe presented original economics research at the 12th annual Carroll Round, an international economics undergraduate research conference held on campus this weekend.
The conference featured 28 student presentations on topics including economic theory, finance and development. Presenters were selected from a pool of 110 applicants, and came from countries including the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Singapore.
Hadi Elzayn, a student at Columbia University, presented his thesis on gentrification and integration in Chicago.
“I have already started looking at segregation in other cities and there are some really interesting patterns,” Elzayn said. “I think in this context of race and the role it has played in U.S. history it is very interesting to look at from this sort of lens.”
Stanford professor John Taylor and Princeton professor Janet Currie delivered the keynote lectures. Taylor is known for creating the Taylor rule, a monetary policy that relates inflation, interest rates and other economic conditions. Taylor explained how a higher level of economic freedom and limited monetary intervention will help restore growth — the topic of his new book — in his lecture Friday.
Currie gave a speech Saturday titled “Causes and Consequences of Health in Early Life,” discussing the connection between health at birth and success later in life and presenting evidence that poorer mothers have less healthy children, a legacy that follows these children throughout their lifetimes.
Conference adviser and School of Foreign Service Dean Mitch Kaneda stressed the relevance of the conference to Georgetown as a whole.
“It has the effect of putting Georgetown on the map as a place for excellence in undergraduate economics,” Kaneda said.
Carroll Round steering committee chair Glenn Russo (COL ’13) highlighted the conference as a key opportunity for undergraduate research at Georgetown.
“Institutionally, we have become a big part of undergraduate research on campus,” Russo said. “Our mission is to make sure undergraduate research stays central to the campus, specifically in economics, and to make sure any student interested in research has the ability to do that.”
Kaneda added that Carroll Round has increased professors’ awareness of undergraduate research.
“At the undergraduate teaching level, it has made professors notice that undergraduates can do original research,” Kaneda said. “It may have helped in creating a trend among professors to expect more from the undergraduates.”
According to Russo, the conference, which originally included only American students, has grown in popularity, attention and scope.
“I think we consistently improved the number and quality of applications every year,” Russo said.
Carroll Round steering committee members said they hoped the conference would inspire future generations to push the boundaries of economic knowledge to further the inquisitive spirit of Georgetown students.
“We really encourage undergraduates to engage in research,” Carroll Round steering committee member Heather Hedges (SFS ’14) said. “The whole idea is to get students working with professors and outside organizations to do some really cool economic research. It embodies everything that Georgetown stresses when you come here to be a student. It is the culmination of being a student.”
Leyla Mocan, a student from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania presented her thesis on education reform in Turkey and its impact on wages. Mocan was impressed by the high quality of the conference presentations.
“I think it’s a unique experience to be with so many people who are so accomplished,” she said. “The level of confidence of the work is really there.”
Macalester College student Alexandra Indarte won an award for best paper, while Phoebe Kotlikoff of the United States Naval Academy earned best participant. The Kaneda Award for Outstanding Young Economist went to Yi Jie Gwee of the London School of Economics.