Shuo Qi received the 2021 Cobb Fellowship after the Economics Department faculty voted that her third year research paper was the strongest among her fellow classmates. The fellowship provides funding for the 4th year of the PhD program and removes any teaching assistant or research assistant responsibilities so the recipient can focus as much as possible on their dissertation progress.
Shuo’s third year paper will hopefully form the basis of her first dissertation chapter. Her paper examines the broad issue that people’s economic decisions are partly determined by the economic decisions of those in their social network. For example, a farmer may decide whether or not to use a new fertilizer in part because of the decisions of his neighbors. In the context of this example, Shuo’s paper builds an empirical model that disentangles the impact on the farmer’s decision to use the new fertilizer between the effect of the new fertilizer being made available versus the effect coming from the influence of his neighbors fertilizer choice. Further, her empirical model does this even if the empirical researcher does not have data on the social networks of the farmers!
Ultimately, Shuo has a very exciting and ambitious research agenda for her dissertation! Congratulations on your Cobb Fellowship!