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:

2023 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 for 8.5 weeks from June 1 to July 28, 2023.

Students will be expected to work full time (35 hours) for 8.5 weeks and will receive a stipend of $4465. Students will receive a housing stipend that covers on-campus housing over the summer. Students will also receive a partial meal stipend that covers half of the meal costs. (Student fellows accepted into the program will be responsible for half of the meal plan over the summer, a total of $1000.00)

The Economics department is interested in hiring several 2023 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.

Student 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. (Some exceptions may apply; fellows should discuss the specifics with supervisors.)

Applicants should apply via workday and provide resume, unofficial transcript and a 250-word max cover letter expressing your interest 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. 

Applications received by Tuesday, February 28th will receive full consideration.


Summer 2023 Case Projects

Baafra Abeberese:

The Fellow will help with reviewing literature, cleaning and analyzing data from firm-level surveys from African countries, India and Indonesia for projects exploring constraints to firm growth. 

Qualifications: Knowledge of Stata (has taken Econ 203)

Tyler Giles:

The Fellow will assist with one or more research projects related to the economics of risky behaviors and/or the criminal justice system. Tasks may include background research on certain policies, data set construction, and preliminary data analysis.

Qualifications: The Fellow should be enthusiastic about research, have completed ECON 203, and feel confident they can build upon the Stata proficiency established in ECON 203.

Pinar Keskin:

The Fellow will help with reviewing economics literature and conducting preliminary data analysis for several early-stage projects on mental and physical health of children and adolescents in China.

Qualifications: Strong knowledge of basic econometric techniques (taught in Econ 203); familiarity with and strong interest in programming in Stata; excellent oral and written communication skills. Professional working proficiency in Mandarin is preferred but not required.

Kyung Park:

The Fellow will help with early-stage work on new research projects in the economics of discrimination. Tasks may include reviewing economics literature, doing background research on relevant policies, data collection, and conducting preliminary data analysis.

Qualifications: Experience with Stata (or Python or R) and web scraping

Casey Rothschild:

Fellows on project 1 would work with Casey Rothschild and Akila Weerapana to develop and refine materials related to Econ 101/2P and Econ 251 (WISE).

Fellows on project 2 would support Casey Rothschild with literature reviews and computational/theoretical modeling of insurance market dynamics.

Qualifications: Economics coursework at the 101 and 102 level. Experience with WISE is preferred but not required; a commitment to and passion for fostering inclusive excellence is a must.

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 and child mortality 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:

Project on the evolution of the gender gap in academia; project on the effects of self-promotion and research visibility on academic careers; project on the economics of beauty and appearance-based discrimination; help with curricular and administrative tasks.

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.

Sue Skeath:

The Fellow will be tasked with writing exercises, with answers, for a draft textbook for Econ 201.

Qualifications: Must have completed Econ 201.

Rachel Werkema:

Comparing elected and appointed school boards in major US cities. Continuing to build a database on school board/school committee composition in Massachusetts. Analyzing the College Board as a "firm" with major market power in the college application, financial aid, and high school curriculum "industries". Curricular development to update syllabus for Econ 204: Big Ideas in Economics (helping me evaluate what worked well, what could be revised after first time offering the class). Possible updating of written and on-line problem set questions for Econ 101.

Qualifications:  Basic understanding of economics (intro level knowledge). Enthusiasm for economics and education. No statistics/Stata required.


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.