Fall 2019 Newsletter

Students Walking in Fog

Welcome to the Economics Department’s fall 2019 newsletter. We hope everyone has settled into the new school year and had a wonderful fall quarter. This issue serves as an informational guide for prospective and continuing graduate and undergraduate students, staff, faculty, and anyone interested in learning about what makes the University of California, Santa Cruz a respected and valuable institution to study economics. Fall 2019 highlights new faculty members, a new valued student worker in our department office, award recognitions, and various events that enhance the quality of the undergraduate experience at our university. For further information, please feel free to come in and visit our office in the Economics Department. We are located in room 401, Engineering 2 and are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon and 1:00-3:00 p.m. We are thrilled to have successfully started the 2019-2020 school year and look forward to what the future brings!

- Your Fall 2019 Economics Peer Advisers

Letter from the chair
Faculty highlight
New student assistant highlight
New graduate student cohort
Field study
Events recap
Future events
Our peer advisers
New t-shirt design
Summer courses
Stay connected

Letter from Chair Alan Spearot

Greetings from the chair’s office at UC Santa Cruz Economics! The 2019-2020 academic year has started off with many exciting developments in the department, including a new chair (though I’m biased on that assessment), new colleagues, and continued research excellence by our faculty and students.  

First, I’d like to first introduce myself as the new chair of the department. I have been at UC Santa Cruz since 2007, after completing my M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and my B.S.E. in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Deep down, I’m your typical midwesterner, though I’m thrilled to have settled in California and been given the opportunity to serve our diverse student body and faculty colleagues in the Economics Department. For research, I specialize in international trade and development. I’ve written a number of papers on tariff policy (so times are pretty interesting right now!), and I also have active projects studying trading frictions in rural Africa. I look forward to working hard for the department and university, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns about the department.

We’re extremely fortunate to have two new colleagues joining us this year. First, Assistant Professor Gueyon Kim joined us this fall after also completing her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and prior to that, her undergraduate studies at Seoul National University. Her specialty is labor economics and international trade, and she teaches international trade to both undergraduate and Ph.D. students. In the winter, we will be joined by Professor Galina Hale, who recently accepted a tenured appointment in the department. Galina received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, taught for a number of years at Yale University, UC Berkeley, and most recently spent a decade at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco as a research economist and scientific adviser. Galina is a specialist in international finance, and we look forward to her leadership in a traditional area of excellence within our department.

The department is also happy to announce a number of promotions. Natalia Lazzati, who specializes in micro-theory and econometrics, was promoted to associate professor with tenure. Justin Marion, who specializes in public economics, was promoted to full professor. Congratulations to Natalia and Justin!

This fall has been a busy one for the Economics Department, from “Meet the Firms” for accounting students to a new class of students in our masters program in applied economics and finance. The department continues to hold weekly workshops in applied microeconomics and macroeconomics, as well as a lunchtime brown bag on Wednesdays for faculty and students to present work in progress.

Faculty and graduate students continue to conduct research at the highest level and contribute to critical discussions regarding public policy. Professor Carlos Dobkin’s research on the effects of unexpected hospitalizations on financial well-being continues to inform the policy debate, even within a crowded democratic field with many competing issues. The Nobel Prize in economics was recently awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer, for pioneering the use of field experiments in development economics, an area where a number of department faculty and graduate students work. Associate Professor Jonathan Robinson studied under Duflo and Kremer, and collaborated with them on a study on why farmers in Africa may not adopt chemical fertilizer, which was mentioned in the Nobel announcement. He has continued the lineage of using field experiments by training a number of outstanding graduate students in this area. Dahyeon Jeong is one of these students, and is also on the job market this year. In his dissertation, he develops a digital labor market to be accessed on simple “feature” cell phones in rural Tanzania, and randomizes its introduction across two regions. He finds significant reductions in wage dispersion in treatment villages after introduction of the technology, which is clear evidence that rural labor markets are very fragmented and likely an impediment to productive allocation of resources.

In the spring, I hope to update everybody on planned curriculum enhancements to allow students to deepen their study of economics, especially in quantitative applications. The ability of firms and institutions to access and analyze data continues to expand, and the training that our department provides enables our graduates to make meaningful contributions in this area. We plan to expand our training in quantitative economics to ensure that our students can continue to work at the frontier of economics and data analysis.

Until then, best wishes to everybody for a safe and relaxing holiday season. Fiat Slug!

Faculty Highlight

Gueyon Kim
-Gueyon Kim

Two peer advisers had the opportunity to meet and interview Assistant Professor Guyeon Kim not only on where she came from before arriving here at UC Santa Cruz, but also on a more personal level. In the interview they found out that Professor Kim had experience working as a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her tutoring mainly focused on classes related to the Wisconsin School of Business. Professor Kim has been involved with teaching most of her life and becoming a professor and a researcher at UC Santa Cruz has fulfilled her aspirations. One of her role models who pushed her to become who she is today was her adviser, Professor Gwanghyun Shynne. Along with teaching, her other main focus is research. She enjoys researching the impact of trade on the labor market. UC Santa Cruz has proven to portray its vast and limitless research opportunities which is what brought her here. This quarter, Professor Kim is teaching an undergraduate course, Economics 140, International Trade. She will teach a Ph.D. course in the spring quarter related to her research. During her free time, Professor Kim finds yoga and playing the violin relaxing. She started playing the violin at the age of 10. She played the second violin in the orchestra in the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Advice Professor Kim provided for students is to take care of their well being and stay positive. Do not let obstacles bring down your mental and physical health.

Yin-Wong Cheung
-Yin-Wong Cheung

UC Santa Cruz Economics Professor Emeritus Yin-Wong Cheung is receiving an honorary doctorate from the Osnabrück University in Germany for his contribution to the understanding of the theory, empirics and policy discussion on the Renminbi exchange rate. Professor Cheung is currently Hung Hing Ying Chair Professor of International Economics, City University of Hong Kong.

New Student Assistant Highlight

Danica Huang
-Danica Huang

We are excited to welcome our new student worker, Danica Huang, who joined our team this past quarter. When asked about herself, she stated, “I am a third-year transfer student majoring in business management economics, and it is my first year in the Economics Department! I love learning languages and hope to apply them while traveling the world one day! When I’m not living in the library, I enjoy listening to various music genres, drinking tea, eating, cooking, and playing the piano.”


We are pleased to announce the hardworking economics students at the graduate and undergraduate levels who were recognized and earned awards for their academic achievements. These awards are made possible by the generosity of many donors and bring effusive joy to the recipients! We are grateful for their philanthropy and support of economics at UC Santa Cruz! (Additional information about donating can be found here.)

Ph.D. Graduate Student Research Awards

Ziyu He
-Ziyu He
Research project, "Radius of Convergence and Perturbation-Based Estimation of DSGE Models"

Naresh Kumar
-Naresh Kumar
Research project, "Reducing Intimate Partner Violence of Disadvantaged Women in Monrovia: An Experiment with Red Cross’s Women Training and Integration Program"

Jianan Liu
-Jianan Liu
Research project, "The Effect of Labor Market Density on Firm Wage Premium: Evidence from the Expansion of High-Speed Rail in Germany"

Liwei Liu
-Liwei Liu
Research project, "Efficiency-Enhancing Communication"

David Park
-David Park
Research project, "Reducing Intimate Partner Violence of Disadvantaged Women in Monrovia: An Experiment with Red Cross’s Women Training and Integration Program"

Undergraduate Student Awards

Economics Department Education Abroad Fellowship for Global Economics Majors

Alex Miller
-Alexander Miller

Economics Department Award in Global Economics

Charles Rauch
-Charles Rauch

New M.S. and Ph.D. Cohort

Here at UC Santa Cruz, our Economics Department offers two graduate programs: a master’s of science in applied economics and finance and a Ph.D. in economics. Fall 2019 saw our department welcome a new M.S. and Ph.D. cohort from a variety of locations. The M.S. program consists of 22 new students from India, China, and the United States. The Ph.D. program consists of 14 new first years, coming from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

We are excited to welcome and congratulate our newest graduate students who have decided to take the next step in their education here at UC Santa Cruz!

Field Study

Field study is offered every quarter to provide students the opportunity to earn academic credit while working in the local community or elsewhere (Economics 193). They also earn credit for the PR-S general education requirement. Students are responsible for finding their own internship where they can work in a professional business setting and learn valuable skills in an area of interest. This allows students to work hands-on with the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom. There is a two-unit, five-unit, and 10-unit option for field study. Each student is sponsored by an economics faculty member who provides support and guidance.

Orientations for field study are held every quarter. Be sure to attend one to find out more information about this great program. For more information and orientation dates, please refer to the Economics Field Study Program on our website. If you have any questions about field study, please email econintern@ucsc.edu.

Events Recap

Economics Welcome Back Social
Economics faculty, staff, graduate students, and peer advisers gathered to start the quarter off with a warm welcome. A brief introduction was provided by the new Department Chair Alan Spearot. The morning consisted of breakfast, research discussions, and socializing. This was a great opportunity to learn about faulty research interests and meet new people.

Meet the Firms
Meet the Firms provides job opportunities and internships for all economics majors looking to work for an accounting firm or government entity as an audit or tax associate. This event is not solely for students who are pursuing accounting. Most firms have career openings for other positions, such as advisory positions, data analytics and much more! This was a great opportunity to talk with recruiters in a professional environment and gain networking experience.

List of employers who attended:

Becker Professional Education
California Department of Tax & Fee Administration - Field Operations Department
Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP
Hayashi Wayland
Johanson & Yau
KPMG LLP - KPMG Silicon Valley
Marcum LLP
Moss Adams
Novogradac & Company LLP
Petrinovich Pugh & Co LLP
Seiler LLP
Sensiba San Filippo LLP
Squar Milner - Orange County

Graduate & Professional School Fair
The Graduate & Professional School Fair provided information for students planning to continue their education after receiving a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz. Representatives from graduate and professional school programs from the United States and abroad attended to provide students information and answer questions about graduate admissions, individual programs, and specific schools of interest.
If you are an undergraduate with graduate school in mind for the future or even someone simply looking to get more information, we highly recommend you attend this event in the future.

Fall Quarterly Faculty and Undergraduate Colloquium
As a partner at Sensiba San Filippo LLP and a lecturer for the Economics 111A/C, Intermediate Accounting courses, Scott Anderson is well versed on updates in corporate reporting. Scott delivered a presentation on the growing use of sustainability reporting within corporations. Currently, the United States does not require companies to include a report on their efforts toward sustainability, whereas other countries such as South Africa and India have been implementing these requirements for over 10 years. The report corresponds to three main subcategories: environmental, social, and governance. Since sustainability reporting is not yet required, why would companies opt into the extra responsibility? Throughout the past years private equity and venture capital firms have invested over $20 trillion into companies that are committed to sustainability. As this type of reporting continues to grow, so do new job opportunities. Many companies are looking to hire those with an understanding of compliance reporting, along with a background in environmental science. Although Scott is a certified public accountant, it’s important to note that sustainability reporting could be a viable occupation for the environmental studies and economics combined major.

Donuts with the Dean
The Donuts with the Dean event was an opportunity to network with Dean of Social Sciences, Katharyne Mitchell, about any aspect of what was currently going on at UC Santa Cruz. It could range from any topic such as academics, finances, social life, professional life, and even topics related outside of UC Santa Cruz. One of the topics that was discussed was the trend of funding and allocation of grants to each department throughout the school. A common theme that was examined was the understaffing and underfunding of departments on our campus. Another issue was the increasing admissions while being aware of the housing crisis. The City of Santa Cruz has had notable changes throughout the years such as the frequent power outages, construction on various parts of the city, and many more. All of these matters that were discussed portray the transparency and input of Mitchell. This was a great opportunity to discuss the depths of UC Santa Cruz and the city as a whole, while getting to know the face of the Social Science Division.

Fall Job & Internship Fair
The Fall Job & Internship Fair presented the opportunity to network with a variety of companies searching for full-time employees and interns. There was something for everyone, from science and technology, to nonprofits, local organizations, public service, and education. All class standings were welcomed to attend, including first-year students. It is never too early to search for valuable professional experience. This was a great occasion to find interests which you previously may not have considered. Another general job and internship fair will be hosted in the spring and we encourage all to attend.

List of employers who attended:

Aspire Public Schools - Aspire Teacher Residency at Alder GSE
Biotechnology Program - City College of San Francisco
California State Water Resources Control Board
City Year
County of Santa Cruz
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
Education for Change Public Schools
Encompass Community Services - Community Support Services
Enterprise Holdings
FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Mu Sigma Business Solutions LLC 
Peace Corps
Rocketship Public Schools
Ross Stores, Inc.
Santa Cruz Post Acute
Seneca Family of Agencies
Shaw Industries - Sales
Sherwin-Williams Company 
Summit Learning Teacher Residency
U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Diplomatic Security
UC Center Sacramento
Urban Teachers
YektaSonics Inc.

Ph.D. Graduate Career Seminar
Hosted by Ph.D. Candidate David Sungho Park, our new assistant professor, Gueyon Kim, met with Ph.D. students to share her experience and strategic advice on the Ph.D. job market for economists and graduate school.

The UC Santa Cruz M.S. Applied Economics and Finance Information Session 
The M.S. Applied Economics and Finance Information Session gave our students an opportunity to learn more about the program and to ask any questions they may have had. This program offers students a substantially more marketable degree for just one additional year of studying. The program prepares students with the skill set required to excel in data analytics, finance, and economics policy/consulting. To learn more about this program, please visit our website here.

Multicultural Advising Conference
The Multicultural Advising Conference takes place on campus each year to educate faculty and student advisers. UC Berkeley’s Interactive Theater group acted out an intense and emotional performance that highlighted the issues students and advisers face on a day-to-day basis. After the presentation was finished, advisers were asked to discuss ways they choose to advise. One of the important objectives discussed was how to ensure advice is coming from a professional standpoint and not from an implicit bias. It is important to remember that as advisers, students look to us for guidance and support. Developing positive and affirming habits is a process that will happen throughout your time advising. Overall, advising staff and faculty are committed to creating an inclusive and respectful environment to ensure all students are able to succeed and get unbias support.     

Future Events

Winter Quarterly Faculty & Undergraduate Colloquium
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 4:00-5:00 p.m., in Engineering 2, room 499
Guest speaker: Lecturer Kai Pommerenke

Government & Non-Profit Career & Internship Fair (sponsored by the Career Center)
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 2:00-5:00 p.m., in Merrill Cultural Center

Accounting Careers Path Information Session
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 5:30-7:00 p.m., location TBA

Spring Job & Internship Fair (sponsored by the Career Center)
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 1:00-4:00 p.m., in Rachel Carson West Field House

College Commencements
June 12–14, 2020 (Friday–Sunday)
Check your college website for details.

Our Peer Advisers

Did you know that the Economics Department has of a team of peer advisers ready to help anyone seeking to enhance their university experience? We encourage everyone to use this resource to ask questions, seek advice, and receive help to make informed, efficient decisions. 

Our full advising team consists of career undergraduate advisers and student peer advisers; our peer advisers are all undergraduate economics majors who are here to assist with making your college journey a little smoother. We speak from our own personal experiences and are extremely happy to help out anyone who seeks it. 

Our peer advising team also includes two lead peer advisers, Aruna Patel and Henry Lopez. Along with them, our other peer advisers are enrolled in a two-unit course designed to fully capture the peer advising experience. If you are interested in peer advising and have the enthusiasm and aptitude to help others, we typically accept applications every quarter and encourage you to apply!

Martin Barajas
-Martín Barajas 

Hello everyone! My name is Martín Barajas. I am a fifth-year transfer student majoring in business management economics with an emphasis in accounting. I transferred from Mt. San Antonio College, which is a community college located in the Southern California area near Cal Poly Pomona. Some fun facts about me are that I’ve studied abroad in Spain for three months before coming to Santa Cruz, and I also have an identical twin brother. My postgraduate plan is to hopefully get an offer with either a big four accounting firm or even a small firm and work with them while studying for my CPA exam.

Henry Lopez
-Henry Lopez (Lead)

Hey y’all, I’m a fourth-year pursuing the combined degree of economics and mathematics. This past summer I did an internship with Skywalker Properties as a Finance and Property Management Intern, and even had the chance to visit Skywalker Ranch for my orientation. My postgraduate interests consist of working within a financial institution, such as doing investment analysis, wealth management, or private equity. Outside of my academics and work, I love to play Super Smash Bros with my friends and go lifting if I’m able to get out of bed that day. As one of the lead peer advisers in the department, I’m happy to help anyone who comes into our office. 

Jacqueline Martinez
-Jacqueline Martinez

Hi folks! I’m a third-year business management economics major with an emphasis in accounting. I am also an RA for the Porter transfer community, so if you see me around feel free to come chat. This last summer I had an internship at Deloitte and really experienced what it’s like to be part of one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. In my spare time I like to make music, read, and hike. Hope to see you around!

Aruna Patel
-Aruna Patel (Lead)

Hello, my name is Aruna! I am a lead peer adviser in the economics department at UC Santa Cruz. I am a third-year student majoring in economics and computational mathematics. My postgraduate interests include a career in finance or data analytics. I plan to attain a master's degree in the future. I enjoy visiting new places, biking, running, playing the piano, and cooking new dishes.

Joseph Siu
-Joseph Siu

Hey guys! My name is Joseph Siu and I am currently a third-year doubling in business management economics and sociology. Some of my hobbies include running, watching movies, and baking. I am also a John R. Lewis College affiliate and am from Los Angeles. My post-graduate goal is to work in the television and film industry. In my later years, I hope to create my own non-profit to help fight climate change and world hunger.

Tim Tantivilaisin
-Tim Tantivilaisin

Hi, everyone! I am a fourth-year business management economics and technology & information management double-major affiliated with College Nine. Some activities I enjoy in my free time include fitness, violin, and programming. A few of my favorite musical artists are Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean. After I finish my undergraduate degree, I hope to continue on to graduate school for a master’s in applied economics.

Martin Trinh
-Martin Trinh

Hi, my name is Martin Trinh and I am a fourth-year majoring in business management economics and am affiliated with John R. Lewis College. I am originally from Riverside, CA and after graduation, I want to work in the field of sales. Some of my hobbies are playing video games and modifying cars.

Zhenghao (Tony) Zhou
-Tony Zhou

Hi, everyone! My name is Tony. I am a fourth-year student majoring in economics/mathematics combined. Fun facts about me is that I like spicy food and I like to play tennis during my spare time. My postgraduate plan is to go to graduate school in statistics or data science and to become a data analyst in the future.

New T-Shirt Design

Thanks to another friendly competition between the peer advisers, we are excited to announce a new t-shirt design! The t-shirt was designed by Aruna Patel and Tim Tantivilaisin and should be available for purchase in the advising office later on during winter quarter. Do not miss out on the opportunity to show your economics pride and buy your t-shirt while supplies last.

Summer Economics Courses

Enrolling in summer courses gives you an opportunity to take much smaller classes than in the academic year, it helps you get prerequisites and major requirements out of the way, and gives you a great excuse to spend the summer in the woods! Enrollment begins May 1st at summer.ucsc.edu.

Summer Session 1 (June 22 - July 24); Summer Session 2 (July 27 - August 28)

Economics Courses Offered Summer 2020
Econ 1 Introduction to Microeconomics {PE-H/IS}
Econ 2 Introduction to Macroeconomics {PE-H/IS}
Econ 10A Economics of Accounting I (online)
Econ 10B Economics of Accounting II (online)
Econ 100A-01 Intermediate Microeconomics
Econ 100A-02 Intermediate Microeconomics (online)
Econ 100B Intermediate Macroeconomics
Econ 101 Managerial Economics
Econ 113-01 Introduction to Econometrics {SR/Q}
Econ 113-02 Introduction to Econometrics {SR/Q}
Econ 125 Economic History of the U.S.
Econ 133 Security Markets & Financial Institutions (online)
Econ 136 Business Strategy
Econ 161A Marketing (online)
Econ 197-01 Economic Rhetoric {DC}
Econ 197-02 Economic Rhetoric {DC}

Stay Connected

Undergraduate students, please join our LinkedIn Group:  UC Economics

Master's students, please join our LinkedIn Group:  UCSC M.S. in Applied Economics and Finance

Doctorate students, please join our LinkedIn Group:  UCSC Economics Ph.D. Program

Alumni and students, please join the Career Advice Network (CAN) for free career advice.

Visit our Economics Department Calendar for upcoming events.

List of Classes for Winter Quarter