Search Search

November 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Meet the 2016-2017 Linde Institute Graduate Fellows

The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) is pleased to introduce its graduate fellowship recipients for the 2016–2017 academic year. Funding for these fellowships comes from The Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences (The Linde Institute) and the HSS Chair's Council, as well as the Resnick Sustainability Institute at Caltech. Four of the five graduate fellows are in their fifth year in HSS's social sciences PhD program and are currently on the job market.     

Linde Institute Fellows

Tatiana Mayskaya summarizes her research as follows: "There are many situations where an individual has the opportunity to use different sources to gather costly information before choosing among a set of alternatives. As economists, we mostly care about the final choice of such an individual. However, this choice depends on how this individual learns—specifically which information source he uses and how much. I study the learning process from a theoretical point of view. The main goal of my research is finding the optimal learning strategy under the assumption that the individual can change the sources during the information collection as often as he wants."

Jun Zhang is broadly interested in microeconomics and game theory, with a special focus on matching theory. He is currently working on a project that studies the effect of heterogeneous sophistication on students' behavior in public school choice. Zhang plans to evaluate the performance of the mechanisms running in practice and to provide policy suggestions based on his research.

HSS Chair's Council Fellows

Welmar Rosado-Buenfil examines elections and public finance, with research interests that include political economy, voting behavior, and applied econometrics. His job market paper, titled "Political Credit Rating Cycles: Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections in Mexico," investigates whether credit rating agencies adjust the timing of their rating announcements as a function of the electoral calendar. He has developed a formal model of the political credit rating game and constructed a database of credit ratings of Mexican states to estimate panel models for gubernatorial elections in Mexico for 2005 to 2015. According to Rosado-Buenfil, "Both formal and empirical results indicate that credit rating agencies delay announcing rating downgrades until after elections, especially when elections are very competitive."

Myungkoo Song studies how incentive schemes—pay-for-performance and promotion—interact with each other and affect executive behavior. He explains, "In particular, I focus on when promotion incentives can contribute to the rise in CEO compensation and the widening wage gap between CEO and other top executives. Moreover, I study what is the proper measure of promotion incentives."

Resnick Sustainability Institute Graduate Research Fellow

Hao Zhao is currently in his third year in Caltech's social sciences PhD program. The Resnick Sustainability Institute awarded Zhao a graduate fellowship to continue his research analyzing underground water management rules across various basins in California. This research requires a thorough understanding of hydrological conditions of underground basins as well as the engineering constraints in groundwater monitoring and transfer. Zhao aims to develop feasible strategies for sustainable and efficient water management, particularly with respect to drought conditions in California.