Department of Economics


Welcome New Faculty

Nastassia Krukava

Nastassia Krukava

Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2017

Macroeconomics, Firm Dynamics, Misallocation of Resources, Analysis of Health Insurance and Health Care Policies

Nastassia joined the Department of Economics at Indiana University in July 2017. Her primary responsibilities include teaching an undergraduate course in Statistical Analysis for Business and Economics. Her research focuses on inefficiencies generated by the system of employer-sponsored health insurance on the production side of the economy. Nastassia earned her BA in Economic Cybernetics from Belarus State Economic University (Belarus) in 2003, MS in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and her PhD (jointly with MS) in Economics from Arizona State University in 2017. Prior to joining Indiana University, Nastassia also held a faculty position at Belarus State Economic University and a researcher position at the Economic Research Institute of the Ministry of Economy of Belarus.

Nick Snow

Nick Snow

Ph.D., George Mason University, 2012

Political Economy of Prohibition

I received my Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in 2012 where I wrote my dissertation under Peter J. Boettke. My research interests are primarily on the political economy of prohibition but I am also interested in Austrian economics, law and economics, public choice theory, history of economic thought, and constitutional political economy.

My first two years out of graduate school I was senior lecturer in the department of economics at The Ohio State University. I taught several courses there including Issues in the Undeground Economy, Government and Business, Economics of Crime, Economics of War, Honors Principles of Microeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Current Economic Issues in the United States.

From 2014 to 1016 I was a visiting asssistant professor in the department of economics at Kenyon College where I taught new courses such as the economics of regulation, principles of micro and macroeconomics, and constitutional political economy. I also taught my first seminars on black markets, economics of crime, and American Economic History.

Last year I was a visiting assistant professor in the department of economics at Wabash College. Starting this Fall I will be joining the Department of Economics at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

May 28, 2017

W. Phillip Saunders The Department of Economics announces with sadness the passing of Professor Emeritus and former chair of the department W. Phillip Saunders.

Phil was a colleague who continually put social responsibility ahead of self-interest. In addition to being instrumental in a large number of professional organizations, he served as Department Chair from 1988-92 and as Associate Dean in the College from 1974-1978.

Phil always had a kind word and was more than generous with his time. His contribution to the Department went well beyond Ballantine Hall and Wylie Hall. He was a wonderful role model to both junior faculty and graduate students, from his approach to teaching introductory economics to his participation on the departmental softball team up until he retired. His personal generosity funded an award to honor the department’s best student instructors. Very simply, he cared deeply about his colleagues and students.

Phil’s sense of giving back to the community continued after his retirement. With his wife, Nancy, he played a major fund raising role in the Shalom Community Center, a Bloomington organization that provides services for the homeless. After Nancy passed away, Phil and his family created the “Nancy Saunders Almost Awesome Tennis Tournament,” which raised thousands of dollars in support of the Shalom Center.

Phil will very much be missed by his students and colleagues. His passing leaves a big hole in the Department and in the Bloomington community.

-- Robert Becker, James Walker, Willard Witte

April 10, 2017

Derek Wenning, a junior in the economics department, and Chase Abram, a sophomore in the economics department, recently participated in an undergraduate paper contest and conference at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Bowling Green, Ohio. Derek’s paper, titled “Comparative Analysis of Simultaneous Ascending Auctions and Combinatorial Auctions,” considers various multi-unit auction designs and applies the results to the relative efficiency and revenue gains with regard to spectrum license auctions. Chase’s paper, “Individual Strategy Choice in Electoral Decisions With Up to Three Options,” constructs a game-theoretic model to understand optimal voting strategies from an individual’s perspective in a simple majority election, both with and without a campaigning allowance.

Derek and Chase were among 14 of the applicants selected to present papers at the conference, which was held on April 8, 2017. Prizes were awarded to the top four papers, as well as the best three presentations. Of these awards, Chase’s paper was awarded second place, and his presentation won first place. Additionally, Derek was awarded second place for his presentation. Collectively, Indiana University took home the most awards of any university in attendance!

Accompanying Chase and Derek were Yong Cho, a junior in the economics department, and Chandler Inman, a sophomore in the economics department, both of whom provided support for Derek and Chase and represented Indiana University well through asking insightful questions of many of the presenters.

Comparative Analysis of Simultaneous Ascending Auctions and Combinatorial Auctions
Individual Strategy Choice in Electoral Decisions With Up to Three Options
Individual Strategy Choice in Electoral Decisions Presentation
January 31, 2017

WSJ write-up of Gustavo Torrens article, How Kids Displaced Dads as Rulers of the Household. »

January 18, 2017

Maggie Jacobson, a third-year Ph.D. student in the economics department, presented her new paper “Recovery in 1933” at a poster session at the American Economic Association meetings in Chicago in January 2017. The paper, co-written with Eric M. Leeper (also at Indiana) and Bruce Preston (at University of Melbourne), offers a new explanation for the remarkable initial recovery from the Great Depression that was triggered by President Roosevelt’s decisions to leave the gold standard in April 1933 and to greatly expand federal government emergency relief spending financed by selling government bonds. Roosevelt made clear that the policy was state-contingent: he intended to run debt-financed fiscal deficits until economy-wide prices and employment rose sufficiently.

In this interview , Maggie describes this research and highlights its key lessons for policymakers today.

September 27, 2016

Charles L. Schultze, a Top Economic Adviser to Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson, Dies at 91 »

From 1959 to 1962 Charles L. Schultze was an Assistant Professor at Indiana University »

August 26, 2016

Starting the new academic year in (with) good Cardinal Spirits

August 1, 2016

“The Distributional Efficacy of Collaborative Learning on Student Outcomes,” by Kim Huynh, David T. Jacho-Chavez, and James K. Self, was chosen by The American Economist editorial board to receive the third annual “Michael Szenberg Prize for the Best Article Published in The American Economist” during 2015. »

July 11, 2016

Professor Leeper co-organizes conference at the University of Chicago on monetary and fiscal policy interactions. »

May 12, 2016

Walter Professor of Financial Economics

On Monday April 11, 2016 at the Annual Departmental Awards Ceremony the Economics Department announced that Professor Todd Walker,, was named the Walter Professor of Financial Economics. Professor Walker joined the Department in 2006. He currently serves as Director of Graduate Studies. His research focuses on macroeconomics, econometrics and financial economics. His research on how different information sets of traders in financial markets influence prices and actual trading has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Professorship was endowed by a generous gift by Ralph Walter. Walter, a Chartered Financial Analyst, earned his MA from Economics at Indiana University in 1972, joined Kayne Anderson Rudnick in 2000 and served as chief operating officer and treasurer. He retired from this position in December, 2015. Previously he was Chief Administrative Officer at The Chicago Corporation and its successor ABN AMRO, Inc. He has served or is still serving on numerous nonprofit boards, including Knox College, Exceptional Children's Foundation, CASA of Los Angeles, Zocalo Public Square, and the California State Historical Society. In his retirement he has been appointed a research associate at the Research Centre in Victorian Political Culture at Keble College, Oxford.

April 11, 2016

On Monday April 11, 2016 at the Annual Departmental Awards Ceremony the Economics Department announced that Professor Todd Walker was named the Walter Professor of Financial Economics.

March 25, 2016

Hans Klemm, Stanford University (MA, International Development Policy) and Indiana University (BA, Economics and History) talked with students from the Economics Department, Friday March 25th. In his discussion he touched on his career experience rising from the ranks of the junior Foreign Service to his current position as the U.S. Ambassador to Romania. In addition to sharing his personal experience in the service Hans talked about the selection process for the Foreign Service, the five Career Tracks available to Foreign Service Officers (FSO’s), the relationship between the U.S. and other countries such as China and Russia, as well as the impact our current foreign policy may have on potential applicants. »

March 22, 2016

The IU Department of Economics took education beyond the classroom during the 2016 Spring Break trip. The Miami Career Trek Program gave a group of undergraduate students the opportunity to connect with IU Alumni, network with professionals, and gain exposure to a variety of major industries in the culturally diverse and economically dynamic environment of Miami, Florida. »

November 21, 2015

The Department of Economics was pleased to host Robert Neus, Diplomat in Residence, US Department of State on November 13. Over a delicious pizza luncheon he shared his knowledge of the large variety of internships, career tracks available through the Foreign Service as well as his experience of the Foreign Service life style. Lunch was followed by small group conversations. It was delightful to see the students' enthusiasm for service in the Department of State. Pictured the students who attended the luncheon with Robert Neus.

November 17, 2015

IU Department of Economics hosted the U.S. Russia Foundation’s Improving Economics Instruction Program

The two-week program (October 25 through November 6, 2015) was organized by Michael Kaganovich in collaboration with IU's Russian and East European Institute. It was made possible, for the second year in the row, by a competitively obtained grant from the U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF), a US non-profit organization with a mission “to support the long-term economic development of Russia's market economy”. The program hosted twelve economics instructors from regional universities from across Russia selected by the USRF.

The program provided the Russian participants with a comprehensive overview and experience in the teaching curriculum and methodology in economics at IU, which is distinguished by student-centered approach, significant focus on student-instructor interaction and feedback, and a particular focus on developing conceptual understanding and theory’s relevance for applications. It consisted of seminars and discussions conducted by several of our faculty on subjects such as the structure of degree requirements in economics, curricula and teaching methods in introductory and gateway classes of the undergraduate major, classroom technology, the system of preparation of our Ph.D. students for their instructional roles. The program also included visitation of numerous classes taught in the department. The participants as well USRF administration expressed praise for the program and interest in its continuation in future years.

November 15, 2015

Brazilian institutions have responded well to political crisis

Country’s economy looks bad but some things have turned out better than expected, writes Lee Alston »

September 22, 2015

Amanda Michaud Amanda Michaud and David Wiezer co-organized a workshop on Low-Skilled Labor Markets and the Macroeconomy sponsored by CAEPR and FRB-St. Louis. The objective was to bring together a group of economists working in the area and united by a common methodology of thorough empirical work combined with rigorous theory. Top scholars, junior researcher, and PhD students shared their research and provided critical feedback to one another. The small group setting facilitated the development of bonds that will lead to continued collaboration that will hopefully result in breakthroughs in this area. Program.

September 22, 2015

Eric Leeper Professor Eric Leeper was invited to give a paper at the Jackson Hole Symposium. The Jackson Hole Symposium is an annual meeting, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where academics, policymakers, and practitioners meet to discuss the latest developments in monetary economics and monetary policy. The symposium is a veritable gathering of “Who’s who in the Economics of Monetary and Fiscal Policy”. This year's symposium, held on August 28 and 29, studied “Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy”. The agenda with links to papers and speeches is available at

Margaret Jacobson Congratulations to Maggie Jacobson on her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

May 18, 2015

Robert W. Campbell The Department of Economics announces with sadness the passing of Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former chair of the department Robert W. Campbell.

Welcome New Faculty

Ahmad Lashkaripour

Ahmad Lashkaripour

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 2014

International Trade, Economic Development, Industrial Organization

Ahmad Lashkaripour received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in 2014. He also holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Sc. in Economics from Sharif University of Technology, in Iran. Ahmad’s research interests lie at the intersection of International trade, Economic Development and Industrial Organization. His work seeks to explain why developing nations trade very differently from the developed. In his most recent work, he demonstrates the welfare improving effects of trade liberalization in the developing countries.

John Stone

John Stone

Ph.D. Indiana University, 2012

Economics of Education, Economic Growth and Inequality

John Stone joined the Economics department at Indiana University in August 2014. His primary responsibilities include teaching undergraduate Econometrics and International Trade courses. His research focuses on areas related to the Economics of Education in primary and secondary schooling, as well as questions surrounding Economic Growth and Inequality. Prior to joining Indiana University, John held a faculty position at Weber State University for two years. John completed a Bachelor’s of Arts in Mathematical Economics at the University of Kentucky in 2006. He completed graduate school at Indiana University in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Economics.

Ruli Xiao

Ruli Xiao

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2014

Industrial Organization, Microeconometrics and its application

My research focuses on both empirical industrial organization and micro-econometrics and its applications. My recent papers investigate the nonparametric identification and estimation of finite action games with multiple equilibria and/or unobserved market-level heterogeneity. I was born in China, and received my B.S. in Statistics from Tongjing University and M.A. in Economics in Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Ph.D. in Economics from Johns Hopkins University in 2014.

Jordan River Conference and Dinner in Honor of Chris Cunningham

Chris Cunningham will retire on May 31, 2014 after 43 years of service to the economics department. She has been the graduate secretary for more than 30 years. The department and our many (current and former) graduate students will miss Chris' vast knowledge, compassion, tireless work ethic, but will continue counting her among the closest of friends. We would like to celebrate Chris’s contributions to the department by dedicating this year’s Jordan River Conference (JRC) to her. The JRC is an annual conference that showcases research papers of our students and is on Friday May 2nd this year.

Jordan River Conference Reception in Honor of Chris Cunningham The JRC will close with a reception dedicated to Chris in the Federal Room at the Indiana Memorial Union from 5pm to 7pm. The reception is open to all conference participants, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students. If you plan to attend, please RSVP by Monday, April 28th to

Dinner to celebrate the service and retirement of Chris Cunningham Finally, the celebration will continue with a dinner in Chris’s honor at 7:30pm in the Georgian Room at the Indiana Memorial Union. This dinner is also expected to help in fundraising for the Chris Cunningham Graduate Fellowship fund. If you plan to attend, we propose a voluntary contribution of a minimum of $100 per person. We also ask that you please RSVP by Monday, April 28th to

Carrington Scholars Fund in Economics Established

We are proud to announce that IU Economics alumni Hearst "Carey" Carrington (BA '77) and Christopher Carrington (BA '83) have established the Carrington Scholars Fund in Economics. The fund will annually provide three $5,000 competitive scholarships to undergraduate students entering their senior year majoring in Economics and one $5,000 competitive graduate fellowship for a doctoral student in Economics at the dissertation stage.

Welcome New Faculty

Gustavo Torrens

Gustavo Torrens

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Washington University, 2013

Gustavo Torrens' research centers on Political Economy, Economic Development and International Economics. He is not only interested in understanding how institutions influence economic outcomes, but also the determinants of institutions and institutional change. He does theory as well as applied work, including lab experiments. In particular, there are three lines of research in which he has focused his work: (i) economic structure and institutions, (ii) political economy of the media industry, and (iii) political institutions and fiscal policies. He has published in Journal of Public Economic Theory and Public Choice. Gustavo received his B.A. from Univervidad Nacional de Rosario, his M.A. from Univesidad del CEMA and his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mostafa Beshkar

Mostafa Beshkar

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2008

International Trade Policy, Law and Economics, Industrial Organization

Dr. Beshkar’s research and teaching interests center on International Trade, with a special emphasis on trade agreements and institutions for international trade cooperation. Much of his research employs game-theoretic models to study different aspects of economic cooperation among sovereign states. His research has been published in The Journal of International Economics and The European Economic Review. He was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1979. He received his B.S. and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Amir Kabir University and Sharif University in Tehran, and a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 2008.