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About Me:
I am an Assistant Professor of Economics at Reed College.

Fields:
Macroeconomics, Behavioral Economics, Economics of Inequality

Education:
Ph.D. University of Oregon (2018)
M.A. Boston College (2013)
B.A. Xavier University (2011)
 

Contact Information:
Phone: (419)-341-5552
Email: nighswander@reed.edu


References:
Shankha Chakraborty (Chair)
Mike Kuhn
David Evans
Jeremy Piger

 


Research Interests:
I am a behavioral macroeconomist interested in the application of large scale heterogeneous agent models to address pervasive questions in the macroeconomic literature pertaining to inequality and investment in higher education. In my Job Market Paper, I utilize computational methods in a quantitative life cycle model to better understand the role played by behavioral biases in general equilibrium. My primary research interest lies in understanding the extent to which observed inequality is dictated by initial conditions relative to luck, skill, and effort applied over one's working life. It is my belief that this question cannot be properly addressed without a holistic understanding of the types of preferences that matter in general equilibrium as well as an understanding of how individuals optimally sort into different education levels. Given the significant rise in income and wealth inequality since the late 1970s, coupled with a dramatic increase in college tuition and enrollment since the early 1990s, a more complete understanding of the root of inequality and education investment is of paramount importance for a myriad of policy agendas.