Tushi Baul

Home country: India

Job placement: visiting assistant research professor at New York University in Abu Dhabi; will also work as a consultant on a project called Digital Green in India – Patra, Bihar

Summer 2013 graduation - PhD in economics with special emphasis on behavioral/experimental economics

How did you get interested in economics?
In India you choose a field first, and your choices are more random and also fixed. I was thinking of economics as relating to the real world and to finance, which are areas that interest me. Even though I was a pure science student, I decided to switch to economics. I’ve liked this choice, and my attraction to it has gradually developed. I received my Masters in India.

Why did you come to ISU?
I wanted to come to Iowa State to study agricultural trade, but then completely switched my discipline to behavioral/experimental economics. I like the fact that there are so many different specializations in the department which makes for more opportunities to learn.

What are the strengths of the department, from your perspective?
Agricultural study is very good here as well as the environment. Overall, I got very good training and grounding in my work in behavioral/experimental economics and learned many strong things. The process of working on a PhD was honestly sometimes grueling, but it was also a good one.

Behavioral/experimental economics was completely new here to the department. I got interested in it because I like the idea of running experiments and working with data.

The group of students from my discipline were really good to work with, as well as our major professor. I enjoyed the friendships that we developed

Describe the nature of the work you’ll be doing once you graduate?
I’ll teach one course in math in economics, and will operate the social science/economics experimental lab, which is an interdisciplinary experimental lab. I’ll have the chance to work on research for myself and also to collaborate with others.

I’ll also be working on an experiment in Bangalore, India - a longitudinal study with a cohort of students to measure how their friendships impact their risk preferences, attitudes and competitiveness - or essentially how peers influence their behavior. I will work with Tanya Rosenblat on this, my major professor from the department.

Two of my other classmates from the department and I will continue to work with each other on another research topic. The positive relationships that we developed together over the years will really serve us into the future as researchers.