Professor Adam Rosen Brings Microeconometrics Expertise to Duke Econ

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How can we use data to answer questions and draw conclusions about the world around us, and in particular on the behavior of economic agents? What can we conclude for example about how individuals’ purchasing decisions will respond to changes in prices or tax rates? Who will be most affected and why?

These questions are at the heart of Professor Adam Rosen’s research in the field of microeconometrics.

“What makes this area interesting to me is that at its core, this is really about learning,” he said.

As a microeconometrician, he develops tools that empirical microeconomists use to answer real-world questions of economic interest: “This combines the use of probability and statistics for the sake of sound data analysis with economic models that are often developed in the absence of data.

Rosen’s childhood interest in math is what initially drew him to econometrics. He further developed this while at Cornell, where he would go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics with a concentration in computer science.

“I discovered economics as an interesting and practical discipline to which the formalism afforded by math can be usefully applied,” Rosen said. “During my Ph.D. studies at Northwestern I was inspired by the path-breaking research of Professor Charles Manski on partial identification, which ultimately led me to focus on microeconometrics.”

Rosen recently joined Duke’s Department of Economics from University College London. “Duke Economics stands out for its strong econometrics group as well as its outstanding mix of empirical researchers and theorists,” he said. “The combination of specialties across subfields is a real strength.”

This spring he will be teaching a master’s-level advanced special topics course on microeconometric tools (ECON 690), which will prepare students for using applied economics in the private sector, for government policy work, or for future research in a Ph.D. program.