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Xiner Xu moved to the U.S. from China at the age of 18 to study at Cornell University. It was there, as an undergraduate majoring in economics and German studies, that she discovered her passion for microeconomic theory and econometrics. But it wasn’t until enrolling as a master’s candidate in the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy that Xu became fascinated by the unique problem posed by environmental and energy economics: the irrational behavior that can arise when consequences don’t necessarily show up in the short run, but often manifest in future generations.

Xu was also drawn by the interesting research analysis opportunities that come with the particularly massive datasets in the field of energy economics. As a Bartlett Fellow, she is working with Dr. Fiona Burlig, and EPIC Postdoctoral Fellow, to analyze data from hundreds of power stations in India. The team aims to evaluate the efficiency of the country’s energy market by deriving the marginal cost of each plant, from coal and nuclear to geothermal and beyond.

Currently waiting to hear back from PhD programs, Xu looks forward to applying her experience at EPIC toward a career as an economics researcher.

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