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- Meet EPIC's Pre-Doctoral Fellows: Michael Galperin
Michael Galperin’s interests in environmental and energy topics developed during his undergraduate study at the University of Chicago. His senior year, he enrolled in a course taught by Anjali Adukia on Education Policy in Development Contexts. Though he was already studying economics, the class showed him how economic analysis and tools can be used to improve the living condition of the world’s poor. “The combination of these interests brought me to apply to work at EPIC, which engages in a broad variety of energy and development projects,” he said.
Now Michael is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at EPIC, working on a variety of research projects with Michael Greenstone. Currently, he is working on a project that examines whether changes made in administrative structure within a state electricity company in India could increase rates of payment for electricity.
“Development projects aimed at increasing energy access often invest heavily in physical infrastructure such as generation and transmission lines. However, this alone may not be enough to increase access if the institutions responsible for energy distribution are inefficient, corrupt, or unprepared for expansion,” Michael explained. “This strand of research is one of a number of EPIC projects emphasizing the importance of policy and institutional design in increasing energy access.”
Michael’s previous experience involves an internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a research assistantship with UChicago Professor Marianne Bertrand. He is most interested in questions of development and political economy as they relate to energy access.
During his fellowship at EPIC, Michael looks forward to being exposed to a broad variety of research topics that will allow him to explore his academic interests and prepare him for graduate school.
“I hope to refine my academic interests and become exposed to exciting new ideas as I begin my research career,” he explained. “Working with Michael [Greenstone] is great, because he is very invested in the personal development of his RAs. He is always recommending papers for us to read, and encourages us to work fairly independently and take an active role in the development of our projects.”