EPIC welcomes a new class of fellows to the highly-competitive program which provides young researchers who have completed their bachelor’s degrees the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience in a full-time work environment under the guidance of EPIC-affiliated faculty and researchers.

Pranjal Drall

Pranjal Drall is a pre-doctoral fellow at EPIC. He is working with Professors Ryan Kellogg (Professor and Deputy Dean at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy) and Thomas Covert (Assistant Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business) on projects focusing on the relationship between misallocation of resources, firm learning, and lease terms on productivity in the U.S. fracking industry. Prior to starting at EPIC, Pranjal was a Tobin pre-doctoral fellow at Yale Law School where he worked with Deputy Dean and Professor Ian Ayres on a variety of applied micro projects at the intersection of law and economics on topics such as corporate finance, behavioral economics, and gun policy. He earned a bachelor’s in economics and math from Grinnell College in 2020 where he also played tennis. Pranjal’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of industrial organization and environmental economics. He is also interested in law and economics.

“I chose EPIC, and specifically Ryan and Thom, because of their focus on using structural methods to answer questions related to energy policy. By working with them, I will improve my structural estimation skills and learn how industrial organization researchers apply economic theory to data. While at EPIC, I also look forward to engaging with fellow pre-docs and the broader UChicago economics community. I strongly believe EPIC is the perfect place for me to develop my research agenda, improve as a researcher, and prepare for a PhD in economics.”

Bogdan Mukhametkaliev

Bogdan Mukhametkaliev is a pre-doctoral fellow at EPIC working for Director Michael Greenstone on energy and environmental economics projects. Born and raised in Izhevsk, Russia, Mukhametkaliev moved to the United States at the age of 18 to attend Brigham Young University (BYU). Majoring in Mathematics and Economics, he graduated with a double degree in April 2021. While at BYU, he was involved in research in areas of high-frequency finance, asset pricing, and public finance and in his econometric coursework, evaluated the effects of domestic violence decriminalization on its criminal prosecution. Mukhametkaliev plans to pursue a doctoral degree in economics or finance in the future.

“When looking for an opportunity to explore my research interests and hone my research skills, I found EPIC to be a perfect place where rigorous research aims to answer pressing policy questions. After meeting with Dr. Michael Greenstone and his team, I had no doubt that EPIC is an open and friendly community that really wants you to grow as a researcher.”

Kaixin Wang

Kaixin Wang is a pre-doctoral fellow at EPIC, working for Director Michael Greenstone on environmental economics projects. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Eeconomics and mathematicsMathematics . With research interests in microeconometrics and its application in environmental and energy policy, Wang wrote an honors thesis that studied the effect of wildfires on house prices in California.

“In a microeconometrics class I took in my third year of college, I learned how Professor Greenstone and other researchers used a regression discontinuity design to identify the effect of air pollution on life expectancy. I was so impressed by this innovative design that exploits the quasi-experimental variation in PM10 level generated by China’s Huai River policy and I hoped I could get involved in similar projects one day. At EPIC, I have the opportunity to apply econometrics methods I learned to further our understanding of the impact of pollution, climate change, and other pressing environmental issues. I look forward to learning more about the research process in economics and contributing to research at EPIC.”

Yixin Zhou

Yixin Zhou is a pre-doctoral fellow at EPIC. She is working with Koichiro Ito, an associate professor at the Harris School of Public Policy, primarily studying the Chilean electricity market. She earned bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University. She is interested in energy economics, particularly on how consumers respond to various environmental policies. In her senior thesis, she studied the impact of electric vehicle charging infrastructure on consumers demand of hybrid EVs and fully-electric EVs. While at Northwestern, Zhou also assisted in researching the industry origin of productivity growth slowdown in the United States.

“I chose EPIC because I found energy economics very exciting. I am also fascinated by the fact that rigorous econometric methods can concretely estimate the impact of policies and make important contributions to policy debates. My Project Investigator, Professor Ito, has impressive work on the electricity market, and he greatly values the development of his pre-docs. I really appreciate the opportunity at EPIC to learn about environmental policies, to get exposure to the actual empirical research process, and to grow as a researcher.”

To learn more about the program or apply, visit: https://www.epicpredoctoralfellowship.com/