Category: Alumni

Prizes for Academic Excellence in the Economics Master’s Program awarded to Xiao Yang and Beixi Zhou

May 16th, 2014 in Alumni, Graduate Programs News, MA Student Achievements

The first Prizes for Academic Excellence in the Economics Master’s Program were awarded this year to Xiao Yang and Beixi Zhou.  Xiao, a graduate of the MA program, was an outstanding student in courses both in the Economics Department and in Mathematics.  During his time in the program, he worked as a research assistant for Professor Jianjun Miao and carried out an outstanding math project entitled “Fractals and the Evolution of Political Beliefs.”  Next year, he will begin work on his PhD in Economics at the University of Chicago.  Beixi is receiving her BA in Economics and Mathematics along with an MA in Economics.  She also took numerous PhD courses in Economics while in the program, including the first year Microeconomics as well as Health Economics.  Next year, she will begin work on her PhD in Economics at New York University.  Funding for this award was provided by alumni Randy Cohen, Brian Herr, Michael Kheyfets, and Michelle Meyer.

Alumna Julie Shi coauthor on finalist paper in NIHCM Foundation’s Annual Health Care Research Award

April 14th, 2014 in Alumni, PhD Student Achievements

Recent graduate Julie Shi (PhD ’13) coauthored a paper that was selected as a finalist for NIHCM Foundation’s 20th Annual Health Care Research Award competition. The competition evaluated over 110 high-quality submissions for the awards, representing the best health care research published in 2013. The paper was written while Julie was still working on her BU Ph.D. dissertation.

Five finalists were selected, and links to the full papers or abstracts are available at

 Thomas G. McGuire, Jacob Glazer, Joseph P. Newhouse, Sharon-Lise Normand, Julie Shi, Anna D. Sinaiko, Samuel Zuvekas. “Integrating Risk Adjustment and Enrollee Premiums in Health Plan Payment.” Journal of Health Economics, December 2013.

The winning article will be selected by a panel of health care experts: Laurence C. Baker, Stanford University; William Custer, Georgia State University; Vicky Gregg, Consultant;
Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (recused); Marion Ein Lewin, Consultant; Joseph P. Newhouse, Harvard University (recused); Mark Pauly, University of Pennsylvania; and Gail R. Wilensky, Project HOPE.

BU Economics honors Santiago Levy with inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award

February 26th, 2014 in Alumni, Departmental News

The Department of Economics is pleased to announce that Santiago Levy has been selected as the recipient of the Department’s first Distinguished Alumni Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in any area by graduates of one of the Department’s degree programs.

Santiago Levy makes a natural choice for our first award both because of his accomplishments and his extensive and long-standing ties to the Department.

As one of the fathers of Conditional Cash Transfers or CCT, Santiago played a crucially important role in the development of one of the leading antipoverty programs in the world. He first introduced and oversaw the implementation of PROGRESA (later renamed Oportunidades) when he was Deputy Finance Minister of Mexico. Since then, CCT programs have spread to dozens of countries around the world, including Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Jamaica, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, Morocco, Peru, and Cambodia.

Santiago is also a multiple graduate of our Department, having received a BA (1976), MA (1978), and Ph.D (1980) from us. He was a faculty member in the Department from 1983 to 1993, serving as the first Director of our Institute for Economic Development (1989-1990).

He is currently a Vice President at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC., and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The Department and the Institute for Economic Development are hosting an alumni reception in his honor April 24.