Author Archives: Amy Stanford

ECON Club Giving Day Story

March 20, 2018 – A Giving Day Story by ECON Club:  College of Science and College of Business students give most to charity!

On October 26th and 27th, 2017, members of the Economics Club at Virginia Tech carried out a study on giving. The experiment had the participants play a classic Economics game, called the Dictator Game, against either (i) a VT student, or (ii) Feeding America Southwest Virginia, a local food bank that provides meals to needy families in the Virginia Tech region. In this game a player is given a certain sum of money to divide between themself and another person called the recipient in any manner they like.
The Econ Club Experiment was rather simple: Participants were randomly handed a form to fill out. For some of them the recipient was another randomly matched anonymous VT student and for the others, it was Feeding America Southwest Virginia. The goal of the experiment is to analyze whether human beings are more generous towards charities than they are t wards an unknown individual. The sum of money to split was $10, and of all the individuals that participated the Economics Department will randomly implement the decisions of 15 individuals.
The average to donation to charity was $7.78 among 82 subjects, and the average donation to a student was $4.36 among 51 subjects (all results are statistically significant). This also allowed the Econ Department to give more to Feeding America Southwest Virginia.  Additionally, COS and COB students gave $9.188 and $9.375 on average respectively to the chosen charity making them the most generous students on campus! For more details on the study contact Econ Club members (Timothy Kirby and Ben Chenault).

VT-UDEP Study Abroad

Econ Faculty Receive Grant that Provides Scholarships for Study Abroad Program!!!

Drs. Ball and Smith received Partners of The Americas grant to fund Econ Study abroad Program in Peru! This is a unique bi-directional study abroad program where students from VT and Universidad di Piura will learn about lab (at VT) and field experiments (at UDEP) in policy-making. The $25000 grant from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund will be used to provide scholarships to students who enroll in the study abroad program.

Students will spend the first week doing online preparation. Week 2 for all students will be in Blacksburg and weeks 3&4 in Lima and Piura. With scholarships the total cost will be $1700 plus tuition. Spots are limited!

This study abroad program provides policy-related experiential learning is also been supported by a CIDER grant and the Global Education office at Virginia Tech.

The other investigators on the grant are Rachel Fitzgerald from the Global Ed office and Dr. Marcos Agurto Director, Lima School of Economics Peru.

Miller Mini Bio

Dr. Melinda Miller is an applied microeconomist who conducts research on economic history, demography and labor economics. Specifically, focusing on the origins of economic racial inequality in the United States examining how postbellum land policy could have potentially altered the course of American racial economic inequality. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2000, and master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from University of Michigan in 2005 and 2008 respectively.


Luo Mini Bio

Dr. Shaowen Luo is a macroeconomist that focuses her research on monetary policy, economics of networks, and international finance, specifically studying the network-based amplification of financial shocks and implications of price stickiness models. Dr. Luo earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and finance from the University of Hong Kong in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and a doctorate in economics from Columbia University in 2016.


Lin Mini Bio

Dr. Xu Lin’s research areas include applied econometrics, labor economics and health economics with particular interests in spatial autoregressive models and empirical applications of those models to study social interactions and social networks on a variety of behaviors and outcomes including academic achievement, deviant behaviors, worker productivity and health-related issues.  She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Renmin University of China and master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University.


Ge Mini Bio

Dr. Suqin Ge is primarily a labor economist that focuses on many aspects of labor economics and Chinese economy.  Her work has covered a wide range of topics including education, labor supply, wage structure, discrimination, and migration.  She has published in many economics journals and was awarded the U.S. Department of Labor Scholar in 2015. Dr. Ge obtained her Master in Economics from Fudan University and her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota.


Ball Mini Bio

Dr. Sheryl Ball is an experimental economist that does very interesting work in the area of Neuroeconomics, studying different aspects of individual decision-making and strategic behavior.  Much of her research is interdisciplinary and in collaboration with VTCRI and has been acknowledged by National Science Foundation, Hewlett Packard, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, National Institute for Dispute Resolution, Hughes Telecommunications and Space and several university groups.