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This is a sampling of the news and accomplishments of our faculty, students and alumni in 2019.

Bilge Erten

Assistant Professor Bilge Erten’s paper, joint with Martina Metzger of the Berlin School of Economics and Law, “The real exchange rate, structural change, and female labor force participation” has been published in World Development.

Professor Erten’s paper “Trade Liberalization and Local Labor Market Adjustment in South Africa”, co-written with Jessica Leight and Fiona Tregenna,  has been published in the Journal of International Economics.

Exporting out of Agriculture: the Impact of WTO Accession on Structural Transformation in China” by Bilge Erten and Jessica Leight  has been accepted for publication at the Review of Economics and Statistics.

Bilge Erten’s paper, “Capital Controls: Theory and Evidence,” (with Anton Korinek and Jose Antonio Ocampo) has been accepted to the Journal of Economic Literature.

Catalina Herrera-Almanza

Recent research by NU Assistant Professor Catalina Herrera highlights the challenges faced by women in rural India in navigating fertility issues and family planning, including how a mother-in-law restricts women’s  mobility and social networks. The research is presented in the working paper, The Influence of Mothers-in-Law on Women’s Social Networks, Mobility, and Reproductive Health in India, co-written with S Anukriti (Boston College), Mahesh Karra (Boston University), and Praveen Pathak (Delhi University).The fieldwork for this study was primarily supported by a Northeastern University tier-1 grant with supplemental funding from the Human Capital Initiative at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center. Recently, the research was featured in CNN-18 and

John Kwoka

Professor John Kwoka’s article “The Structural Presumption and the Safe Harbor in Merger Review: False Positives or Unwarranted Concerns?,” was awarded one of the six Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund category awards for best antitrust articles.

The award was presented during the luncheon at the American Antitrust Institute’s 20th Annual Policy Conference on June 20, 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Jun Ma

Jun Ma, Associate Professor of Economics, has been appointed Dean’s Leadership Fellow for Global Partnerships in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. In this new role, Jun Ma is working with colleagues across the Boston campus and Northeastern’s global campuses to bolster curricular coordination and visibility of the Master’s and certificate programs. In particular, Jun will work closely with colleagues at Northeastern’s Seattle campus and other nodes of the university’s network to expand offerings, grow enrollments in CSSH programs, and facilitate co-op and research partnerships. Moreover, he will help develop strategic partnerships in East Asia, and will serve as the CSSH representative on the university’s Global Rankings Committee.

Alicia Sasser-Modestino

Recently accepted publications:

“How Do Summer Youth Employment Programs Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes, and for Whom?” has been accepted for publication at the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Modestino, A., Shoag, D., & Ballance, J. 2019. Upskilling: Do Employers Demand Greater Skill When Workers Are Plentiful? Listed under Just Accepted May 29. Review of Economics and Statistics.

Modestino, A., Sederberg, R.†, & Tuller, L.† 2019. Assessing the Effectiveness of Financial Coaching: Evidence from the Boston Youth Credit Building Initiative. Accepted May 27. Journal of Consumer Affairs, pp. 1-58.

Brigid, K., Modestino, A., Gass, J., Kuerer, H., Margenthaler, J., Boolbol, S., Dietz, J., & Manahan, E. 2019. The 2018 Compensation Survey of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Accepted June 4. Annals of Surgical Oncology, pp. 1-30.

Modestino, A., Ladge, J., & Sugiyama, K. 2019. Careers in Construction: An Examination of the Career Narratives of Young Professionals and Their Emerging Career Self-Concepts. Accepted May 17. Journal of Vocational Behavior, pp. 1-56.

Modestino, A. 2019. How Do Summer Youth Employment Programs Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes, and for Whom? Journal of Public Policy Analysis and Management, 38(3): 600-628.

Modestino, A., & Paulsen, R.† 2019. Reducing Inequality Summer by Summer: Lessons from the Boston Summer Youth Employment Program Survey. Evaluation Program and Planning, 72: 40-53.

Imke Reimers

Assistant Professor Imke Reimers was a visiting scientist in the junior research group “Competition and Innovation” at the ZEW-Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research  from May 6 to 17, 2019. During her stay she worked together with ZEW scientist Bernhard Ganglmairon research questions on the topics of knowledge transfer and innovation through patents and business secrets. Professor Reimers also lectured on the Digital Challenges for the Book Market and the Google Books Project in the ZEW Research Seminar Digitization and Demand for Physical Works: Evidence from the Google Books Project .

Assistant Professor Imke Reimer’s paper “The Impacts of Telematics on Competition and Consumer Behavior in Insurance” with Benjamin R. Shiller (Assistant Professor of Economics, Brandeis University) has been accepted for publication at the Journal of Law and Economics.

Ivan Petkov

Assistant Professor Ivan Petkov’s paper, co-written with Francesco Giavazzi and Fabio Schiantarelli, “Culture, Persistence and Evolution” has been accepted in the Journal of Economic Growth.

Madhavi Venkatesan

Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan‘s latest book Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All, has been released. This book, co-written with Giuliano Luongo discusses how economic growth is measured and the impact this has had on women in terms of pay equity; how the measurement of economic growth has contributed to the global lack of sustainable development.

The department would like to congratulate the following recent graduates who will be entering law school in the fall.

Ava Dodge (’19) will be staying in the area and heading to Harvard Law School. Ava earned her B.S. in Economics with a minor in Ethics.

She is interested in corporate mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, and international commercial arbitration. She sees herself working in “BigLaw” one day, and after that, perhaps as in-house counsel for an aerospace company. Ava worked at management consulting companies for both of her co-ops and found that her skills and interests were aligned with the work being done by corporate attorneys.

Ben Mann (’19) will be leaving Boston for the Windy City, where he’ll be attending the University of Chicago Law School. While at Northeastern, Ben majored in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. His interests include antitrust litigation, securities litigation, and commercial litigation. Ben sees himself becoming a litigator one day. His co-op experience at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a class-action litigation firm, played a significant role in motivating him to become a lawyer.

Rachel Samuels (’19) will also be staying in the area and attending Boston University School of Law in the fall. She earned her B.S. in Political Science and Economics.

She is most interested in public interest law, and one day, she envisions herself doing policy work for a non-profit or working for government. Rachel’s decision to attend law school stemmed from a co-op at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. While there, she experienced first-hand how attorneys can play an important role in shaping social policy.

Amika M. Singh (’18) will be leaving Boston for upstate New York and attending Cornell Law School in the fall.

She earned her B.S. in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Music Performance. While at Northeastern, Amika was quite active, accumulating an impressive list of extracurricular activities. She is particularly interested in civil rights law, though she is also drawn to academic areas like law and economics, legal theory, and legal philosophy. Amika was inspired to go to law school by a Jurisprudence course she took at Oxford University.

Urbashee Paul, a second-year economics Ph.D. student has been awarded a career mentoring grant by the William T. Grant Foundation in the amount of $59,493. Her mentor will be Dr. Alicia Sasser Modestino, Associate Professor  and a William T. Grant Scholar, with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics at Northeastern University.

On Wednesday, May 1st, the 2019 PhD graduation was held in Cabot Place on the NU campus.  Congratulations to our newly minted PhDs!

Joanna Fister
Ngoc (Halli) Ngo
Richard Paulsen
Rachel Sederberg
Hanchun Zhang


Pukar KC‘s paper, Non-stop Love: A Study of Entry Barriers in the Airline Industry Using Policy Changes at Dallas Love Field was published in the Eastern Economic Journal, December 2019.  Pukar earned his PhD in Economics in Spring 2018.

Alex Faust CSSH 2012 is the television play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Kings.  Faust graduated from Northeastern University in 2012 with a degree in political science and economics.

He was the voice of Northeastern University men’s basketball, and was one of the youngest play-by-play broadcasters to call an NCAA tournament game at age 26. He was also the radio broadcaster for the single-A Staten Island Yankees for two years.


August 2018

Betzamel Lopez BS 2016 is a student at Harvard Medical School . Read about Betzamel’s  pathway from economics to medicine here.


As a doctor, I cannot simply say “you should get more exercise”—maybe my patient cannot afford to pay for a gym membership or lives in a neighborhood where it is unsafe to jog outside. Understanding the economic situation of each one of my patients can help me prepare treatment plans that better suit their lifestyles, thus ensuring successful outcomes.

The annual CSSH Faculty and Staff Celebration took place on Thursday, April 18, 2019 where four members of the Economics department were honored.

Congratulations to:

CSSH Outstanding Staff Award:
Cheryl Fonville

CSSH Outstanding Teaching Award: Tenured/Tenure-Track
Alicia Sasser Modestino

Select CSSH Journal Articles in 2018:

Catalina Herrera Almanza for “Early Childbearing School Attainment and Cognitive Skillls: Evidence from Madagascar published in Demography

John Kwoka for “The Structural Presumption and the Safe Harbor in Merger Review: False Positives or Unwarranted Concerns” in Antitrust Law Journal.


Do women in economics face extra scrutiny?

  • Women face more (and more hostile) questions in economics seminars than men, finds Associate Professor Alicia Sasser Modestino. News at Northeastern..

What’s the real cost of a bottle of soda?

  • According to Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan, it may be much more than you think. News at Northeastern..


Price worries remain after judge OKs T-Mobile’s Sprint deal

  • Professor John Kwoka is quoted in this AP article on T-Mobile winning court approval for the $26.5 Billion Sprint Deal…

This 2020 Marshall Scholar wants to fix the big transportation problems in the U.S.

  • Michael Tormey, who studies civil engineering and economics Northeastern, was awarded a Marshall Scholarship, which he will use to study transport engineering at the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

Open Markets Announces New Advisory Board to Help Guide Fight Against Monopoly

  • Professor John Kwoka has been appointed to the Open Market Institute academic advisory board. ..

Big Wireless Awaits Big Decision on T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Plan

  • Professor John Kwoka talks about the fate of the T-Mobile-Sprint deal with Julie Rose on “Top of the Mind” on BYU Radio…

A Year After a #MeToo Reckoning, Economists Still Grapple With It

  • Associate Professor Alicia Sasser Modestino’s presentation at the AEA on seminar dynamics is cited in this NY Times article…

‘If they don’t move to the other side of the road, he may just crash the car’

  • News @ Northeastern..

What’s Wrong with the T-Mobile and Sprint Merger?

  • News @ Northeastern..

Commercial single-use plastic water bottle ban sought across Cape

  • Unrelenting advocacy by Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan has resulted In a municipal single-use plastic water bottle ban in 11 of the Cape’s 15 towns. And she is not stopping there.

Activists aim to ban sales of plastic bottles on Cape Cod

  • San Francisco Chronicle..

Her family broke the cycle of poverty. She wants to do the same for others.

  • Urbashee Paul, 2nd year Economics PhD Student, is helping other young people break down barriers of poverty. News @ Northeastern..

Why this money market madness looks like a bad sign for the economy, but isn’t

  • Newsweek| OPINION | by Professors William T. Dickens and Robert K. Triest ..

New AAI paper by Professor John Kwoka assesses the DOJ’s proposed remedy in T-Mobile/Sprint merger

  • The analysis, Masquerading As Merger Control: The U.S. Department of Justice Settlement With Sprint and T-Mobile, demonstrates a worrisome new development in merger control…

A Record Expansion’s Surprise Winners: The Low-Skilled

  • Associate Professor Alicia Sasser Modestino’s research on “downskilling” is cited in this Wall Street Journal article…

How ‘Stealth’ Consolidation is Undermining Competition

  • Professor John Kwoka’s research on US merger enforcement policy is cited in this June 19 WSJ article…

How to prevent opioid addiction before it begins

  • Associate Professor Alicia Sasser Modestino is one of four Northeastern professors who are collaborating to tackle the scourge of opioids under the direction of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research. News @ Northeastern ..

On Merger Remedy Policy

  • On Thursday June 6, Professor John Kwoka spoke on reforming merger policy at the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) meeting of the Competition Committee in Paris. ..

Boston Youth Credit Building Initiative Report

  • Report by Associate Professor Alicia Sasser Modestino shows improved credit scores, lower interest rates on car loans and increased financial literacy for BCYBI participants…

Finding the root causes of #fakenews

  • Assistant Professor Donghee Jo is part of an interdisciplinary group of researchers trying to figure out how fake news ends up in the news feeds of Facebook users. News at Northeastern..

Is giving 26-year-old Bryce Harper a 13-year, $330m contract a terrible idea?

  • PhD candidate Richard J. Paulsen’s research on long-term contracts in Major League Baseball is referenced in this article in The Guardian
    Read more »

Professor John Kwoka testified in front of the U.S. Senate judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy, and consumer rights on March 5th.

Congratulations Odeta Kushi!

  • Odeta Kushi, MA 2015, has been promoted to deputy chief economist at First American Financial Corporation…

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that our faculty colleague Robert Pritchard passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Bob was a much-loved teacher of economics. He brought boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm into his classrooms, and touched the lives of thousands of students during the 15 years he taught at Northeastern. Bob continued teaching even as he fought lung cancer in recent months. He showed grace and courage in confronting the discouraging progression of his illness, maintaining concern for his family, students and colleagues throughout.

Bob earned a Ph.D. in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern. His dissertation title, “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Policy: Reducing Fatalities with Increased Financial  Responsibility,” and the composition of his dissertation committee, Economics Professor Steven Morrision (chair), Political Science Distinguished Professor Michael Dukakis, and Thomas Corsi, Professor of Logistics at the University of Maryland, give some sense of Bob’s eclectic and interdisciplinary approach to economic and policy issues. Bob’s career spanned the worlds of teaching, research and policy. Among his non-academic positions was a stint as a Transportation Industry Analyst at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Center, his work as the Executive Director of the Northeast Transportation Institute, and his service as the Director of Research for the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Boston. He was also an independent consultant on business development and operational analysis for transportation and technology firms; medical and education institutions (including the Longwood Medical and Academic planning organization—MASCO); Washington, D.C.-based trade associations (notably, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce); and private-sector firms.

Bob’s true vocation was the teaching of economics, an activity which he loved and excelled at. He was a mainstay of the Economics Department, and over the years also taught in Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies, in the D’Amore-McKim College of Business, and in the Master’s in Public Administration program. In his Principles of Microeconomics course, his ability to make introductory economics relevant to student’s lives drew many students into the further study of economics. He was an innovator in online education, and a mentor to his students and graduate teaching assistants.

Members of the Economics Department, and the broader Northeastern community, will miss Bob’s energy and enthusiasm, his congenial presence and good humor, and his signature farewell when leaving the department office: “Rock on!”

Bob’s two children, Tess and Jack, are Northeastern graduates, and his love and pride for them and his wife, Julie, was always evident.