Graduate Student Affiliates


Daniel DavisDaniel Davis’ work is focused on corruption and how it can be measured and controlled. His dissertation compares anti-corruption agencies in the Philippines and Indonesia and looks at when they are successful in holding those with power accountable. One challenge with studying corruption is the secret nature of corrupt practices. Daniel uses public procurement data to create objective measures of where corruption is more prevalent. He is looking forward to expanding and validating these measure though fieldwork in the coming year.

Kym GanczakKimberly Ganczak

Chelsea GoforthChelsea Goforth

Olivia ChristleyOlyvia Christley

Geoff GordonGeoff Gordon

Helms, BenjaminBenjamin Helms is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Politics, with his research focusing on international political economy. In particular, he is interested in the dynamics of international labor migration and its effects on international trade, financial flows, and the politics of migrant-sending countries. His current work focuses on understudied drivers of international migration as well as the link between remittances and political behavior.

Carl HuangCarl Pi-Cheng Huang is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. In the field of International Relations, his research explores the time-varying dynamics of territorial disputes. In political methodology, he is interested in applying psychometric models to measure latent concepts in world politics such as soft power and diplomatic appeals.

Danilo MedeirosDanilo Medeiros is a Ph.D. candidate in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He received a master’s degree in Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of São Paulo (Brazil).
His research focuses on the relationship between income inequality and legislative behavior in multiparty presidential systems, with a particular interest in Brazil. His project relies heavily on ideal point estimation and time-series methods.

Dana Moyer

Dana Moyer

Aycan KititasAycan Katitas My research interests center on the international political economy and quantitative methodology, with a specific focus on foreign direct investment. I am most interested in the issues related to the relations between multinational corporations and host country government policies as well as how the public opinion on multinational corporations shapes the policy outcomes. Currently, my specific research interest mostly involves the rise of restrictive foreign direct investment policies in the USA due to increasing Chinese MNC takeovers of American companies.

Robert KubinecRobert Kubinec is a PhD Candidate in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. His research explores the role of businesspeople during critical moments of countries undergoing transitions from dictatorship to democracy. During 2016, he undertook field research in Egypt and Tunisia, meeting with a range of businesses, parliamentarians, policy wonks, journalists, and civil society regarding the tumultuous political changes of the last five years.


Kal MunisKal Munis

Nicola NonesNicola Nones

Tolu Odukoya, Esq.Tolu Odukoya is a Ph.D. student in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on leadership in terrorist organizations, in particular leadership in Jihadist/Religious motivated terrorist groups. She hope to explore the role of terrorist groups leaders on the group decisions to align with other groups and choose weapons for attacks. She is currently working on a project focusing on terrorist group recruiting of women as a UVA Presidential Data Fellowship Awardee.

Shiran RenShiran Ren

Chen WangChen Wang is a PhD student in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia. His research interests center on international security, with a special focus on peacetime strategic interaction, state learning, crisis initiation, and terrorism. His current work explores the life-cycle of state leaders’ reputation for resolve.

Laura WhiteLaura White


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Diego Legal-CañisáDiego Legal-Cañisá is a PhD candidate in Economics at University of Virginia. His main fields of interest are Macroeconomics, Households Finance, Labor Markets, and Computational methods. His current research projects study the interconnection between credit and labor markets and, in particular, how policies in each of these markets have consequences on the other market. He combines empirical evidence with structural modeling to understand the mechanisms and evaluate the welfare implications of government policies.

Hanna Charankevich

Hanna Charankevich I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Virginia and my fields of concentration are Industrial Organization, Public and Development Economics. My dissertation project is focused on procurement auctions and the role of transparency. Despite the common view, transparency does not always increase the effectiveness of public service provision. In the context of procurement auctions, more transparency leads to more collusion, both between bidders and between an auctioneer and a bidder. My aim is to quantify the tradeoff between positive and negative effects of information transparency on procurement outcomes using Big Data tools.


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Devaki GhoseDevaki Ghose—I estimate the contribution of vertical linkage (the linkage between input suppliers and output producers) in the spatial agglomeration of industries by studying the location patterns of Information Technology (IT) firms and Technical Colleges that supply workers to these firms. I use two novel instruments to causally identify the effect of firm location on college location, and the effect of the supply of skilled labor on firm location. I find that two new colleges open in a district following the entry of a single firm in that district. My results also show that an increase in number of skilled college graduates by 10,000 in a district leads to 7 new firms entering the district. A 1% increase in a district’s labor supply of college graduates increases firm entry by 4.16 %. I write a structural model to understand the mechanisms behind my findings.

Working Paper: Identifying Vertical Linkage in Agglomeration: Empirical Evidence from India

Haruka Takayama HasegawaHaruka Takayama Hasegawa I am a PhD candidate in Economics. My research fields include international trade and industrial organization. Specifically, I study how advertising costs affect firms’ foreign direct investment decisions, namely the choice between cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and greenfield investments. I hypothesize that cross-border M&A is the preferred market-entry option for a firm that seeks to obtain existing branding and customers. My PhD thesis (in progress) quantifies the effects of advertising on a firm’s investment decision.



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leyden_photoBen Leyden is a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Virginia. His fields of research are industrial organization and applied microeconomics, focusing on the effects of digitization on competition. In particular, his current work is centered on how the digitization of consumer goods is affecting how firms both monetize and innovate their products. Website

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Nate PattisonNathaniel Pattison is a Ph.D. student with an interest in applied microeconomics, public economics, labor economics, and household finance. His research focuses on bankruptcy, debt collection, and consumer credit markets.

Lichen WangLichen Wang is a second-year Ph.D. student in Economics with interests in applied microeconomics, empirical industrial organization, and applied econometrics. She has worked on projects in understanding the role of export sophistication in promoting growth and innovation. Her current research includes studying the effect of government policies on household consumption patterns.


Yiyu Xing

Yanchi YuYanchi Yu is a Ph.D. student with an interest in the empirical industrial organization, applied microeconomics, and applied econometrics. Her research focuses on the effect of competition on product pricing dynamics in the U.S. brewing industry.

portraitplaceholderGang Zhang

Jining ZhongJining Zhong



Colin ArnoldColin Arnold is a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology, and spends his time researching the broad topics of political and economic sociology with an emphasis on political parties, social/labor movements, and global political economy. More specifically, his current work focuses on the relationships between political parties and movements, as well as how parties actively shape, reproduce, and negotiate the conditions of global capitalism. Colin has also worked outside of academia as an campaign and labor organizer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Sarah JohnsonSarah Johnson is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at UVA studying culture, media, and politics. Her current work focuses on the ways in which young people use popular culture in the development of proto-political subjectivities. She is also exploring new sociological methodologies, comparing quantitative methods like structural topic modeling to the more traditional qualitative coding techniques often employed in cultural sociology.

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Yapeng WangYapeng Wang is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia. He is interested in social stratification and mobility, education, and work. Specifically, he explores how family socioeconomic status influences educational inequality and occupational inequality. His current project focuses on gender earnings inequality in professional occupations in China.


Alice LiuAlice Liu is a third year Ph.D student in the Department of Statistics. Her research interests include exploratory data analysis, developing statistical methodology for forensic science, and application of statistical methods to various fields, including biology and psychology. She has worked with and is still working with the Defense Forensic Science Center (DFSC) in applying statistical methods to various branches of forensic science and facilitating in the interpretation of statistical analyses. Currently, she is researching methods that may be used to model eyewitness identification data.

Karen PanKaren Pan is a third year PhD student in the Statistics Department working on Forensic Science data. Currently, my research focus is on glass data and examining the standards currently used in practice to determine whether or not two pieces of glass come from the same source. Over the year I’ll also continue some previous work looking at fingerprint data, specifically how the quality of a fingerprint effects match accuracy.

Maria TackettMaria Tackett Maria is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Statistics, with an interest in applying Bayesian methodology to questions in forensic science. Her current research focuses on understanding the sources of variability in fingerprint images to be considered when creating databases used for research. Additionally, she is studying dependencies in the weight of fingerprint evidence that emerge when multiple candidates are reviewed as the source of a latent print recovered from a crime scene.



portraitplaceholderRyan Maguire