Review Board Member Bios

University of Georgia

Jeffrey Dorfman is an economist and professor at The University of Georgia, where he has been since 1989. He teaches classes in economic theory, the economics of the food industry, and macroeconomic policy in the agricultural and natural resource sectors. He performs research mostly on productivity measurement and regional economics. His research in the RDC will be focused on issues of productivity in food manufacturing and topics related to worker migration and commuting patterns.


Ian M. Schmutte is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Prior to coming to Georgia, Dr. Schmutte received his Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.  During his doctoral studies, he worked for the U.S. Census Bureau as an economist with the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program, and as Administrator of the New York Census Research Data Center at Cornell.


Georgia Institute of Technology

Peter Thompson joined Scheller  in 2014. Prior to joining Scheller he served on the faculty at Emory, Florida International, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Houston. Peter’s research, which includes both theoretical and empirical work, has covered a variety of fields, including endogenous growth theory, industry evolution, entrepreneurship, organizational learning, and medical decision making. Peter has taught courses covering most major areas of economics, at Ph.D., MBA and undergraduate levels.


Georgia State University

Barry Hirsch is the W.J. Usery Chair of the American Workplace and Professor of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, and currently serves as Chair of the Review Board. His research focuses on wage determination in U.S. labor markets, including studies of union effects on wages and economic performance, survey nonresponse, discrimination, area wage differentials, and labor markets in airlines, trucking, and nursing. Hirsch is past president of the Southern Economic Association, a Research Fellow at IZA Bonn, and on the editorial boards of Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, the Journal of Labor Research, and the Southern Economic Journal. He has authored The Economic Analysis of Unions: New Approaches and Evidence (with J. Addison, 1986), Labor Unions and the Economic Performance of Firms (1991), Union Membership and Earnings Data Book (annual, with D. Macpherson), and is co-editor of Lives of the Laureates (5th ed., MIT Press, 2009, with W. Breit). Along with D. Macpherson, he maintains the website, Union Membership and Coverage Database from the CPS (www.unionstats.com). Hirsch received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.


Paula Stephan‘s research interests focus on the careers of scientists and engineers and the process by which knowledge moves across institutional boundaries in the economy. Stephan currently serves on the National Research Council Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the National Academies’  Committee to Review the State of the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. She served on the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, National Institutes of Health, 2005-2009 and served on the Advisory Committee of the Social, Behavioral, and Economics Program, National Science Foundation, 2001-2008. She was a member of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group that authored the report “Frontier Research: The European Challenge.” She is a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science.  Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Stephan graduated from Grinnell College (Phi Beta Kappa) with a B.A. in Economics and earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.  She has been a visiting scholar at Katholeike Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, a Wertheim Fellow, Harvard University, and an ICER fellow, Turin, Italy.  Stephan is a research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Stephan has published numerous articles in journals such as The American Economic Review, Science, Nature, The Journal of Economic Literature, Management Science, Organizational Science, Economic Inquiry and The International Economic Review. She co-wrote, with Sharon Levin, Striking the Mother Lode in Science (Oxford University Press, 1992).  She recently published How Economics Shapes Science, (Harvard University Press, 2012).


Emory University

Elena Pesavento is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Emory University. She is an Econometrician specialized in Time Series Analysis. Her research interests are in the area of non-stationary variables, structural breaks, unit roots, near unit roots and cointegration with applications to the fields of international finance and macroeconomics.  Dr. Pesavento received a bachelor degree in Statistics from University of Padova in Italy and a Ph.D. in Economics from University of California San Diego. She has been at Emory since 2000.  She is currently on the editorial board of Empirical Economics.


Benjamin Druss is the first Rosalynn Carter Chair in Mental Health at Emory University.  He is working to build linkages between mental health, general medical health, and public health, and works closely with Carter Center Mental Health Program, where he is a member of the Mental Health Task Force and Journalism Task Force. He has been a member of two Institute of Medicine Committees, and has served as an expert consultant to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.


Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

John Robertson is a senior policy adviser and economist on the macroeconomics and monetary policy team in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. His research has been widely published, covering a variety of macroeconomic and microeconomic topics, and he is one of the Bank’s senior monetary policy advisers. He also contributes to the Atlanta Fed’s macroblog, which provides commentary on economic issues, including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, and the Southeast economy, and he gives public talks on a range of economic subjects. Dr. Robertson joined the Atlanta Fed’s research department in December 1997 from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. A native of Dunedin, New Zealand, Dr. Robertson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and earned his PhD in economics from Virginia Tech in 1992.


Bin Wei is a financial economist and associate adviser on the financial markets team in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. His research interests include liquidity, contract theory, corporate finance, macrofinance, and computation. Before joining the Atlanta Fed in 2014, Dr. Wei was an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2011 to 2014 and an assistant professor of finance at Baruch College, the City University of New York, from 2007 to 2011. Dr. Wei has published research in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Review of Financial Studies, Management Science, and Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Dr. Wei received a bachelor of science from the University of Science and Technology of China and a master of applied economics (statistics) from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his doctoral degree in finance from Duke University.


Florida State University

Daivd Folch is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Florida State University.  He completed his PhD in Geography at Arizona State University in 2012, then served as a post-doc until 2014 at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. David’s research focuses on spatial analytical methods, with a contextual focus on U.S. cities. He is especially interested in the social and environmental contexts in which people are embedded, and how these can affect long run outcomes. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Institute of Education Sciences.


University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa

Laura Razzolini is Professor of Economics and Department Head at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and Editor in chief of the Southern Economic Journal. Her research specializes in public economics, and her interests are focused on cost allocation and the provision of public and shared goods. She has investigated how different fund raising contribution and pricing mechanisms affect the provision of a good and congestion on shared goods, such as roads or computer networks. She conducts economic experiments in a laboratory setting to test prediction of the theoretical models. She has also studied traffic and terrorism. Her work on fund raising, cost sharing mechanisms and traffic has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Her research has been published in the Journal of Economic Theory, Economic Theory, Public Choice, and Experimental Economics. Laura earned a Laurea (Baccalaureate) from the University of Florence in Italy; a research Doctorate from the University of Bologna in Italy; a MA and a PhD in economics from Southern Methodist University. Before joining VCU, Laura was at the University of Mississippi for ten years. She was Program Director at NSF from 2001 to 2003. In 2003 she took over the editorship of the Southern Economic Journal.


University of Tennessee

Nicholas Nagle is a GIScientist and population scientist whose research centers on spatial data science and on the design and analysis of population surveys.  Prof. Nagle holds a joint faculty appointment with the Geographic Information Science and Technology group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  He serves on a National Academy of Sciences Committee focused on the 2020 Decennial Census.  He is currently working on projects improving the availability and reliability of data from the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Agriculture and on projects related to population and health, both in Tennessee and in developing countries. He is particularly interested in the design of statistical methods that integrate information for multiple sources.


Stephanie Bohon is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee, Director of Graduate Studies, and founder of the Center for the Study of Social Justice.  She is the author of Latinos in Ethnic Enclaves and Immigration and Population.  Bohon’s research examines the integration of immigrants into the US labor market.  Making use of advanced computing resources at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she works with physicists and others to create new visualization and computational methods using big data to understand how and how well metropolitan areas absorb immigrants.  


Tulane University

Steven M. Sheffrin is Professor of Economics and the Director of the Murphy Institute. He has had previous positions at UC Davis where he was on faculty from 1976 and served as dean of the division of social sciences from 1998 to 2008. He has been a visiting professor at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, a postgraduate college specializing in the social sciences; the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); Princeton University; and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Sheffrin holds a BA from the College of Social Studies, Wesleyan University, and a PhD in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sheffrin’s research in tax policy focuses on practical, policy-oriented issues, including property taxation, state corporate taxation, tax fairness and compliance. He has also served as a financial economist with the Office of Tax Policy Analysis, U.S Department of the Treasury and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Tax Association. He is currently pursuing research on the foundations of fairness in taxation.


Vandervilt University

Gilbert Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the department, he was a research assistant at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) where he used federal surveys to report state-level measures of population health and health care. Dr. Gonzales’ research examines how state-level social policies and health reforms affect health and access to medical care in vulnerable families and children. His dissertation, for instance, examined the impact of same-sex marriage laws on health insurance coverage among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples and their children. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Pediatrics, JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Gonzales completed his Ph.D. in Health Policy at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, a Master of Health Administration from the University of North Texas Health Science Center and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Biology from Baylor University.


Community Member

Nicolas Ziebarth is the Ekelund and Herbert Associate Professor of Economics at Auburn University and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research is focused on American economic history, particularly the first half of the 20th century. Nicolas wrote his dissertation under Joel Mokyr at Northwestern University on the Great Depression drawing on hand-collected establishment schedules from the Census of Manufactures in the 1930s. His work has appeared in such journals as AEJ: MacroJournal of Economic History, and Journal of Law and Economics among others. As an undergraduate, he majored in economics, mathematics, and philosophy at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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