Economics Welcomes 3 New Faculty Members!

The Department of Economics welcomes our 3 new Faculty members: Dodge Cahan, Laurel Wheeler and Jiatong Zhong. Read more on their research areas and backgrounds.

17 September 2019

Dodge CahanDodge Cahan - Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Assessments of Economic Policy, Policy Outcomes and Political Institutions.

Dodge Cahan completed his degree recently from the University of California. The broad theme of his research is how economic behavior and outcomes are influenced by political institutions. In his primary strand of research, he empirically investigates how elections and political parties influence real economic outcomes, especially employment and growth.
In Dr. Cahan's job market paper, "Electoral cycles in government employment: Evidence
from US gubernatorial elections" (accepted at European Economic Review), he examined whether gubernatorial elections in the United States induce electoral cycles in public sector employment.

Dodge was born in the US but grew up mostly in New Zealand. He came back to the US for graduate school. He enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking, but also cycling and skiing when he gets the chance. He likes to travel to new places and is looking forward to exploring the Canadian wilderness.

Laurel WheelerLaurel Wheeler - Assistant Professor

Research Areas: Development, Labor, and Public Economics, focusing on poverty and inequality in low-income countries and in North America.

Laurel Wheeler is a recent PhD graduate from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Her job market paper, "Property Rights, Place-Based Policies, and Economic Development," sheds light on how historically-assigned property institutions affect the equilibrium response to spatially targeted interventions on American First Nations reservations. Specifically, she examined how housing markets and labor markets adjust to an increase in the demand for labor induced by the opening of a casino and how land tenure affects the process of re-equilibration.  Dr. Wheeler's research agenda includes several other projects related to labor markets, housing markets, and human capital accumulation in low-income communities in the United States and internationally.

Laurel grew up in North Florida but has lived for brief stints in several other places in the US, as well as in South and Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Europe. She spends most of her free time playing sports, including soccer and road cycling. She's excited to start participating in winter sports while in Edmonton. Above all, she is an outdoor enthusiast and is looking forward to exploring all the natural areas surrounding the city.


Jiatong ZhongJiatong Zhong - Assistant Professor

Research Areas: International trade, Applied Microeconomics and Empirical Industrial Organization.

Jiatong Zhong recently completed her degree from Purdue University. Her job market paper studied theoretically and empirically the impact of exporting countries' reputations on trade flows. She developed a model where consumers could learn about exporting countries' product quality through informative signals, and estimate the model using a novel data set that linked product recalls to U.S. import flows. By making explicit the learning process, this model allowed her to evaluate the benefits of maintaining high reputations for exporters as well as the welfare impact of a quality inspection institution.

Jiatong is originally from Guangzhou, China. She is a music and opera fan and is really looking forward to moving to a city with an opera house!