Economics symposium showcases student research, paper

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, about 20 students and faculty gathered in Holland Hall for the Economics Student Research Symposium.

While the economics department has had students present research individually to their peers in the past, this marked the first time such presentations were held as part of a symposium.

Will Lutterman ’15, David Wang ’15 and Alex Everhart ’15 made up the presenters. Lutterman kicked off the event with his research on the water policy on the Cannon River in southeastern Minnesota.

An economics and environmental studies major, Lutterman summarized the water quality issues facing the Cannon River Watershed. He sought to contextualize the issue for his audience by examining this along with the relevant water policies in the area.

“Ecosystems don’t exist by themselves. They exist in the context of communities and people,” Lutterman explained.

Lutterman is a recipient of a two-year research fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency E.P.A.. Through his research he hopes to explore remediation options for water quality and work with the connections he develops to enable a better community understanding of river ecosystems.

Wang presented second with his research on “bootstrapping.” An economics major with a concentration in statistics, Wang explored statistical “bootstrapping” methods in undergraduate statistics using computer programs throughout his summer research. To fund this work, Wang received the assistance from the Vessey-Carlson Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Research.

Everhart wrapped up the two-hour symposium with his presentation, entitled “Active Purchasing on the Federally Facilitated Health Care Exchanges.”

Everhart gleaned the paper from his research on health care exchanges. His work was honored with third place at the Baker Institute’s Student Forum at Rice University’s inaugural undergraduate public policy conference.