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Economics Super Bowl

Sonoma State University Econ Students Present Research with Faculty at Professional Annual Conference in Seattle

Three recent econ graduates, with the help of a few dedicated professors and an innovation grant, represented Sonoma State University at the Western Economic Association International's 88th Annual Conference, in Seattle, Washington, where there were 1,600 participants, from 48 U.S. states and 56 foreign countries.  "Presenting here is like playing in the super bowl of economics," explained Professor Cuellar.

Emilee Fragapane, Doug Berringer, Emmit Visconti, and Micheal Cardoso (who was not able to attend the conference) were chosen to go to Seattle for their hard work and perseverance in creating a compelling case study.  Professors Michael Visser and Dr. Robert Eyler were also in attendance to present their findings, while professor Chong-Uk Kim chaired over three of the sessions.

"At the conference, researchers present new work, typically at intermediate stages, in order to receive constructive criticism and feedback before submitting a paper to a journal for publication," Professor Visser explained, "It is an important step in the research process."

All three graduates had the opportunity to demonstrate their research before the top economists in their field, "Presenting at the same conference as Nobel Prize winners carries more weight on a resume and in a job interview," noted Cuellar.

"You never know what the audience is going to ask," he continued, noting why presenting could be intimidating for a recent graduate. Even though there were a lot of nerves that came with presenting at the prestigious conference, it is something they will always remember.  

The graduates not only presented their research, but also learned about topics ranging from poverty in sub-Sahara Africa to the economics of baseball while attending the conference.  "It was mind boggling for them to see how broad the topics are that can be applied to economics," explained Professor Eyler.  
"I submitted an innovation grant request to showcase the analytic talents of the SSU Economics graduates," explained Cuellar.  Using the money from the innovation grant (a fund supplied by the School of Business and Economics to create nontraditional innovation projects by faculty and staff) to fund the trip to Seattle, the SSU economics department created a student research competition to decide who would attend the prestigious conference.

Doug and Emilee presented about the use of fiscal and monetary policy during recessionary periods.  Emmitt's presentation was a proposal for an experiment on whether individuals hold themselves to the same standard of fairness that they expect others to abide by.  See below for other papers presented.  

All of the econ student's research can be used as the basis for their dissertation, should they choose to pursue their PhD. Visconti's research in game theory, however, is already being used as the foundation of future research that will be pursued by Professor Visser.

Papers presented by each individual:

Robert Eyler (Facutly): "Regional Financial Markets and US Monetary Policy: Interest Rate Disparities"

Douglas Berringer, Micheal Cardoso, and Emilee Fragapane (Students): "New Evidence for the Use of Fiscal Policy in a Liquidity Trap"

Chong-Uk Kim (Faculty): "Immigration and International Trade: Evidence from Recent South Korean Experiences"

Emmit Visconti (Student) and Mike Visser (Faculty): "Fairness Standards in a Three Person Ultimatum Game"


About the Western Economic Association International

Founded in 1922, WEAI is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to encouraging and communicating economic research and analysis. The Association's principal activities include publishing two refereed quarterly journals -- Economic Inquiry and Contemporary Economic Policy -- and staging scholarly conferences that are forums for current economic research.

About Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' vision is to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy. Its mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for its students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1500 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus. The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards of excellence. The School of Business and Economics is also home to the Wine Business Institute, which is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry, as well as professional development courses for the industry. To learn more, visit

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