Jacob Bastian first became interested in economics while working with low-income families as a program director in Los Angeles, California. Running an after-school program and developing relationships with many of these families inspired him to study these troubling socio-economic outcomes and to evaluate public programs intended to help these individuals.
Within the discipline, he is interested in public economics, public-policy economics, earned income tax credit, and female labor market outcomes. He chose U-M to pursue these interests because of the approachable faculty that foster a collaborative environment. “Although I entered graduate school with a specific research agenda motivated by my life experiences, my time at U-M taught me how to ask specific research questions and what data/techniques are required to answer those questions in a credible way,” explains Bastian.
During his studies, his job paper received the Michael J. Moore Dissertation Prize, he received a MITRE research grant, and is a recipient of the 2016 MITRE Haber Fellowship. He has presented his research at eleven conferences outside of Michigan during graduate school, receiving five travel grants to do so.
Bastian’s advisor is Martha Bailey, whom he credits for teaching him how to do careful empirical research. On his time at U-M, “I am grateful to my committee chair Martha Bailey – who helped me finish my Ph.D. in five years – and to the rest of my committee Charlie Brown, Ugo Troiano, and Luke Shafer, along with a number of other fantastic faculty members that have encouraged me during these years.”
Bastian is excited to find out what the next step will be for him. He looks forward to continuing to do economics research and passing those research tools on to the next generation of students.
To find out more about Jacob Bastian and his research, visit his homepage.