Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Ensley Graduate Fellowship Awardees

Submitted by Nicole Johns on

The Department of Economics extends hearty congratulations to the three recipients of the 2017-2018 Grover and Creta Ensley Graduate Fellowship in Economics: Guillermo Gallacher, Byunghoon Nam, and Jagori Saha.

The Ensley Fellowship, which provides support comparable to a teaching or research assistantship, is perhaps the most prestigious student award offered by the Economics Department. Its purpose is to create a pool of economists trained in the application of theoretical and technical economic knowledge to policy formation and to increase the involvement of economists in policy-making and administration.

Created in 1996 by alumnus Dr. Grover W. Ensley (BA ’37, MBA ’38), the award is generally given to 4th-year students who have a well-developed dissertation topic and a strong interest in policy implications for the public sector or private industry. Part of the application process for this very competitive award includes a 15-minute presentation to an audience of both faculty and professional economists, during which applicants must demonstrate their ability to clearly communicate economic ideas in understandable and convincing ways.

This year's recipients:

Fourth-year student Guillermo Gallacher is working with Professors Fabio Ghironi (Chair), Phil Brock and Yu-chin Chen on research considering the impact of international trade on the decline of manufacturing employment in developed nations. Guillermo is developing a framework to decompose the impact of structural change on this decline, focusing on data from 40 countries from 1995-2011. Originally from Argentina, Guillermo hopes to contribute to the development of his homeland through his research, teaching, or public service after spending some time researching overseas upon completion of his degree. He earned his BA in Economics at the Universidad del Cema (UCEMA) in Buenos Aires. 

Fourth-year student Byunghoon Nam is working with Professors Yu-chin Chen (Chair), Chang-Jin Kim, and Ji-Hyung Lee (now at UIUC) on research considering the determinants of currency movements. Byunghoon’s two current papers, “Sovereign Credit Risk in Exchange Rate: Evidence from Term Structure of Sovereign CDS” and “Risk and Expectations in Exchange Rates: Evidence from Cross-Country Yield Curves”, will be added to a third paper on international finance to comprise the three chapters of his dissertation. Originally from Korea, Byunghoon completed his BA in Economics at Seoul National University and served for ten years as deputy director of the Ministry of Finance before coming to UW to begin his doctoral studies in Economics. Upon completion of his PhD, Byunghoon hopes to either return to the Ministry of Finance of Korea or work for an international organization such as the IMF or OECD.

Fifth-year student Jagori Saha is conducting research with Professor Rachel Heath at the intersection of development economics, labor economics, and political economy, with a focus on gender issues. Her dissertation is a collection of three essays that contribute to the literature on the effects of economic conditions on marriage outcomes in developing countries. Originally from India, Jagori completed her BS in Economics at the University of Calcutta and her MS in Economic Policy at University College London. Following completion of her PhD in 2018, Jagori hopes to conduct post-doctoral research in development economics and political economy, with a focus on evaluating the effects of public policy on women’s empowerment, before joining academia as a researcher and teacher.  

Grover Ensley spent much of his professional life contributing to the formulation of economic policy and administration, beginning his career in the Executive Office of the President under Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 and later serving as Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress from 1949-1957. After leaving government, Dr. Ensley served as President of the National Association of Mutual Savings Banks and subsequently the International Savings Banks Institute. This fellowship was established as a continuation of the long interest of Grover and his wife Creta in the contributions economists make to policy and administration in both the public and private sectors. Dr. Ensley passed away in August 2000.

Special thanks to the selection committee: Professors Yu-chin Chen and Quan Wen, Michelle Drapek from the UW Graduate School, and UW Economics alumni Kriss Sjoblom and Eileen Wang.

Alumni and friends of the department are invited to support graduate student research by making a contribution to the Ensley Graduate Fellowship Fund.