Daniel Firoozi

Daniel Firoozi, UCI economics Ph.D. ’23, is a recipient of the UCI School of Social Sciences Outstanding Scholarship award. The faculty-nominated award recognizes an outstanding graduate student for high intellectual scholarship and achievement. With several published papers and work that’s been covered by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Boston Globe, Firoozi – who specializes in research on education economics, discrimination, and political economy – certainly fits the bill. Below, the Ph.D. who earned his bachelor's from UCSD (’17 economics) and will soon be joining Claremont McKenna College as an assistant professor of economics shares what’s inspired his academic pursuits.

What made you decide to pursue economics as a field, and specifically as a Ph.D. at UCI? What interests you most about your work?

Learning about the credibility revolution in economics inspired me to apply for Ph.D. programs in the discipline and UC Irvine was an especially good fit because of great faculty like Damon Clark, David Neumark, and Matt Freedman in my core research areas of labor and public economics.

Tell us about your research. What problem will your findings help solve?

My research is focused on education economics, discrimination, and political economy. My papers have helped identify the impacts of college attendance and financial aid policies on long-run outcomes, the role of biased job ad language in facilitating age discrimination in the labor market, and the determinants of people’s political preferences.

Where can your work be found if someone wanted to learn more about your research?

I have four published papers and my work has also been covered by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Boston Globe.

"Economic Distress and Electoral Consequences: Evidence from Appalachia" (Sole Author), Forthcoming at The Review of Economics and Statistics. [A. Kimball Romney Award]
"Machine Learning and Perceived Age Stereotypes in Job Ads: Evidence from an Experiment" (with Ian Burn, Daniel Ladd, and David Neumark), Forthcoming at The Journal of Pension Economics and Finance
"Age Discrimination and Age Stereotypes in Job Ads" (with Ian Burn, Daniel Ladd, and David Neumark), Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letters, March 2023.
"The Impact of Post-Admission Merit Scholarships on Enrollment Decisions and Degree Attainment: Evidence from Randomization" (Sole Author), The Economics of Education Review 84, 102221, February 2022.

What’s driven your interest in and focus on education, discrimination, and political economy? Why these topics?

I come from a family of immigrants and asylees who fled political persecution in Iran. My research areas () are directly inspired by the barriers my family members experienced in accessing education, the labor market, and the political process. After my mom passed away from cancer in my 4th year of grad school, I co-founded the Forouz Firoozi Endowed Memorial Scholarship to honor her achievements and to help high-achieving UCI students who face adversity.

In addition to the Outstanding Scholarship award, what other recognitions have you received as an Anteater?

SOCAE Best Paper Award,  Southern California Graduate Conference in Applied Economics (2022)
Summer Graduate Fellowship, California Policy Lab (2022)
Sheen T. Kassouf Fellowship, UCI Department of Economics (2022)
Kimball Romney Award, UCI School of Social Sciences (2021)
Summer Research Fellowship, UCI Department of Economics (2019, 2020)
Art DeVany Award for Best Poster, UCI Department of Economics (2019)
Merit Fellowship in Economics, UCI School of Social Sciences (2017-2018)
Diversity Recruitment Fellowship, UCI Department of Economics (2017) 

Who have been your faculty mentors while here, and what impact have they had on your graduate career?

Damon Clark and David Neumark have been important mentors throughout my graduate career. Their experience in conducting rigorous, high-quality empirical research as well as their constructive feedback on my work were essential to my development as an early career economist.  

What are your plans now that your Ph.D. is in hand? How has UCI prepared you well for this role?

I graduated this term and will be beginning a role as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Claremont McKenna College in July. UCI has given me invaluable experience with teaching a diverse and high achieving population of undergraduate students as well as the quantitative skills essential to being an applied microeconomist.


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