Booth Professors on the Forefront of COVID-19 Research

Booth Professors on the Forefront of COVID-19 Research

As we all know, there is a lot to learn about the economy and its peripherals in light of the pandemic. In this unprecedented period, public officials and private firms have all made very impactful decisions with limited data. Today, I wanted to highlight some of the professors of Booth who have evaluated the impact of such decisions. Introducing the professors on the front lines of the latest academic research.

Joao Granja, Constantine Yannelis, and Eric Zwick (pictured above) are all current Booth professors who have taught courses in the past year. They collaborated in April to understand the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program, an initial policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Hurst also collaborated with the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors to use payroll data to measure the deterioration of the U.S. labor market during the first two months of the pandemic.

Joao GranjaConstantine YannelisEric Zwick
Granja is an assistant professor of accounting who also completed a PhD in accounting at Booth in 2013. Prior to joining academia, he has consulted on several projects that involved the use of financial statements to evaluate the efficiency of regulated industries in Portugal.Yannelis joined Chicago Booth as an Assistant Professor of Finance in 2018. He conducts research in finance and applied microeconomics. Prior to academia, he worked at the United States Department of the Treasury, the OECD, the United Nations, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.Zwick is an associate professor of finance and studies the interaction between public policy and corporate behavior, with a focus on fiscal stimulus, taxation and housing policy.

Professors John Birge and Ozan Candogan regularly teach operations courses at Booth, and they teamed up to explore how targeted closures in an epidemic can reduce economic losses. They utilize available data on individuals’ movements, level of economic activity in different neighborhoods, and the state of the epidemic to apply their framework to the control of the epidemic in NYC.

John R. BirgeOzan Candogan
Birge is a distinguished professor of operations management. He studies studies mathematical modeling of systems under uncertainty, especially for maximizing operational and financial goals using the methodologies of stochastic programming and large-scale optimization. Birge earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Princeton University in 1977 and a master’s degree and a PhD in operations research from Stanford University in 1979 and 1980, respectively. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2004.Candogan is an associate professor of operations management who primarily studies the role that social and economic networks play in different operational settings. Prior to joining Booth, he was an Assistant Professor at the Fuqua School of Business where he was a member of the Decision Sciences area. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Jean-Pierre Dube teamed up with another professor from the wider university to measure the effects of cable news in the US on regional differences in compliance with recommendations by health experts to practice social distancing. Professor Dubé is the director of the Kilts Center for Marketing at Booth and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research interests include empirical quantitative marketing and empirical industrial organization, with specific interests in pricing, advertising, branding, digital marketing and retailing. This empirical focus is also reflected in his MBA course on pricing strategies, which is designed to teach students how to apply marketing models and analytics to develop pricing strategies in practice.

As a current Booth student, it amazes me how much of my faculty is working on answering the most pressing questions of the time. They are truly intellectual leaders with the knowledge/capability to tackle the biggest problems. It is times like these that their data-driven insights can significantly improve decisions that strongly influence our health and well-being.