PhD Alumni

Fa-Hsiang Chang

Fa-Hsiang Chang, Phd.

Fa-Hsiang Chang, Phd

Fa-Hsiang Chang (Ph.D. 2015): As a lecturer in Wenzhou Kean University, Fa-Hsiang Chang customizes his teaching materials and logical training process to diversified-level students. His teaching goal is to ensure students having abilities to realize the economic environment, analyze the economic issues, and solve the real-world problem by applying economic concepts.   As a researcher, Fa-Hsiang Chang specializes in dynamic regional development, the pattern of industry structure and urban formation in both theoretical models and empirical studies. He is currently working on the effect of dynamic agglomeration externalities on regional economic efficiency under the urban system perspective, with the support of some external funding.

Fa-Hsiang’s Ph.D. dissertation, “Essays on New Economics Geography”, was completed in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Alex Anas. While a Ph.D. candidate, Fa-Hsiang’s research interests focus on theoretical microeconomics, especially the analysis of urban sprawl and formation of urban system, focusing on the optimal development path for cities in an urban system under the framework of the new economic geography. Prior to Joining UB, Fa-Hsiang obtained the M.A in Economics from National Taiwan University and earned the B.A. degree in Management Science from National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan. When he isn’t glued to the computer screen, he tries hard not to be the worst basketball player on the campus.

Huibin Chang

Huibin Chang , Phd.

Huibin Chang, Phd

Huibin Chang (Ph.D. 2016) is Assistant Professor at Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE). Huibin Chang's research focuses on applied microeconomics, urban economics, transportation economics, and computable general equilibrium models. His ongoing research projects include the application of computable general equilibrium models to spatially detailed urban regions; and analyzing the general equilibrium effects and the wider impact of various public policies concerning urban economies. He has been studying the economic interactions between the transportation sectors and the local output, labor, and real estate markets and the issues related to various road pricing instruments in the context of general equilibrium.

Huibin completed his Ph.D. dissertation, "Applications of the Regional Economy, Land Use and Transportation (RELU-TRAN) CGE Model to Urban Transportation Pricing and Investment Policies", in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Alex Anas. Huibin also holds M.A. and B.A. degrees in Economics and Construction Management from DUFE. Prior to joining DUFE in 2018, Huibin worked at the University of International Business and Economics. Huibin and Anas are now collaborating on new research projects.

Hoang Dao

Hoang Dao, Phd.

Hoang Dao, Phd

Hoang Dao is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Berry College in GA, US. He is currently teaching Introductory Economics, Business Statistics, and Urban Economics. Hoang’s research interest lies in applied microeconomics, specifically empirical IO (where he is interested in the effects of market structure, competition, and policies for different markets), and Urban Economics (where he is interested in analyzing the multiple modes of transportation and the effects of policy changes on different aspects of the urban structure). His researches mainly employ the methods of discrete choice and demand estimation, along with reduced form methods and theoretical models.

Hoang received his PhD from the University at Buffalo in 2021. His dissertation, “Essays on the Economics of Transportation” were written under the supervision of Professor Alex Anas, focusing on the analyses of competition in the airline market and the policies of parking in an urban setting. During his PhD program, Hoang enjoyed presenting his research papers at different conferences, notably the AEA Conference (poster) in 2020 and International Transportation Economics conference in 2021, and multiple regional conferences. Hoang also holds an M.S. in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics from the University at Buffalo and a B.A. in Economics from St. John’s University.

Xu Guo

Xu Guo, Phd.

Xu Guo, Phd

Xu Guo (Ph.D. 2018): An Assistant Professor at Hunan University. Xu Guo’s research focuses on financial economics, asset pricing and fix income. His current projects include bond return predictability, the collateral value of corporate bond, stock herding, and short interest.

Xu completed his Ph.D. dissertation, “Essays on return predictability in equity market and corporate bond market” in 2018 under the supervision of Professor Chunchi Wu from school of management and Professor Yun Pei. Xu holds B.S. degree in Mathematics from Sun Yat-sen University and M.S. degree in Finance from the University of Tampa. Xu’s recent paper “Short interest, stock returns and credit ratings” is published on Journal of Banking and Finance, coauthored with Prof. Chunchi Wu. 

Nicole Hunter

Nicole Hunter, Phd.

Nicole Hunter, Phd

Nicole Hunter (Ph.D. 2018): An Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at SUNY Buffalo State College. Nicole’s research focuses on international trade and environmental policy. She currently has three research projects underway: One examines the role environmental taxes play on a firm’s market behavior, one analyses the impacts in New York State of recent tariff policies, and the other investigates individuals’ behavioral responses to natural disasters.

Nicole’s Ph.D. dissertation, “Externality, Market Imperfection, and Optimal Environmental Policy”, was completed in 2018 under the supervision of Professor Winston Chang. While a Ph.D. candidate Nicole’s research focused on environmental regulation in imperfectly competitive markets. Nicole also holds an M.A. degree in Economics and B.A. degrees in Economics and Mathematics from UB. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys hiking and traveling.

Debarshi Indra

Debarshi Indra is a Senior Manager at Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev) in their Global Analytics Center in India. His work involves solving complex business problems for the various business units of ABInBev spread across the global. Debarshi primarily works in the area of Revenue Management, designing solutions to find the optimal price and assortment of ABInBev products. He works in cross-functional teams with Statisticians, Computer Scientists and Economists borrowing techniques from Empirical Industrial Organisation, Econometrics of Causal Inference, Machine Learning, and Operations Research.

Debarshi received his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo in 2014 where his thesis advisor was Prof Alex Anas. Debarshi, in his thesis, applied various econometric methods to analyze the behavior of demand and supply in the U.S labor and housing markets mainly using Discrete Choice Models. He was also a Research Associate at the Center for Sustainable Development at UC Riverside during the 2011-2015 period working in a project led by Prof Alex Anas and Prof Richard Arnott. Debarshi has published a paper at the Journal of Regional Science (co-authored with Prof Abhradeep Maiti) and has several articles in progress.

Elfatih Shaaeldin Khalafalla

Elfatih Shaaeldin Khalafalla, PhD.

Elfatih Shaaeldin Khalafalla, PhD

Elfatih Shaaeldin Khalafalla (Ph.D. 1981) served as a macroeconomics and economic development lecturer in the University of Khartoum before joining the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1985. For over 25 years he was employed in the African Bank as a researcher, country program officer, and manager. He was stationed in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Tunis (Tunisia).  During this period he participated in the preparations of research papers, thematic and country reports, projects proposals, policy dialogue missions, and donor coordination in many countries in East, West, and North Africa. In Addis Ababa, he worked as a resident representative of the Bank supervising the Bank’s portfolio in Ethiopia and a liaison officer coordinating with the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. After retiring from AfDB, Mr. Khalafalla worked in the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), covering West African and Southern African countries. He also consulted for a variety of UN and other organizations and institutions.

Mr. Khalafalla's Ph.D dissertation on “Development of Peripheral Capitalism in Sudan, 1898-1978” was completed in May 1981 under the supervision of Prof. Paul Zarembka. His  study adopted a historical analytical approach on the socio-economic development of Sudan, focusing on the structural development of the economy which transformed the production relations and the class formation resulting in conflicts that ended with the emergence of peripheral capitalism. Khalafalla also holds M.Sc. degree in economics and econometrics from the University of Southampton, UK, (awarded in 1978) and B.Sc. degree in economics, First Class Honor, from the University of Khartoum, Sudan (awarded in 1974). Throughout his career, Mr. Khalafalla has developed a variety of research interests including in African economic development, macroeconomic policy, banking, agricultural and rural development, governance and the political economy of policymaking.

Ievgenii Kudko

Ievgenii Kudko, Phd.

Ievgenii Kudko, Phd

Dr. Ievgenii Kudko is a Senior Consultant in the Financial Services Risk Management Advisory (FSRM) practice at Ernst & Young (EY). He specializes in development, validation and audit roles within the model risk management functions of financial institutions. At EY, Dr. Kudko works on developing and validating financial credit risk models used for capital reporting under IFRS9, CECL, and CCAR regulatory frameworks, as well models used for operational purposes (i.e., scoring, collections, and fraud identification).

Dr. Kudko obtained his Ph.D. in Economics in 2017 from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with the thesis called “Models of Urban Income Inequality and Heterogeneity” written under the supervision of Dr. Alex Anas. When being a PhD candidate, Dr. Kudko’s research interests lied in the field of applied micro economics, focusing on the problems of social interactions in the U.S. housing market, income inequality and congestion pricing policy analysis.

Apart from holding a Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Dr. Kudko holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Applied Mathematics from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University.

Jianbo Luo

Jianbo Luo, Phd.

Jianbo Luo, Phd

Jianbo Luo (Ph.D. 2018) is a Data Scientist at Curo Financial, a Fintech company. He develops and validates predictive models (underwriting, collection, etc.) using machine learning algorithms (Gradient Boosting, Random Forest, etc.).

Dr. Luo’s research interests lie in machine learning, subjective well-being, behavioral economics, and labor economics. His research, entitled “Happiness adaptation to high income: Evidence from German panel data”, was published in Economics Letters. Another paper was published in Journal of Happiness Studies, entitled “A Pecuniary Explanation for the Heterogeneous Effects of Unemployment on Happiness”. His dissertation, entitled “Essays on Behavioral Labor Economics”, was written under the supervision of Dr. Neel Rao.

Apart from obtaining Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo, He holds MBA from Nanjing University and B.S. in Engineering from Tsinghua University.

Wynn (Nguyen) Ngo

Nguyen Ngo, Phd.

Nguyen Ngo, Phd

Wynn (Nguyen) Ngo is an Associate Economist at A2F Consulting.  At A2F, he conducts market assessments, monitoring and evaluation for projects funded by economic-development organizations, including the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. His works involve combining economic theories, surveys, and applied microeconomics to solve program and policy evaluation problems.

Wynn received his PhD degree from the University at Buffalo in 2019. His dissertation, "Essays on Retirement, Self-employment, and Business Entry", were written under the supervision of Professor Joanne Song McLaughlin. He is interested in research topics in business entries and applied microeconomics. He also holds an MA (2015) and BA (2012) degrees, both in Economics, from the University at Buffalo. Wynn enjoys learning and stand-up comedy in his spare time.

Guillermo Sinisterra

Guillermo Sinisterra , Phd.

Guillermo Sinisterra , Phd

Guillermo Sinisterra (Ph.D. 2018) is Assistant Professor Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He is currently teaching intermediate finance and urban economics. Guillermo's current research is centered on the effects of infrastructure on economic development and the spatial distribution of population and  economic activity. Guillermo has been an organizer of the workshop in urban and regional economics held at Universidad Javeriana in 2017 and 2019. Guillermo is also an analyst for financial radio and TV shows in Colombia. While a PhD candidate, Guillermo’s research interest centered on applied microeconomics, focusing on the effect of the introduction of massive transportation systems on population density, the location of economic activity and property prices in developing countries.

Guillermo’s PhD dissertation, “The Effects of transportation Improvements on Urban Form, Employment Location and Prices" was completed in 2018 under the supervision of professor Alex Anas. At UB Guillermo also earned the MA in economics, and holds an M.S and B.S in economics from the Universidad Javeriana, of his native Colombia. In his spare time, Guillermo enjoys reading, watching movies and traveling.

Yiru Wang

Yiru Wang, Phd.

Yiru Wang, Phd

Yiru Wang (Ph.D. 2018) is currently an Assistant Professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. Yiru’s research fields are applied microeconomics, health economics and labor economics. Her current projects include healthcare utilization and health behavior among older adults in China.

Yiru received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Zhiqiang Liu. Yiru holds a M.A. degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo and B.A. and M.A. degrees in Finance from Nankai University. Her recent research is published on China Economic Review.

Mahdieh Yazdani

Mahdieh Yazdani , Phd.

Mahdieh Yazdani , Phd

I obtained my Ph.D. in Economics in 2020 from UB. I am currently a postdoctoral research associate and instructor in the Department of Economics at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder). 

My research lies at the intersection of Applied Econometrics, Machine Learning, Real Estate & Urban/Regional Economics, and Behavioral & Experimental Economics where I create and run experiments as well as design learning machines leveraging structured and unstructured data. Empirical findings about behavior of individuals or markets in normally occurring environments may or may not be always consistent with the ideas in classical economics. To resolve the differences between conventional economic models, predictions, and empirical findings, in my research instead of explicitly prespecifying any models and providing a prior description of the situation to decision makers, I let models and individuals learn from the data or the environment they are surrounded by or rely upon personal experiences.

My Ph.D. dissertation, “Individuals’ Decision Making about Risk under both Description & Experience”, was completed under the supervision of Professor Peter B. Morgan and Professor Glenn W. Harrison. I also hold an M.A. degree in Economics from UB and B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Isfahan. In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball, tennis, and traveling.

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