Qi Ge '06 (Shanghai, China) is a three-time veteran of conducting summer research at Hamilton as a Levitt Fellow. This summer, Ge, an economics and math major, is conducting research for a project titled "Determinants of Firm Performance: Evidence from Panel Data for Bulgaria, Russia and the Baltic Republics."
Ge is working with Derek Jones, professor of economics. He described his project: "We seek to determine what affects the firm performance in transition economies. One of the key questions we want to address is whether firms' ownership types (state-owned, foreign-owned, private-holding, etc.) affect their performance."
Last summer, Ge worked as a Levitt Fellow with Stephen Wu, assistant professor of economics, on the determinants of private health insurance coverage. During the summer of 2003, he worked with Cheng Li, William R. Kenan Professor of Government, on the effect of foreign-educated "talents"—meaning those Chinese students who studied abroad, mainly at postgraduate level and went back to China upon graduation—on Chinese higher education.
Ge said that the topic of his research fits his interest in transitional economies, and this is also one of Jones' ongoing projects. A few of Ge's other topics of interest include the determinants of the level of CEO pay in those transition economies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic Republics, and more specifically, "Is the level of executive income related to the firm performance? Is the CEO pay determined by the size of the firm or its ownership types?"
Regarding living and working on campus this summer, Ge said, "I finally notice the existence of the sun!"
Following graduation next spring, Ge plans to attend graduate school for economics, earn his Ph.D. in five years and begin a career in researching or teaching.
To enhance student research around issues of public affairs, the Levitt Center funds student-faculty research through its Levitt Research Fellows Program. The program is open to all students who wish to spend the summer working in collaboration with a faculty member on an issue related to public affairs. Students receive a summer stipend and some expense money, and spend 10 weeks in the summer working intensively with a faculty mentor. Those selected for the program are required to provide a written assessment of their work at the completion of the summer, and also give a public presentation of their research findings to the Hamilton community, or local high school classes through the Levitt Scholars program.
-- by Katherine Trainor