Economics Senior Spotlight - Linus Marco, HC '13
Linus Marco ’13 didn’t anticipate double majoring in economics and political science. He had not taken any economics courses in high school and had plans of focusing on political science in college. Soon after taking Introduction to Economics he decided to declare the double major with a concentration in mathematical economics.
He was under the impression that economics was about finance, money and monetary calculations. However, after taking some economics classes at Haverford he was inspired by the mix of theory and quantitative, empirical research – he very much enjoyed the mathematics. His thesis in economics will examine the effect of access to microfinance lending on small firms' decision to operate in the formal or informal sector of a developing country's economy. To measure this effect, he has developed a theoretical model of firm formality which he will test using survey data from Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda. Hopefully his findings will help inform government policy and the way that microfinance institutions grant credit in countries with large informal sectors. His political science thesis will also draw heavily on the statistical analysis he has learned in economics. It will examine if, how and why charter school policy in the United States has changed since the recent economic crisis.
Outside of academics, Linus is also on the fencing team at Haverford. Fencing has played a huge part in his life, and was one of his major reasons for coming to Haverford. Along with the college’s outstanding academics, the strength and welcoming nature of the fencing team convinced him that Haverford was the right place for him. As co-captain of the team this year, Linus hopes to continue the team’s success by leading the team to its fourth consecutive MACFA conference championship. He also plays the trumpet and has been a member of Haverford’s orchestra during his freshman, sophomore and junior years.
Summer internships have been an important part of Linus’s academic career. As a rising sophomore he went home to Madison, Wisconsin and worked in Senator Russ Feingold’s office. Linus provided constituent services, staffing listening sessions around the state, answering phone calls and collecting opinions on issues and passing those findings on to the Senator and his staff.
The summer before his junior year Linus assisted sociology professor Anat Yom-Tov, concentrating on social welfare programs in Europe. Specifically, they looked at how different types of safety-net programs affected citizens’ perceived socioeconomic mobility.
As a rising senior he worked with political science professor Zachary Oberfield, looking at privatization of government services, in particular focusing on education, welfare and prisons. Rather than trying to look at privatization through the more typical normative lens, they examined how privatization affects employees and organizational functioning. Linus also helped apply for, clean and start to analyze data from the U.S. Department of Education.
Appreciating how government and politics work (thus his major in political science), he plans to use his economics training immediately after he graduates, working in public policy. He is currently applying to jobs at policy research firms, in government and at think tanks. After working in public policy for 2 or 3 years he plans to enroll in an MPA, MPP or PhD program in economics or public policy.