Economics Spotlighted Student: Rishabh Golchha ‘23
Rish’s present research interests span studying trends in monetary policy decision-making, and the environmental and health impacts of urban policy.
Raised in Bangalore, India, Rishabh Golchha ‘23 found himself visiting the US the summer before applying to colleges. While he initially planned on doing the touristy things one does in Philadelphia – go to historical sites such as the Liberty Bell, The National Constitution Center, and Reading Terminal Market – his high-school academic counselor had other plans for him. Upon discovering that Rish was in the area, he encouraged Rish to tour Haverford College, an institution Rish hadn’t heard of at the time! He quickly realized that Haverford was everything he was looking for, with its incredible promise of student self-government, and the strong sense of community that extended well-beyond students to include faculty members and the administration. Fast-forward to a year later, Rish decided to apply early decision, a choice he swears by.
Eager to combine his passion for public policy with his love for numbers, Rish envisioned being a Political Science major and Math minor. However, the liberal arts curriculum allowed him to discover that his interests were better connected by Economics. He first recognized the significant overlap between Economics and Political Science after taking Professor Michael Rock’s Economic Development class at Bryn Mawr. However, it wasn’t until he saw how real-world issues could be modeled and rigorously studied using math in Analytical Methods in Economics with Professors Giri Parameswaran and Carola Binder that he changed his major declaration plans. One class led to another, and after two summers and a semester of working as a research assistant, he blended mathematics with economics resulting in a double major.
Informed by the hot-button topics that surrounded him during his sophomore year, Rish’s present research interests span studying trends in monetary policy decision-making, and the environmental and health impacts of urban policy. In his thesis, he aims to investigate the effects of shared partisanship between the legislative branch of the government and the Federal Reserve on monetary policy decisions in the run-up to Congressional elections following. He expects empirical estimates following the separation of the government debt management system and the central bank in the Fed-Treasury Accord of 1951 to provide insight into the true relationship between Congress and the central bank. Through studying this, he hopes to contribute to the vast body of literature on the importance of insulating the central bank from political pressures.
Apart from Professor Carola Binder’s Federal Reserve Research Seminar, which provided Rish with the idea behind his thesis, he found Professor Michael Levere’s Health Economics Research Seminar and Advanced Macroeconomics with Professor Carola Binder to be the two most influential economics classes he has taken during his time at Haverford. The former deepened his knowledge about the importance of insurance and public health provisions, and exposed him to cutting-edge econometric techniques that are used to perform frontier research and policy analyses. He recalls the significant data assignment that had students replicate the time-series estimation techniques used by an eminent health economist to investigate the impact of Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion as being particularly useful in preparing him for independent research. Similarly, the course work in Advanced Macroeconomics helped deepen his knowledge about economic concepts that he had discussed during his summer research with Professor Binder. Rish recalls how she highlighted and summarized influential economic papers, serving up theories for discussion in the setting of a constantly changing syllabus. It was during this class that Rish first discovered his love for economics research.
In addition to his course work, Rish most recently served as the Student Representative on the Macroeconomics Tenure Track Professor Search Committee. He has also led a Haverford Outdoors Club scuba diving trip to Cozumel, Mexico and has helped the International Student Support Office with various initiatives and organizing International Student Orientation for all four years of his time at Haverford.
Rish has filled his summers with a variety of work experiences. The summer following his first year he worked closely with Professor Giri Parameswaran, watching as he calibrated models for appellate court voting. The following summer, he pursued an internship at SAYA Management, a mid-sized hedge fund concentrated on investments in the industrials and HVAC sector through the Center for Career and Professional Advising’s Whitehead Internship Program. Concurrently and during the following semester, he was a Research Assistant for Professor Carola Binder. As an RA, he worked on tasks such as survey data collection and cleaning, proof-writing, and econometric estimation for three publications on the legitimacy of the Federal Reserve to address social inequities and the intertemporal variation in Amazon MTurk respondents’ characteristics. Rish spent last summer in Los Angeles, where he interned at economic/litigation consulting firm Cornerstone Research. Post-graduation, Rish will continue his work full time in their New York office. Congratulations Rish!