Economics Senior Spotlight - Gifford Brooks, HC '12
The benefits of closely collaborating with students and faculty, the Honor Code, and the “feel of community” were all reasons Gifford Brooks ’12 decided to attend Haverford College. That Haverford is a small liberal arts school with very strong academics was also paramount.
Giff originally had a strong interest in Political Science (his mother’s major) but his interest in economics (his father’s major) grew as his awareness of the 2008 recession increased and he saw economies around the world spiraling out of control. As an economics major, Giff has developed an understanding of the underlying components contributing to failing economies, while maintaining his interest in government, society and politics. He will also graduate with a Mathematical Economics Concentration.
Giff spent his junior year abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE) where the university is enormous and the academics rigorous. It was a rewarding and beneficial experience. He was struck most by LSE’s curricular model in which a final exam counts as 100% of a student’s final grade.
Through the Whitehead Internship Program, Giff interned at Philadelphia based Econsult during the summer after his sophomore year. He again worked for them as an intern the following summer, delving into data management, research and analysis.
Some classroom highlights include Anne Preston’s Junior Seminar, “Measuring Discrimination”. It was an eye opening curriculum that exposed him to published works about analysis techniques used by economists to measure discrimination. Also, two of Deep Ghosh’s classes, “Introduction to Macroeconomics” and “Monetary Economics”, stand out. Additionally, Giff has worked closely with Richard Ball as a grader for one of his classes and as his thesis advisee.
For his thesis Giff is looking at why females have historically suffered from under-representation in statewide and national political offices in the US. Focusing specifically on state governors, he will address the causes of this gender imbalance. Both candidate supply and demand factors are considered, since a biased voting bloc and a systematic unwillingness of females to enter elections are both possible culprits. Whereas remedying voter bias would require a comprehensive social education effort, female candidate supply might be raised through appropriate policy, namely establishing public funding for gubernatorial elections and enacting term limits. His thesis will test the efficacy of both policy tools.
Giff has accepted a three year analyst position with Cornerstone Research where he will live in Washington, DC working on economic and financial litigation cases. He will also learn about the practical issues surrounding anti-trust legislation in the face of mergers.
In addition to being an economics Peer Tutor and a Teaching Assistant for Anne Preston, Giff is Captain of the Club Soccer Team where he plays center back.