IDEC Thesis

As part of the program requirements, IDEC students are required to present a master’s thesis based on empirical research in their areas of interest in economic development. This is usually a 4-stage process where the students begin to identify their interests during the first year and explore relevant research opportunities. During the summer break, they travel outside the US to developing countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, India, and Uganda to collect primary and/or secondary data through field research. Upon returning, they conduct an original and quantitative empirical analysis of this data under the supervision of a faculty advisor and present their findings at the end of the second year. 

Information for current students on thesis submission guidelines and graduation

  • After having identified your thesis advisor, please notify the Program Manager (an advisor form will also be circulated in the fall semester of your 2nd year). Students graduating in 2022 can complete this thesis advisor form.
  • Apply for graduation: Students may apply to start three semesters prior to their graduation semester and should apply no later than the second week of their final semester to ensure ample time to be notified regarding any outstanding degree requirements. Application deadlines: September 1st (Fall),  February 1st (Spring and Summer)
  • During your last semester, in order to complete the necessary requirements for your Degree Review, you will need to submit your final thesis and supporting documentation to USF and the Economics Department. Please note that the following instructions are in addition to the documents and copy of your thesis that you are required to submit to your thesis advisor: 

1. Gleeson Library Repository upload: It is a mandatory requirement for your MS degree to upload your final thesis to the Gleeson Library Repository. Once you have uploaded your thesis to Gleeson Library based on the instructions given, please return the completed “Electronic Thesis/Project Submission Agreement Form” to the Program Manager. You will also receive an electronic confirmation that your upload was successful, please forward it to the Program Manager. This is a USF requirement for graduation - Your degree review request will not be initiated with the Dean’s Office until we receive this confirmation.

2. Economics Google Drive Folder upload: An electronic copy of your thesis and the supporting documents must also be uploaded to our department's Google Drive. Here is the complete list of documents you need to upload:

  • Your thesis (PDF format)
  • Abstract (PDF format)
  • Survey Form (PDF format)
  • Codebook, if you have one -- not everyone will! (PDF or Excel format)
  • Dataset (PDF or Excel format)
  • A completed Project Overview Form. Please see the template here.

File naming conventions: Before uploading your thesis, supporting documents, and your completed Project Overview Form to Google Drive, it is important to uniformly name each document before uploading your documents. You can find the blank Project Overview Form attached to this email. 
Please follow these naming conventions for your files:

a.     --Project Form:  wydick.bruce.SP2017.projectform.bolivia
b.     --Thesis:  wydick.bruce.SP2019.thesis.bolivia
c.     --Abstract:  wydick.bruce.SP2019.abstract.bolivia
d.     --Data set:   wydick.bruce.SP2019.dataset.bolivia
e.     --Survey:  wydick.bruce.SP2019.survey.bolivia
f.      --Codebook: wydick.bruce.SP2019.codebook.bolivia (not everyone has a code book but include it if you do)


Mutiu O. Fakorede
Title: Does My Skin Tone Really Matter? A Socioeconomic Analysis in Nigeria.
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes

 Juan S. Gomez
Advisor: Andrew Hobbs

Erma Kurtovic
Title: Formal and Informal Styles of Clothing in the Assessment of Female Political Candidates
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar 

Anudari Krystal Amartuvshin
Title: Burnout and Social Support among Healthcare Workers during Covid-19: Evidence from Italy.
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar 

Timothy Finney
Title: Can Social Support Ameliorate Burnout?
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar

Gianna Camacho
Title: Impact of Clubfoot Treatment on Adolescent Life Outcomes
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Pricila Serratos
Title: Impacts of Livestock Insurance on Household Health
Advisor: Andrew Hobbs 

Wendy F. Vasquez Ajquill
Title: Does Climate Index Insurance Protect Farmers Against Livestock Loss? Evidence from Kenya
Advisor: Andrew Hobbs 

Surpiya Adhikari

Title: Does prize sharing close the gender-based gap of competition in Nepal?
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar (primary advisor) and Nadia Smith (secondary advisor)

Scott Barger
Title: Police Union Membership and Lethal Use of Force
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes

Firuzjon Khayrulloev
Title: Gender Differences in risk, social, and competitive preference. Experimental evidence from Uzbekistan.
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar

Mai Moua
Title: Do Letters and Gifts from International Sponsors affect Child Outcomes? Evidence from Colombia, Ghana, and Haiti
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Fiona Onyango
Title: The Gendered Impact of Droughts on Household Decision Making: Evidence from Uganda
Advisor: Andrew Hobbs

Devaprasad Sahadevan
Title: Transitioning into Retirement: Effect of Pension Expansion on Elderly Labor Force Participation in India
Advisor: External Advisor / Jesse Anttila-Hughes

Nettie Silvernale
Title: Do Conditional Cash Transfers Increase School Enrollment? Evidence from Brazil
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes & Kimberly Singer Babiarz 

Rajshri Suresh
Title: Temperature effects on prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among at-risk female sex workers in India
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes

Yibekal Tessema
Title: The Role of Learning Styles in the Uptake of Index Insurance: Evidence from Kenya
Advisor: Andrew Hobbs

Jean Plantin
Title: The Effect of Foreign Direct Investment on Colombia's Economic Growth and Role of Human Capital: Does Foreign Direct Investment Foster Growth?
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Name: Safia Belayadi
Title: Who Benefits From Park and Recreation Improvements in San Francisco?
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes


Name: Noriel Campos
Title: Income Inequality in America: Conclusions from 100 years of Income Tax Data and Cross-Country Comparisons
Advisor: Libo Xu

Name: James Zumel Dumlao
Title: Innovation Dynamics of Cultural Production: Evidence in Rap Lyrics
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Dalia Elgebaly
Title: An Estimated New Keynesian Model for the Egyptian Economy
Advisor: Libo Xu


Name: Mary Wanja Gathungu
Title: Estimating Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in a Comprehensive Microenterprise Intervention
Advisor: Bruce Wydick


Name: Jorge Herrera
Title: Cruise Ship Ports and Human Capital Development: The Case of Mexico
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Diana Herrera Gutierrez
Title: Mentoring Effects on Microbusiness Growth in Medellin, Colombia
Advisor: Bruce Wydick


Name: Lauren Lamson
Title: The Effect of Sex of Firstborn Children on Fertility Preferences
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Agamani Maity
Title: Oil Price Changes and Unemployment Rate in the U.S. and Chile
Advisor: Libo Xu


Name: Ryan McWay
Title: Cruising Through School: General Equilibrium Effects of Cruise Ship Arrivals on Employment and Education
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes

Name: Shuvam Rizal
Title: The Effect of Sex of Firstborn Children on Attitudes Towards Intimate Partner Violence
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Katelyn (Katie) Roett
Title: Green Gold: Avocado Price Shocks and Violence in Mexico
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Stephanie Smith
Title: Estimating Predictors of Mental Well-Being Through Analysis of Children's Drawings: The Case of Syrian Refugees
Advisor: Bruce Wydick


Name: Anna Subirana I Boffil
Title: The Role of High Fructose Corn Syrup Imports in Child and Maternal Obesity
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Gladys Wachira
Title: Impact of Oil Price Shocks on Inflation: The Case of BRICS Countries
Advisor: Libo Xu

Name: Zhenyao Yuan
Title: The Effect of the Second-Stage Anti-Corruption Campaign on Provincial Development in China, 2015-2017
Advisor: Peter Lorentzen

Name: Mahsa Ashabi
Title: Captive Nations: Measuring Economic Growth on Native American Reservations in California
Advisor: Jesse Anttila-Hughes

Name: Yurlady Chaverra-Palacios
Title: Measuring Cocoa Agricultural Productivity: A Spatio-Temporal Econometric Approach
Advisor: Yaniv Stopnitzky


Name: Ian Connors
Title: Financial Red Flags: Empirical Mapping of Firm Political Preferences by Sector in Mexico
Advisor: Peter Lorentzen, Michael Jonas

Name: Sarah Elmes
Title: Better Fishing Conditions Improve Child Nutrition: Global Evidence from Satellite Data
Advisor: Yaniv Stopnitzky, Jesse Antilla-Hughes


Name: Bethany Gerdemann
Title: Competition and Cooperation in Polygynous & Monogamous Households: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar, Yaniv Stopnitzky

Name: Madison Levine
Title: The Behavioral Determinants of Well-Being in Sierra Leone
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar


Name: Shikhar Mehra
Title: Economic Shocks and Personality Traits of the Ultra-Poor
Advisor: Yaniv Stopnitzky


Name: Isabel Miranda
Title: The Long-Run Effects of Tropical Cyclones on Infant Mortality
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes

Name: Candy Moreno-Garcia
Title: Mentoring Female Entrepreneurs: Revenue Analysis
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Name: Ashwini Shridhar
Title: Are Menstrual Cycles a Biological Determinant of Well-Being Amongst Sierra Leonean Schoolchildren?
Advisor: Alessandra Cassar

Name: Susann Skjoldhorne
Title: The Effect of Disability Status on Parental Input: A Study from India
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Name: Theresa Solenski
Title: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs Through Mentorship in Medellin, Colombia: Results from the Field
Advisor: Bruce Wydick

Name: John Sutton
Title: Temperature and Tempers: Heat Impact on Mood and Language
Advisor: Jesse Antilla-Hughes

Name: Mustafa Zahid
Title: The Impact of Cleft Lip/Palate and CLP Surgical Intervention on the Social Integration of Adolescents in India
Advisor: Bruce Wydick