Cuimin Ba, a graduate student in the School of Arts and Sciences at the Department of Economics at Penn, has been selected to participate in the 2023 Review of Economic Studies tour. The REStud tour, which has been held annually since 1989, selects some of the most promising graduating doctoral students in economics and finance to present their research at several economics departments across Europe.
Cuimin is a microeconomic theorist whose research focuses on foundational topics related to learning and belief formation, as well as more applied topics related to social media and reputation. Her job market paper, ``Robust Misspecified Models and Paradigm Shifts," is motivated by the observation that the misspecified learning literature (i.e. learning with a systematic misunderstanding of the environment) generally takes an individual’s view of the world—her model—as fixed and exogenous. She seeks to provide a foundation for this modeling choice by developing a notion of “sticky” model-switching. She then uses this framework to explore which misspecified models are robust, in the sense that they continue to be used even when an agent entertains an alternative model of the world. This result provides a microfoundation for which forms of misspecification are likely to persist (e.g. overconfidence, simple political views), and which forms are not (e.g. underconfidence, complex political views). The paper received the VSET-WiET Best Paper Award.
Cuimin's dissertation committee consists of Aislinn Bohren (co-chair), George Mailath (co-chair), and Kevin He. The official details of the tour are available here.