On September 17th, Dr. Craig Palsson shared his unique story to finding his path to academia and pursuing a PhD in Economics with Graduate and Undergraduate Research Fellows at the Center for Growth & Opportunity at Utah State University.
Palsson graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics and then completed his PhD at Yale University in Economics.
During his time at BYU, Palsson debated between many different career paths. While he knew that he wanted to become a university professor, it wasn’t until he learned that economics was his true passion that he decided to pursue a PhD.
“You don’t just say you are passionate about something,” said Palsson, “You go and show it.”
As a student, he published four research papers, became a research fellow for FINCA International, and received the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship award.
The undergraduate and graduate research fellows in attendance asked Palsson questions about the lifestyle of graduate school, the stresses involved with pursuing a PhD program, and the job market for PhD graduates. Palsson talked about the wide variety of opportunities for economics PhD graduates
After working at the Naval Postgraduate School, Dr. Palsson is now an Assistant Professor at Utah State University working at the intersection of economic development and economic history. His work focuses on how institutions such as property rights and state capacity evolve in developing countries. Much of his work looks at institutions in Haiti, contributing to the limited recording of its economic history.
For more information about the opportunities for students at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, visit our Student Programs page.