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July 23, 2015 12:00 AM

The Linde Institute’s Graduate Fellowship Program Completes a Successful First Year

The Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences supported the academic careers of Caltech students Khai Xiang Chiong and Myungkoo Song in 2015 by awarding them its first graduate fellowships. 

Khai Chiong works on economics and computation and on applied microeconomic theory.  He graduated with his Caltech Ph.D. in June 2015 and will join the Dornsife Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) at the University of Southern California as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the fall.  Khai’s research centers on social networks, a rapidly expanding area of study, with his main interest in the use of economic theory to explain data patterns observable on social networks. Harnessing data from social networks to test economic theories about those networks, or to infer preferences about connections, has presented an ongoing challenge in the field. Khai proposed an elegant solution based on the notion of revealed preference as explained in his Job Market Paper available here.   Caltech Professors of Economics Federico Echenique and Matthew Shum served as his graduate advisors.

Myungkoo Song recently completed his third year in Caltech’s social science Ph.D. program and continues his investigation into the applications of contract theory to corporate governance. In particular, he seeks to understand which types of compensation contracts encourage effective decision-makers (such as CEOs or managers) within organizations. Myungkoo is building a dynamic mathematical and economic model to analyze the tradeoffs between profitable short-term actions with potentially damaging long-term consequences and profitable long-term actions that do not produce immediate rewards, with the ultimate goal of defining where balance lies between them.  The 2008 financial crisis is a recent historical example of what can happen when short-term incentives prevail over longer-term planning.  Myungkoo is expected to graduate in 2017.  His advisor is Jaksa Cvitanic, the Richard N. Merkin Professor of Mathematical Finance. 

Candidates for future Linde Institute fellowships lasting up to two-quarters each are recommended each summer and subject to the approval of The Linde Institute faculty board.  Fellowships are available in one or more of The Linde Institute’s three areas of research concentration: finance; entrepreneurship; and economics and computer science.  Read more about the research here.