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Economics Grad Pursues Doctorate at Yale

By Laura Dallago ’18 on August 30, 2016 04:07 PM

THE WAYS OF FINANCE: Ahyan Panjwani ’16 won the Gerald M. Meier Award for Distinction in Economics

“Indeed, the Bard knew his macroeconomics well!” declares Ayhan Panjwani ’16, an economist with a predilection for Shakespeare and a winner of the Gerald M. Meier Award for Distinction in Economics. Ahyan will begin his doctoral studies in Economics at Yale this fall after receiving recognition for an exceptional senior thesis.

Referring to The Merchant of Venice while describing his research pursuits, Ahyan muses on the deal between Shylock and Antonio for “a pound of flesh and no blood,” highlighting that the character's concern lies within the collateral rather than the interest rate. Similarly, Ayhan will examine collateral and leverage as sources of systemic risk within the economy, moving beyond simply lowering interest rates during a financial crisis.

“Generally, my research interests lie in Macroeconomics with a bend towards finance,” he says. While at Reed, the mathematics-economics grad focused on finance in Brazil for his thesis. “The idea was to determine whether Brazil's current monetary policy is a feasible one given all their troubles in the past few years,” Ayhan details. Citing their failed efforts to maintain inflation, he proposed alternative policies for their economy. At Yale, Ayhan will continue to explore the ways of finance.

Ayhan thanks Prof. Jon Rork [economics 2010–] and Prof. Kim Clausing [economics 1996–] for their mentorship and support, and for working alongside the Center for Life Beyond Reed during the application process. On this year’s Meier award winners, Prof. Jon Rork attests "not only did Ahyan and Sarah excel in their classes, they both undertook incredibly complex research that has prepared them for their post-Reed studies that start in the fall."

The Gerald M. Meier Award recognizes outstanding achievement in Reed’s economics program. A 1947 graduate, Meier went on to receive his Ph.D. from Harvard and taught at Stanford for decades. His book Leading Issues in Economic Development (1964) is considered a fundamental text in the field.