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Devan S

- Research Program Mentor

MS at South Dakota State University


Economics, Business, Finance, Investments


Hey there! I'm Devan Schaefer, and I'm an economist who loves diving into the fascinating world of economic phenomena. I got my B.S. and M.S. in Economics from South Dakota State University, where I found my passion for studying the impact of clusters on wages. It's amazing to see how interconnected industries can shape our economy, and it's something that I'm always eager to learn more about. When I'm not digging into economics, I love to express my creativity through writing. As a freelance writer for the Dakota Institute, I get to explore the complexities of the U.S. and South Dakota economies and share my insights with a wider audience. Writing is such a fun way to contribute to economic discourse and flex my storytelling skills. To sum it up, my academic journey has been all about exploring my love of economics, with a particular focus on understanding how clusters impact wages. I'm also passionate about writing and bringing economic ideas to a wider audience. And I can't wait to share my knowledge and mentor students who are interested in research. It's going to be a blast!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

The Gig Economy and Labor Market Implications

The research project titled "Gig Economy and Labor Market Implications" intends to explore the effects of the gig economy on traditional labor market dynamics and its impact on worker welfare. The gig economy is characterized by short-term contracts and freelance work, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years, changing the way people engage in economic activities. This study aims to identify the economic implications of this emerging labor market trend, highlighting its benefits and challenges. The project will conduct a comprehensive literature review to examine existing studies, theories, and debates about the gig economy and its effects on the workforce. By analyzing data from various industries and regions, the research will investigate the extent of gig work's growth and its influence on wages, job stability, and employment opportunities. The objective is to explore how the rise of gig work is changing traditional employment patterns and whether it has created a more dynamic or precarious labor market. The study will use qualitative research methods such as interviews and focus groups, in addition to quantitative analysis, to gain insights into gig workers' experiences, motivations, and job satisfaction. This will provide a comprehensive view of how gig work affects worker well-being, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction. The primary objective of the project is to identify potential policy responses that can address any adverse labor market consequences arising from the gig economy. By examining the advantages and disadvantages of gig work, the research aims to propose evidence-based policy recommendations to enhance worker protection, ensure fair wages, and promote a supportive work environment. Overall, the study seeks to provide valuable insights into the gig economy's role in shaping the future of the labor market. Policymakers, employers, and workers can make informed decisions by understanding its implications to foster a more inclusive and sustainable workforce in the evolving economic landscape. The research findings will contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding the gig economy's impact and provide a foundation for future policy interventions and research in this critical area of study.

Coding skills

Stata , VBA, and R

Teaching experience

As a Graduate Assistant during my M.S. at South Dakota State University, I had the privilege of teaching and guiding over 200 students. This experience not only honed my expertise in economics but also allowed me to develop effective mentoring and communication skills. I enjoyed fostering a positive learning environment, assisting students in their academic growth, and encouraging their curiosity in the field of economics.


Work experience

First Bank & Trust (2023 - Current)
Wealth Management Officer


South Dakota State University
BS Bachelor of Science (2021)
Business Economics
South Dakota State University
MS Master of Science

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