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Merrill W

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


Public and Labor Economics, Economics of Education, Econometrics and Statistics


Currently, I am a PhD student at Stanford studying economics, where I focus on the economics of education and econometrics. I graduated from BYU with degrees in both mathematics and economics. So far, my research has focused on the effects of grade inflation and on synthetic control methods. I enjoy reading and games of all kinds--video games, board games, basketball and volleyball. I also frequent the movies and watch sitcoms with my wife. I hope to be able to help students learn to read and interpret economic research in order to answer their own questions.

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.

Performance Pay and Teacher Incentives

One of the central ideas of economics is that people respond to incentives. How does this principle apply to paying teachers? Well, it's complicated! Students could learn about -Value added models of teacher pay -Recent state policies that implement performance pay for teachers -Arguments for and against adding performance pay to teacher salaries -Current empirical evidence on the effects of performance teacher pay policies on student outcomes

Coding skills


Languages I know


Teaching experience

I worked for several semesters as an econometrics teaching assistant at BYU. I have tutored both college and high school students in various math courses.



Brigham Young University
BS Bachelor of Science (2018)
Mathetmatics and Economics
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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