McArthur, Donald Rex
Dynamic Multi-Industry Firm Computational Model
Faculty Mentor: Rick Evans, Economics
My ORCA Grant allowed me to spend my time building a Macroeconomic Tax Policy scoring model that was used in open source research with the Tax Policy Center. I used the money to fund my time coding and contributing to the project found on the github repository at https://github.com/OpenSourcePolicyCenter. My focus was especially in developing the tax analysis on the side of the firms in the model. Under the direction of Rick Evans, we made some progress in that development, but it soon became apparent that the needed work was more based around the heterogeneous agents, and their respective income groups.
Focusing on the income groups allowed me to implement some analysis using my mathematics background, especially in the field of Markov chains and random walks analysis. This was rewarding for me, because it had the benefit of being involved with the things I was currently learning in my area of studies a little bit more. Dr. Evans was most helpful in this transition, and I owe all my success to his mentorship.
I’d like to express the deepest gratitude to the Office of Research & Creative Activities for awarding me the grant, as well as every donor that made it possible. Being involved in this research has opened a lot of doors for me, both career and academic. This research and jump start into the coding world helped me secure a job with a mathematics professor doing similar research.
I’d like to especially thank Dr. Rick Evans, who has since moved to University of Chicago, for his unbounded energy and trust in me. He helped grow and develop a young bright mind into something useful. Without him, I’d probably still just be an average Economics major, wondering what on earth I was supposed to do with my degree.
A lot of credit also goes to Dr. Kerk Phillips. He is just as influential as Dr. Evans was in my growth. Dr. Phillips was there to give a joke when no one wanted one. He is a fantastic example of exactly what I would want to be as a professor and mentor to those young students around me.