9: Kelsey Fortune



Program and Year of Study

PhD, 4th year

Previous degrees and colleges

BA Mathematics and Economics, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Where did you grow up?

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Where do you live now?

Central Davis, in a wonderful little house

What's your favorite spot in Davis?

I love the farmers’ market. It is a perfect representation of the Davis community.

How do you relax?

Aside from the normal things, reading, working out, etc., I enjoy renovating my house; painting cabinets, installing new countertops, retiling the bathroom. I also have an annual pass to Disneyland, so you can find me there as often as possible!

What was the last book you read for pleasure?

I’m currently reading A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus.

What was the last film you saw at the theater?


Research interests

My research falls in three categories: behavioral, experimental, and energy and environmental economics. However, I find myself interested in public, labor, education, and industrial organization as well. Having broad interests made the transition to working on my own research a challenge.

Dissertation title or topic

I am currently running an experiment exploring the effect of real time feedback on driver behavior and realized fuel economy. This will hopefully become an important part of my dissertation.

Please share a surprising or noteworthy fact or finding from your research

It’s too early to tell! I just started collecting data.

Which professor or class inspired you to pursue graduate studies?

My intermediate microeconomics professor, Kamran Bilir, inspired me to pursue economics. I was in the first course she taught as a professor making her very accessible, and in a male dominated field, it was a big deal to interact with a lady economist.

Which scholarly text do you wish you had written? Why?

Can I have everything on Hunt Allcott’s CV? 

Which other researchers at UC Davis are doing work that particularly interests you?

Katrina Jessoe in ARE and Dave Rapson are doing very interesting work. As someone interested in educating people about economics, I am also inspired by Jim Bushnell’s work in the policy world.

What’s the best thing about being a grad student?

Teaching! I love being a teaching assistant and plan to teach my own course next year. Helping students understand and get excited about economics is my favorite part of grad school.

What’s the worst?

It is hard to avoid feeling stuck. Progress can be very slow and milestones few and far between. 

If you weren’t a grad student, what would you be doing?

It’s hard to imagine doing anything other than grad school, but if I had to do something else, it would be teaching. 

Finally, please ask yourself a question

Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?

Talk like Yoda I would.


—March 2017


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