Elon students evaluate impact of pandemic on U.S. economy

During The Econ Games collegiate competition, students analyzed data provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and created economic policy recommendations.

Ten Elon students evaluated the impact of the coronavirus on segments of the U.S economy for the 2021 Econ Games, a competition hosted by the University of Kentucky and Northern Kentucky University.

Econ Games logo. Image of lightbulb.More than 250 students participated virtually, representing 18 universities from North America and the United Kingdom.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland served as the data collaborator, providing a dataset for analysis and judging the final presentations, which included teams’ recommendations for economic policy.

Three teams from Elon participated:

  1. Sarah Katherine Loos ’21, Sarah Mirrow ’24, Morgan Rafferty ’21, Andrea Sheetz ’22
  2. Christopher Boyette ’23, Jovani Mendez-Sandoval ’22, Corbin Skaff ’23
  3. Petra Castedo ’21, Kevin Murphy ’22, Peyton Pesavento ’23

The presentation by Boyette, Mendez-Sandoval and Skaff was selected as Elon’s submission for judging.

“The Econ Games of 2021 gave me a deep understanding of how the economy, small businesses and minority communities were affected by the pandemic,” Mendez-Sandoval said. “The Econ Games was an amazing opportunity to gain practical skills like cleaning data, running statistical analysis, and pitching our presentation to economists. I was fortunate to work with two committed members, where we suggested more assistance to small businesses and employees from poorer communities.”

Assistant Professors of Economics Brandon Sheridan and Brooks Depro mentored the students.

“Teams worked collaboratively to both identify an issue using a rich dataset around consumer and business behavior during the pandemic and offer a policy recommendation to help improve the economy,” Sheridan said. “Although it is called The ‘Econ’ Games, the skills learned are much more broadly applicable. We look forward to competing again next year!”