Joshua Ballance ’12: A passion for economics
After graduating in 2012, Ballance spent a year in Washington, D.C., as a research assistant in the economics department at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. A year later, he accepted a position as a research assistant with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, working one on one with Alicia Sasser Modestino, Ph.D., a senior economist in the bank’s New England Public Policy Center. “Though I enjoyed my time at the OCC, my position at the Fed has enabled me to work on research topics—primarily in the field of labor economics—that align closely with my personal research interests and previous exposure as a student at Bryant,” he says.
The former Honors Program member is also taking additional courses as he prepares to apply to Ph.D. programs in economics this fall. “Econ Ph.D. programs do not require that applicants have a master’s degree, so it is imperative, when applying, to demonstrate strong quantitative skills and significant research experience,” says Ballance, whose goals include teaching at the university level while engaging in interesting, high-quality research.
He is currently co-authoring a paper with Modestino and Daniel Shoag, Ph.D., assistant professor at Harvard Kennedy School. The paper, which will be submitted to an academic journal this fall, analyzes trends in “upskilling,” specifically the relationship between labor supply and changes in employer requirements during the Great Recession.
Ballance has been invited to present the research to Bryant faculty and students by Associate Professor of Economics Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph.D. He stays in touch with Tebaldi, whom he describes as a great mentor and sounding board.
“Without Bryant, I don’t think I would have discovered my passion for economics,” he says. “I am certainly grateful for the opportunities that I had and believe that, more than anything, my time at Bryant taught me to never settle for less than the pursuit of opportunities in life that I can find fulfillment in.”