Faculty Update: Introducing Assistant Professor of Economics Andreas Hagemann


By Lea Bart
Aug 14, 2014 Bookmark and Share

Andreas Hagemann

Aug. 9, 2012; Andreas Hagemann..Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

Working at the University of Notre Dame was nice, but Assistant Professor Andreas Hagemann was the only econometrician there. At Michigan, he’ll be in the company of several world-class econometricians, and he couldn’t be happier to surround himself with colleagues in his field.

Within the broad field of econometrics, Hagemann studies quantile regression. Typical regression methods can tell you the effect of an intervention on the average, but in the real world average is hard to come by. Quantile regression allows you to see the effect of an intervention on different parts of the distribution, giving you a much more complete picture. To use an example: typical regression can reveal how a smaller class size affects an average student, but nobody is really average. Quantile regression can show how a smaller class size affects both students with high learning outcomes and those with low learning outcomes.

In the past, Hagemann has looked at methods to discover cycles in time series data. He developed methods that, for example, allow researchers to measure the effect of cycles on the entire distribution of an economic variable rather than just the average of that variable. His current research looks at quantile regression in situations where the effect of an intervention is difficult to measure because outcomes are correlated. For example, introducing a different style of teaching math may affect student outcomes, but students also affect one another. Measuring the impact of the change in teaching style in the presence of such peer effects remains a challenging econometric problem.

While Hagemann plans to continue his theoretical research agenda on quantile regression, he is primarily motivated by problems that pop up in economic practice. He’s looking forward to working with colleagues in applied fields of economics to solve actual problems instead of theoretical exercises.

At the intersection of economics and statistics, econometrics is typically about preparing technical work for an application. Hagemann is excited to spend his time at Michigan working with economists on both theoretical and applied problems, applying the technical to the real. 

Michigan 1, Notre Dame 0.