This summer, I worked as a research assistant with the research fellows and director of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. As a research assistant, I completed many different projects. For the most part, I conducted research on the annual costs and benefits of regulation, the harms prevented by it, and the amount of transparency in the waiver application process. My final project was on the projected impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For this project, I researched estimates of the impact the TCJA will have on GDP in the short and long term, with an eye to the methodology behind the estimates and the ideology of their authors. My final product was a memo on the big players for modeling the effects of tax policy, including information on the estimated reduction in overall revenue over ten years, the impact on GDP, and from which cuts revenue will be most reduced.
My research experience provided me with new hard and soft skills. I became more adept at anticipating future problems with research and looking at others’ work with a critical eye. I also gained more experience using Excel, learned how to use LexisNexis and navigate government websites, and became more familiar with various forms of statistical analysis.
This research has already had a profound impact on my educational experience. As a member of the fall semester cohort of the Penn in Washington Program, I chose an internship at a law firm in its Public Policy & Regulation program, where I can learn about regulation and business influence from the perspective of a lobbyist.