Last summer, I worked as a Research Assistant to Professor Anagol on the project of Household Finance in India. It turned out, the project grew more expansive and I was assisting Professor Anagol on researching household finance in emerging markets. Because the project was on an initial stage, the goal of the research project was to gather information on various aspects of household finance in emerging markets and to discover interesting public policies which could be further explored. Some aspects of household finance we investigated included real estate markets, mutual funds, insurance, and e-commerce.
My role in the research was expansive and changed during the summer. I was allocated to different areas of the project as needed. One of the task I worked on was gather information about main players, related policies, and financing instruments on real estate industry in China, Taiwan, India, and Brazil. I used the internet and contacted the professionals to learn about the markets comprehensively, and wrote reports and discussed face-to-face with the Professor about what I found interesting. Using similar process, I also researched the E-Commerce Industry in India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Russia. Another task I worked on was to navigate the databases and gather published research articles and news releases related to the real estate industry and doing business environment worldwide. I was responsible of organizing the data and presented them to Professor Anagol. An additional duty of mine was creating a database that included the marriage patterns of all the countries in the world. This task worked as a preparation for Professor Anagol’s further research on genes and marriage in different regions in the world.
Looking back, I am very pleased to have participated in PURM and worked with Professor Anagol. I learnt a lot about the basic economic research, different industries in emerging markets, research skills, and the ability to work independently. The tasks I worked on helped me learn what topics economists care about and how economists approach an issue they want to further investigate. Besides, through learning and writing about industries like the real estate industry, I learnt about how those industries work and compared and contrasted the industry in different countries. Also, I practiced the ability to navigate internet and find desired information fast, and grew familiar to tools like Econlit. What’s more, I became more adapt to working independently and making plans for myself.
In summary, I appreciate PURM provided me a valuable opportunity to research with Penn Professors, and I think assisting Professor Anagol was a great learning opportunity for me.