In the Summer before the second year of ARE's Graduate Program, students begin their second-year econometrics projects, also known as the second year paper. Students select an economic question that is of interest to them, and under close faculty supervision craft an empirical paper. A good empirical paper requires three components: a concise, sensible, and relevant research question or hypothesis to test; reasonably good data; and an experiment, event, or set of circumstances that give the data a chance to answer the question asked. Identifying a good question is a non-trivial exercise that takes time and effort. Over the course of the second year students work with a faculty advisor to meet specific deadlines, and the top second year paper wins the Sidney Hoos prize.
Chiman's ARE faculty mentor Professor Aprajit Mahajan offers these summary remarks:
"Chiman's paper improves our understanding of the complex interplay between putatively impartial government audits and political considerations. Chiman documents systematic distortions in audits depending upon whether the audit is carried out in a constituency whose representative is aligned with the party in power in the state -- and that this mechanism is particularly relevant around elections. This is an impressive accomplishment and the work adds to a fledgling literature on information manipulation in the presence of political incentives."