Mar 18 • 31M

Interview with Sophie Sun, econometrician and recent graduate of MIT

Open in playerListen on);
Mixtape: the Podcasts are interviews conducted between Scott Cunningham (Professor of Economics at Baylor University) and mostly economists, their collaborators, and people in adjacent fields.
Episode details

A panic attack spread across empirical social science fields like economics from 2008 to 2022 as a result of a half dozen econometrics articles analyzing the most popular non-experimental methods in causal inference -- the difference-in-differences design. The reason? The way researchers had been used it probably wasn't right because they'd been using the wrong tools to do it. One of those econometricians was the brilliant Sophie Sun, a recent graduate of MIT's famous economics department who with Sarah Abraham worked on the problem of analyzing what are called "event studies" using a traditional version of the ordinary least squares model called "twoway fixed effects". This paper both helped expose problems with that approach, but graciously, also proposed solutions. A shot heard around the world! In this interview, we learn more about Sophie's work on the subject, where the ideas came from, and her own interpretation of what she helped create.