Student / Alumna Spotlight: Jiyeon Kim


Update: Joint research of Drs Stefania Albanesi  and Rania Gihleb and graduate students Jialin Hou and Jiyeon Kim featured in The Wall Street Journal, “Coronavirus Employment Shock Hits Women Harder Than Men

Interviewed as Fifth Year Student


Jiyeon Kim, a fourth-year graduate student in the department of economics, sits on a bench in front of a store How would you explain your area/s of research?

I’m currently studying the interaction between the labor market and technological changes. Specifically, I’m looking at the effects of technological changes on wage inequality and the role of retraining in reducing inequality.

What inspired you to choose this field of study?

Technological progress can make the economy grow, but there’s always a dark side. For example, due to automation, the jobs that low-skill workers usually take have been in decline, and it has increased inequality. That makes me wonder what kind of policies we need to alleviate this inequality driven by technological changes.

What is the significance of your research?

When you become unemployed, one way to improve your re-employment prospects is to retrain and upgrade your skill. It’s becoming more important since it’s getting harder for low-skill workers to find work. Despite its importance, not many studies have examined it in detail.

What has most influenced you as a scholar?

I’ve read many academic papers since I started graduate school. Well-written and well-organized papers always make me want to create something as good.

Why did you choose Pitt to pursue your graduate degree?

Pitt is one of the best schools of economics in the world. The wide range of research fields is of particular interest to me. Moreover, Pitt's competitiveness on labor economics, which is my primary research interest, deepens my confidence that this graduate program is an ideal match for me.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m hoping I could get a job that I can continue working on my research. I also enjoy teaching, it’d be great if I could get a change to interact with young students.