This summer I worked with Professor Argudo of the Economics department studying the effects of immigration reform on the economy of the United States. Specifically, we were comparing the effects of the immigration plans put forward by President Trump and President Biden and their respective effects on the economy.
I worked with three other student researchers along with Professor Argudo on this project. The first objective for us was to load, clean, and transform the data to make analysis possible. We decided to use the SIPP (Survey of Income and Program Participation) data as a result of the breadth of variables included as well as the large sample it provided. Cleaning the SIPP data was very time-consuming due to the changes in the structure of the dataset that occurred in the timeframe of our years of interest. Therefore, the majority of the summer was spent on cleaning the data and in particular, matching the variables from different years of the dataset. It is not a perfect science; however, we were able to finish transforming all of the variables for each year enabling us to make a homogenous dataset for all years of interest. The next step is to analyze the SIPP data to allow us to make our conclusions.
My experience this summer allowed me to dive deeply into academic research for an extended period of time. I have worked as a research assistant before; however, since this was my full-time job for the summer, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the realities of economic research in the real world. I am very excited to continue working on the analysis portion of the project this fall where the effects of immigration reform on the economy will be illustrated further.