Class of 2022

Greg Levy

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours?

For me, my decision was always about the opportunity to do a thesis - I really wanted to get a chance to work at the frontier of economic knowledge and see if there were any interesting questions that haven't been looked into yet, of which there are plenty!

What is the topic of your honours thesis? 

My thesis is centred around looking at the problem that people face when trying to coordinate to protest or even overthrow an authoritarian regime. In particular, I'm looking at how salient choices (options that stand out) help people coordinate their actions to achieve better outcomes for all decision-makers.  

What do you want to do after honours?

I'm planning to go further into research in coordination problems by doing post-graduate study in Europe. 


Patrick Elkington

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours?

I was motivated to undertake honours to conduct an original piece of research that would allow me to further develop my analytical skills. I believe this opportunity, combined with studying economics at a more challenging level, will provide me with a rewarding experience and further develop skills required to be a successful economist.

What is the topic of your honours thesis? 

My honours thesis investigates at the evolution and determinants of firm mark-ups in Australia, and the potential impacts that this has on aggregate productivity.

What do you want to do after honours?

I am very excited to have accepted a role as an Economics and Finance Graduate at the Reserve Bank of Australia after completing an internship at the RBA over the summer break.


Kate Green

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours?

My goal was to come out of Honours with much stronger research skills and a deeper knowledge of economic frameworks and their practical applications. I was also excited that I could combine the psychology major of my Arts degree with economics through a behavioural economics thesis. 

What is the topic of your honours thesis? 

As alluded to, my research topic looks at how norms develop and shift. I'll be working with Dr Vera te Velde and Dr Zachary Breig to try to develop a better understanding of whether individuals choose to coordinate with others even if it is against their personal preference. 

What do you want to do after honours?

After Honours I'm hoping to make my own difference in the world of public policy, whether that is through the public or private sector. I can see myself furthering my studies with a PhD one day, but I would love to have some time in the industry first. 


Sheryl Lim

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours?

I developed a strong passion and interest for economics during my bachelor’s degree and was keen to dive deeper into the field, particularly in behavioural economics and game theory. I wanted to be fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to be qualified as an economist. At the same time, I wanted to gain some research experience to determine whether pursuing a PhD in the future is something I want to do. Upon having conversations with my previous lecturers, the Honours program was my clear answer. It is the perfect avenue for me to deepen my understanding of economics as well as to be able to utilise my interest in game theory and challenge my research capabilities.

What is the topic of your honours thesis?

My thesis aims to determine the optimal relay strategy in athletics and swimming. This involves experimenting various relay team orders in the field and pool. I aim to identify which of these is the best, and why some strategies work better than others. It is a fun and interesting project involving behavioural economics and formal contest theory.

What do you want to do after honours?

I am open to anything! I am interested in working in the microeconomics field, particularly in consulting. However, I am also not averse to the idea of pursuing a PhD, as I am currently really enjoying my research project. I will hopefully be able to come to a decision closer the end of this Honours year.


Hao Wan

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours? 

I wanted to challenge myself by studying advanced economic theories and completing a thesis under the supervision of experienced economists. Honours seemed the perfect way to prepare for higher-level studies, which I am interested in pursuing, and also offered an exciting opportunity to learn with like-minded students in a small cohort. 

What is the topic of your honour’s thesis?  

My thesis uses an experimental approach to investigate how players’ behaviour in repeated auctions is affected by winning or losing by a small margin in the previous rounds. 

What do you want to do after honours? 

After honours, I would like to pursue a postgraduate degree in the UK or the US. 


Austin Smidt

What motivated and or inspired you to undertake honours? 

I like writing and I wanted to do a large research component before graduating UQ. 

I am completing Economics Honours as my last year of a Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics and chose it because I preferred the potential applications of economics.  Several topics covered in the honours courses also interested me. Some of these are applications of optimal control to macroeconomic modelling, mechanism design and dynamic contracts in heterogeneous agent models which are in Macro A, Micro B and Macro B respectively.
What is the topic of your honours thesis? 

My thesis is on optimal unemployment insurance in Australia. I am looking at improving the NewStart program and other similar welfare programs for those out of work. My approach involves calibrating a theoretic model to the Australian economy. I may also look at an empirical side in determining specific groups’ elasticity of unemployment with regards to the level of benefits. This is one of many determinants in what the differences in benefits between parents, those with disabilities and people living at home should be.
What do you want to do after honours? 

After honours I want to be happy. My interests are in the application of economics to public policy and strategic decision making. I think our society can be drastically improved through applying economic insights to encourage sustainable growth at local levels in terms of infrastructure up to federal policies that determine the direction of our nation. Economics is the study of scarce resources, so I think it could also be important in the future with climate change. Finally, I will add that I am happy now, I just want to still be happy in the future :) 


Timothe Pegna

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours?

I chose to do honours because I felt that there were still many unanswered economic questions that I wanted to explore after finishing my bachelors degree, and I wanted to delve a bit deeper into the more rigorous and complex part of economics. I also knew that the skills that I would gain through both the honours courses and the thesis would be invaluable for my career in the future, whether that be industry or academia.

What is the topic of your honour’s thesis?

In my thesis, I take an environmental perspective to study the market for lithium, which is a key mineral needed to produce electric vehicle batteries. Using a game theoretic approach, I will try to gain new theoretical insights into the current state of the market, their implications for its competitiveness, and whether they are supported empirically.

What do you want to do after honours?

I am fortunate to have been offered work at an economic consulting firm after I graduate from my honours degree. I plan to work a few years in industry but remain very open to the idea of undertaking a PhD in the future.


Elliot Hiller

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours?

I greatly enjoyed my undergraduate studies in economics, and I am interested in potentially pursuing a career in economic research. As a result, the opportunity provided by economics honours to gain hands-on experience in research was highly appealing to me.

What is the topic of your honour’s thesis?

My thesis intends to investigate the outcome of security-bid auctions when there are competing sellers and risk aversion amongst bidders.

What do you want to do after honours?

I am interested in pursuing a career in economic research. I would like to pursue a PhD program after gaining some work experience.


Raul Leon Petersen

What motivated and/or inspired you to undertake honours? 

Wanting to learn more advanced topics such as asymptotic theory and game theory at an advanced level was one of the main reasons. In addition, researching seemed like a fulfilling lifestyle (at that point I hadn’t done any type of formal research). I didn’t know if I was going to like it. Honours seemed to be the perfect opportunity to submerge myself in an academic atmosphere and decide if I indeed wanted to pursue a PhD. 

What is the topic of your honours thesis?

The broad idea is to study the impact of having some extremely talented/gifted students (“superstars”) or of having a cluster of bad students (“rotten apples”) in a classroom in high school on remaining students’ short-and long-term outcomes. The challenge will consist in identifying the channels in which the peer effects do their magic. 

What do you want to do after honours?

I will probably pursue either a pre-doc or a master's in applied mathematics depending on the focus of my future research. Maybe even undergo a PhD directly (with a little bit of luck). 


Matthew Burgin 

Kuangyu Sang

Charlotte Newton