November 7, 2017 Reading Time: 2 minutes

AIER founder Col. E.C. Harwood encouraged students that worked at AIER as interns, research fellows, or summer fellows to engage in “hands-on economic research.” Harwood tried to combine students’ formal instruction with “field work” on a research project in part by writing “extensive comments on each [student] paper.”

In keeping with Harwood’s practice of teaching the new generation of students to conduct high-quality applied economic research, AIER is setting a national example in establishing collaborative partnerships between universities and practitioners. Three years ago, we started a mutually beneficial alliance with the University of Sioux Falls Vucurevich School of Business. I wrote about this experience on my blog and also in a working paper. Last year, we expanded this collaboration by turning it into a formal Winter Program at AIER. This year, we are working with the economics class at Missouri University of Science and Technology, with AIER’s Max Gulker supervising the research.

The essence of these collaborations is exposing students to modern scientific methodology and allowing them to supplement the knowledge they obtain in the academic setting with the procedures of scientific inquiry we utilize at AIER. The benefits of such exposure for students are manifold. It improves their undergraduate economic education. It exposes students to the economic research process and substantiates the theories they have learned in prior courses. And it helps them broaden their knowledge, gain practical experience, and become successful participants in the global workforce.

The students in university classrooms today are the employees and leaders of the next decade. By investing time in developing partnerships between academic institutions and practitioners, AIER helps bridge the gap between the academy and the workplace, deepen the pool of experiences from which potential employees will draw, and prepare students to practice economic research. The legacy of our founder continues to influence the national state of economic education.


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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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