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Irena P. Xhurxhi
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics
Phone: (860) 297-2672 Office Location: Williams Memorial 229B
Send e-mail to Irena P. Xhurxhi
Trinity College faculty member since 2015
General ProfileTeachingResearchPublications/PresentationsHonors/Awards
Degrees:
Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY (2020)
M.Phil., The Graduate Center, CUNY (2020)
M.A., The Graduate Center, CUNY (2020)
M.A., Univ. of Virginia (2012)
B.A., American Univ. in Bulgaria (2011)

Irena received her Ph.D. in Economics from CUNY - The Graduate Center in September 2020, and her Master's Degree from University of Virginia in 2013. Prior to joining Trinity College, she taught at various colleges of the CUNY university system in NY such as Brooklyn College, Queens College and York College.

Her research interests lie primarily at the intersection of health and labor economics and public policy with a focus on the economics of risky health behaviors. In her research, she employs various popular estimation strategies in Applied Econometrics such as Difference in Differences, Synthetic Control, Logistic Regression and First-Differencing among others. In her latest publication in the Health Economics Journal, she  investigates the impact of Scotland's minimum unit pricing (MUP) policy on alcohol prices and sales. Two of her working papers evaluate the effect of MUP on the rate of wholly alcohol attributable deaths, and on consumption tradeoffs, respectively.

In addition to alcohol, she has researched other risky health behaviors such as tobacco, and obesity. One of her on-going projects estimates the impact of Australia’s tobacco plain packaging policy on cigarette consumption and smoking using synthetic controls as the estimation methodology with OECD countries serving as the donor pool. Two other projects focus on the relationship between obesity prevalence and culture, and obesity prevalence and COVID-19 death rates – both cross-country studies.

Besides doing research, Irena really enjoys teaching and exchanging knowledge with her students. She continuously encourages her students to ask questions, voice their opinions, and participate in discussions of recent policies in Health Care, Education, Labor markets etc. She likes to complement her lectures with articles from prestigious journals and magazines to emphasize the connection between theory and reality. In her view, it is crucial that students realize that the courses they take to satisfy their major requirements are so much more than just that. Her courses strive to teach students that Economics is all around us, in every decision we make, and that the economic literacy that students gain at Trinity College will be serving them forever, long after they graduate.

Personal Website:  www.irenapxhurxhi.org