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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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International Recognition for Research Paper

Recent grad Dana (Vetter) Simonson a finalist for prestigious honor.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 8-31-2012

Mankato, Minn. – Dana (Vetter) Simonson (pictured), who graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, on May 4 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, is one of four finalists in the International Atlantic Economic Society’s prestigious 2012 Undergraduate Student Research Paper Competition.

Simonson prepared her research paper, titled “Has the Switch from Food Stamps to the EBT Card Affected an Individual’s Decision to Participate in the Food Stamp Program?,” for a course (Economics 482, Senior Research Seminar) at Minnesota State Mankato. Simonson’s undergraduate research supervisor was Minnesota State Mankato assistant professor Ihsuan Li.

Simonson is a 2006 Owatonna (Minn.) High School graduate and the daughter of Greg and Marilyn Vetter of Owatonna. Dana (Vetter) Simonson is currently employed as a financial analyst for IBM in Rochester, Minn.

Simonson submitted her research paper this spring for consideration in the IAES competition, and the four finalists were announced Aug. 15.

The best paper award will be announced Oct. 6 during the 74th International Atlantic Economic Society conference in Montreal, Canada, on Oct. 4-7, 2012. Each finalist will receive a commemorative plaque, and the winner of the competition will receive a $500 check and have his or her paper published in the March 2013 or June 2013 issue of the “Atlantic Economic Journal.”

Out of 50 submissions to the competition from 10 different countries worldwide, Simonson and a student from Stanford University were the only two students from United States universities to be selected as finalists. The other two finalists were from Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Of the four universities represented, Minnesota State Mankato is the only non-Ph.D. granting institution.

Submissions from the United States came from students attending Stanford, Princeton, George Washington University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Michigan, Boston College, Brown University, Rutgers and others.

Each submitted paper to the competition had names, university and country affiliations removed, and each was judged by a blind panel of nine judges from the Czech Republic, China, Korea, India, Greece, Poland and the United States.

The other three finalists and the title of their research papers are:
-- Boris Georgiev (Aarhus University, Denmark), “Implications of Public Debt on Economic Growth and Development”
-- Colin Gray (Stanford University), “Responding to a Monetary Superpower: Investigating the Behavioral Spillovers of U.S. Monetary Policy”
-- Jia Yi Leong (University of Warwick, U.K.), “Price Dispersion in Online Grocery Stores: An Analysis of the UK Market”

The International Atlantic Economic Society began conducting its annual “Best Undergraduate Paper Award” in 2007. The first five winners came from the following schools: London School of Economics (U.K.) in 2007, 2009 and 2010; Columbia University (New York) in 2008 and Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in 2011.

According to its website at, the International Atlantic Economic Society (founded in 1973) identified a need for increased global communication among economists across continents. Through its two refereed publications and two conferences a year, IAES promotes the dissemination of economic and financial research within the international community.

More information about the Department of Economics at Minnesota State Mankato is available online at

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, a system of 31 public colleges and universities with 54 campuses in 47 communities throughout the state of Minnesota.

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