PhD Candidate in the Department of Economics
Victoria Marone is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the industrial organization of health insurance markets, with a focus on market design. In 2019, Victoria received the Northwestern Economics Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award. She will join the Economics Department at The University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor in January 2022.
Tell us what inspired your research and/or work.
In college, I was very involved with the Penn State Dance Marathon, which raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer research. That got me into reading a lot about the history of philanthropy in funding healthcare research and treatments, which eventually turned me on to the book, The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee—a fantastic book I highly recommend it. Even though it focuses on cancer, that book helped put a lot into perspective for me about how the healthcare system has evolved and made me want to learn more about The Way Things Work in that industry. When I started working in economic consulting after college, I asked to work on healthcare cases, and I have been learning more about healthcare ever since.
How do you unwind after a long day?
I puzzle. I have a jigsaw puzzle table in my living room that's always set up with a puzzle on it. I've found that's the only way; puzzles and a dining table don't mix.
What books are on your bedside table?
I love to read historical non-fiction. Right now, I'm reading The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, who is one of my favorite authors. I also love a good beach read.
What did you originally want to be when you grew up?
Both of my parents are academics in the field of earth science. Growing up, I would say I very much did not want to follow the same path, but it has always been a career path that I've understood. Once I realized how valuable autonomy and flexibility are in life, I had a change of heart.
What advice would you give your younger self or someone considering a similar path?
Try not to let others turn you off of new ideas too quickly. You are very smart, and no one has thought more about your ideas than you have. If it makes sense and seems interesting to you, there must be something there.
Tell us about a current achievement or something you're working on that excites you.
I currently have just finished navigating the academic job market and completed my dissertation, so I am savoring that achievement at the moment. I'm excited to come back to the table with new energy once I've had a bit of a mental rest. It's hard to find time for a real mental rest in grad school.
Published: May 19, 2020
If you know a graduate student, postdoctoral trainee, graduate faculty member, staff member, or a member of our TGS alumni population who would make a great candidate for our TGS Spotlight Series, please complete this brief TGS Spotlight Series Nomination Form.