Nicholas G Wood

I am a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Oregon. I will be available for interviews in January at the ASSA Meeting in Atlanta.


Industrial Organization, Applied Microeconomics, Econometrics

Contact Information

(734) 649-1075


Job Market Paper

Cash for Clunkers: Environmental Protection Policy and Automobiles

In 2009, the US government launched a popular automobile scrappage program, Cash for Clunkers. A primary goal of this program was to reduce vehicle emissions by removing problematic vehicles from the population. To investigate how successful this program was at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, I adopt a model of vertical product differentiation and heterogeneous consumers. I augment the model to differentiate between cars and trucks, which was a vital aspect of the Cash for Clunkers program. Using data on consumer expenditures from 1998-2011, I find that the total environmental savings of the program was $317 million, or just over 10% of the $3 billion budget. I consider alternative counterfactual exercises and find that if the program had provided greater incentives to trade in old trucks for new cars, the benefits could have been up to 30% larger which translates into $94 million in increased environmental benefits.

Working Papers

New Products and Innovation in the Smartphone Industry

Over the last decade, the modern smartphone has gone from luxury good, to an integral part of our daily life. During this time, the marketplace has undergone rapid growth and technological improvement. I apply a random coefficient model to measure the welfare effects of the introduction of the smartphone and the resulting technological progress. Using data on phone characteristics from 2010-2014, I find that the average American benefited by $11.50 per year. This comes out to over $16 billion in total consumer surplus over the sample period, making the smartphone industry one of the largest generators of consumer welfare.

Works in Progress

Using Machine Learning to Identify Heterogeneity in Vehicle Exchange Programs

Teen Suicide: The Effects of a Digital Age


Independent Instructor

  • 202 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • 313 Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
    • Fall 2017 (Syllabus)
    • Spring 2019 (Upcoming)
  • 370 Money and Banking
  • 461 Industrial Organization and Public Policy

Teaching Assistant

  • 201 Principles of Microeconomics
  • 202 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • 607 Core Macroeconomics

Numerical Teaching Evaluations

Student Feedback

"The instructor was very approachable and put significant effort into his lectures, always trying to clarify any issues people had." -370, Winter 2017

"He was always eager to help and always available" -370, Winter 2017

"Excited about the topic and very available to help and explain." -461, Summer 2017

"He really tried to make sure that we understood what was being taught and challenged us to make intuitive thoughts rather than solely what has been taught." -313, Fall 2017

"The course material was interesting and relevant to society, which is a plus for students. Brought in relevant real-world examples." -313, Fall 2017

"Nick was very clear in his explanations which really helped contribute to my understanding of the material." -313, Fall 2017

You can download a comprehensive overview of my evaluations here.