Skip to main content

Graduate Student Profile: Michel Grosz, Economics

Grads Grilled Graphic Header Image - UC Davis
Sunday, March 24, 2019 (All day)

Meet UC Davis Graduate Student Michel Grosz

  • Department
  • Program and year of study
    Ph.D., 6th year
  • Previous degrees and colleges
    BA Economics, Pomona College
    MS Economics, UC Davis
  • Where did you grow up?
    I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and grew up in Van Nuys, a neighborhood of Los Angeles.
  • Where do you live now?
    West Davis
  • What's your favorite spot in Davis?
    It’s not technically Davis, but Pedrick’s Produce, which is a great farmstand in Dixon. I drive out there every Saturday morning, taking the scenic route through the fields along County Road 98.
  • How do you relax?
    I’m on the local master’s swim team, Davis Aquatic Masters. The pool is only a few blocks from my office and I go as many times a week as I can. It’s nice to shut off my brain and swim for a while each day.
  • What was the last book you read for pleasure?
    I just finished reading a few books by the art critic Robert Hughes, about American art (American Visions), modern art (The Shock of the New) and the Spanish artist Goya (Goya). Right now I’m reading Working by Studs Terkel, which is a series of interviews with all kinds of people about their jobs. It feels a bit too similar to my own work for me, but it’s good enough that I don’t mind.
  • What was the last film you saw at the theater?
    Rogue One
  • Research interests
    I’m interested in how the labor market has changed over the past few decades, and how education and training programs can help people connect with jobs.
  • Dissertation title or topic
    Community Colleges and the Labor Market
  • Please share a surprising or noteworthy fact or finding from your research
    In one of my dissertation papers I find that the economic value of finishing the degree is huge, but only half of the people who are admitted to programs actually show up.
  • Which professor or class inspired you to pursue graduate studies?
    Fernando Lozano at Pomona College, a labor economist who studies immigration. We initially connected because we both speak Spanish and will put off work to watch soccer (he wrote a paper about it). He really pushed me to take on independent study opportunities during college summers and to apply for research jobs after college. I try to be a good mentor and advisor like him whenever I get the chance.
  • Which scholarly text do you wish you had written? Why?
    I’ve been really interested in a series of papers by David Autor on how the types of tasks workers do on the job have changed over the past 50 years, and what that has meant for income inequality and a whole host of other important outcomes.  
  • What's the best thing about being a grad student?
    It’s a privilege to feel so personally invested in the work I do all day.
  • What's the worst?
    The job market is pretty stressful.
  • If you weren't a grad student, what would you be doing?
    I had a job at a policy research firm prior to graduate school. I’d probably still be there.
  • Finally, please ask yourself a question - "Invisibility or flying?"

Graduate student profile courtesy of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science.

About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.

UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.