Three hires mark end of successful faculty recruiting year for VSE

The Vancouver School of Economics welcomes Ying Gao (PhD MIT ‘24), Miguel Ortiz (PhD Berkeley ‘24) and Charlie Rafkin (PhD MIT ‘24) to join the faculty, marking the end of a successful recruiting year for the VSE.

Ying Gao to join VSE in 2024 from MIT

Ying Gao’s research focuses on economic theory and organizational economics. Her job market paper titled, “Inference from Selectively Disclosed Data”, describes the role of sharing larger datasets in strategic communications. Real-world applications of this research could include research grantmaking, regulatory approvals, or technology adoption. Gao also brings interdisciplinary experience from computer science, where the applications of her research can be particularly relevant. Students can look forward to attending Gao’s future course of second-year microeconomics within the BIE.

Miguel Ortiz to join VSE in 2025 from Berkeley

Miguel Ortiz specializes in political economy, development economics and behavioural economics. His job market paper titled, “Hate, Fear and Intergroup Conflict: Experimental Evidence from Nigeria” deploys a lab-in-the-field experiment in Nigeria to study conflict between Christians and Muslims. This innovative approach bolsters VSE’s ability to educate students on recent advances in both development economics and experimental methods, and could serve as a valuable asset for future course offerings.

Charlie Rafkin to join VSE in 2026 from MIT

Charlie Rafkin also makes use of lab-in-the-field experiments in advancing research for his specialties of behavioural and public economics. His job market paper titled, “Eviction as Bargaining Failure: Hostility and Misperceptions in the Rental Housing Market” explores a policy designed to reduce outstanding rents for tenants facing eviction. Through experiments aimed to detect the presence of hostile vs altruistic social preferences, he finds that the policy’s effectiveness is limited, leading to an overly high eviction rate. Students can soon expect an expansion of VSE’s course offerings in behavioural economics.

The VSE welcomes these researchers to Vancouver and to UBC.

The Vancouver School of Economics is the top economics department in Canada, and is home to leading scholars making a global impact with their research. To see the latest research and learn more about the faculty, visit