As a research assistant, Shih supported multiple different projects focused on economic development. For one of his primary projects, he worked on a team led by Professor Christopher Udry at Northwestern, who is also the former chair of the Yale economics department and former EGC affiliate, to curate and analyze panel data from a large-scale, nation-wide panel survey in Ghana conducted by EGC and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana, Legon. Meanwhile, he also assisted Professors Costas Meghir and Orazio Attanasio on a randomized control trial study assessing the effects of various interventions on early childhood development in Odisha, India. Specifically, the research assessed the effectiveness of weekly home visits and mother-child group sessions on a variety of outcomes including child cognition, language, motor development, growth and morbidity.
In addition to his empirical work, he also had the opportunity to interview Professor Michael Peters about his research on firm dynamics in developing countries. Looking back, he appreciated the variety of different projects he had the opportunity to work on. “The projects I worked on were quite different in nature,” Shih said. “Some were quite structured, while others were in earlier stages of development and had more flexibility.”