Bo Cowgill, a former Google analyst and current Haas PhD student, has won a $20,000 Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship, which supports research in the field of entrepreneurship.
The money will go towards Cowgill's research, which in general focuses on the intersections of economics, job markets, and innovation. Specifically, Cowgill has been interested in studying the link between firms' hiring practices, patenting, and other innovative activities, as well as firms' internal betting markets for identifying new ideas.
“I was thrilled,” says Cowgill, a student in the Haas Business and Public Policy Group, who hopes to work in academia after graduating in 2015. “The fellowship makes the funding of my doctoral research much easier.”
Cowgill says he’s also excited to work with other dissertation winners from all across the globe. He is one of 15 people to have been awarded this honor, including two others with UC Berkeley lineage: Jamie McCasland, a PhD student in the Economics Department, and Haas PhD alum Amy Nguyen-Chyung, now at the University of Michigan. (See full list of winners http://www.kauffman.org/research-and-policy/kdfp/fellows.aspx)
Before Cowgill came to Haas, he worked at Google from 2003 to 2009 under the leadership of Hal Varian, the Silicon Valley search company’s chief economist, whose specialty focused on microeconomics and information economics. Varian was also a Berkeley professor with a joint appointment at Haas and Economics from 1995 to 2010 and earned his PhD from Berkeley in 1973.
As a data scientist for Google, Cowgill worked on Google's ad auction, which generates nearly all of the company's revenue.