Alexander Arnon

Senior Research Associate

Alexander Arnon came to the Penn Wharton Budget Model with a background in public policy analysis and economic research. Prior to joining Penn, he worked as an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.

Efraim Berkovich

Senior Economist

Efraim Berkovich leads development of the PWBM OLG general equilibrium model and technical infrastructure. Prior to coming to PWBM, he was a college professor of economics and finance. Efraim has also worked in information technology, having held the position of technical architect at AXA Financial and CTO at an internet start-up. Additionally, Efraim worked at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s global equities group and on projects for NASD (now FINRA) and the U.S. Treasury.

Efraim’s published work includes a study of index options in the Journal of Derivatives and an analysis of welfare implications of payment cards in the Review of Network Economics for which he was interviewed on NPR. He also has a number of publications and patents in computer engineering. Efraim earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his B.S. magna cum laude in Mathematics from Georgetown University.

Kimberly Burham

Managing Director of Legislation and Special Projects

Kimberly Burham focuses on the development, presentation, and communications strategy of the Penn Wharton Budget Model as well as tracking policy options and writing whitepapers. Her prior research includes work on pensions, retirement savings, retirement preparation, investor demographics and behavior, Social Security claiming behavior, and expenditures by the aged. Prior to coming to Penn, Burham worked as an economist in the retirement and investor research division at the Investment Company Institute and as an economist in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics at the Social Security Administration. Burham is a graduate of Hastings College and holds a PhD. in economics from the University of Notre Dame.


Danni Chen

Research Associate

Danni Chen comes to PWBM with a degree in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences Columbia University. In the school, she joined in the researches on social network analysis and commercial recycling policies.

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Jagadeesh Gokhale

Director of Special Projects

Before joining the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Jagadeesh held senior positions at the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Jagadeesh has (co)authored many studies on fiscal policy covering issues in health care, labor productivity, national saving, life‐insurance, financial planning, and the effect of government policies on intra‐ and inter‐generational resource distributions. His work has appeared in top‐tier academic journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics and in the U.S. Budget’s Analytical Perspectives. Jagadeesh has also testified on policy issues before committees in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and has written many articles in popular print and online media such as the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, American Spectator, and Forbes.


Zheli He


Zheli He received her Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and her B.A. in economics and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis. She specializes in international trade and development economics with a focus on the impact of globalization on welfare and inequality.

Austin Herrick

Research Associate

Austin Herrick comes to the Penn Wharton Budget Model as a recent graduate from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics and a background in economic research and data analysis. As a student, he researched environmental capital stability in general equilibrium models and developed models of energy efficiency improvements for the University.


You Hu

Research Associate

You Hu came to the Penn Wharton Budget Model in 2016, just after getting Master's degree in Applied Mathematics from University of Pennsylvania. His area of expertise are Quantitative Finance, Statistics and Mathematical Modeling.


Jonathan Huntley

Senior Economist

Before joining the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Jon was part of the Fiscal Studies Unit at the Congressional Budget Office and specialized in building models to anayze the effects of changes in fiscal policy on the economy. Jon’s academic research focuses on household finance and how household savings and consumption decisions are affected by economic frictions. His research on how tax-deferred retirement savings accounts encourage households to spend out of anticipated changes to income such as tax rebates has been published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. Jon received his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University and his B.S. in mathematics and economics from Duke University.

Nick Janetos


Nick Janetos is an economist specializing in microeconomic theory and computational economics. More information and links to research may be found at his personal webpage.

Pete Lu

Software Engineer

Pete Lu is a software engineer with a background in scientific computing. Prior to joining the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Pete worked at MathWorks, the software company behind Matlab. Pete earned his BS and MS degrees in engineering from MIT. He is a retired Tim the Beaver mascot performer who still secretly practices the dance moves.

Chris Palenchar

Application Architect

Chris Palenchar brings to the Penn Wharton Budget Model over 20 years of experience in software development. Prior to coming to Penn, he was the cofounder and CTO of Navtrak. Under his guidance, Navtrak grew from a small 2-man development team into one of the largest companies providing a Location Intelligence Platform. Chris earned a BS degree in Physics with a concentration in Micro-Electronics from Salisbury University.


Mariko Paulson

Admin Coordinator

Mariko Paulson joins The Penn Wharton Budget Model with a background in economics and administrative work. Prior to joining PWBM, she managed billing and payroll for a local home care provider whose primary focus was individuals on the Pennsylvania Waiver Program. Mari graduated cum laude from Smith College with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Mathematics. While in college, she was captain of the Smith College Rugby Football Club for two consecutive competitive seasons.

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Richard Prisinzano

Senior Economist

Richard Prisinzano came to the Penn Wharton Budget Model after 13 years in the Office of Tax Analysis at the U.S. Department of Treasury. While at OTA, Richard worked on the taxation of pass-through entities and small businesses and coauthored Treasury Reports on the owners of pass-through businesses and helped develop Treasury’s methodology for identifying small businesses from tax return data. He has also published papers on gasoline taxes, tax migration of millionaires, and major league baseball managers and has also taught econometrics and sports economics at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University. He holds a B.S. in Economics and Political Science from James Madison University, an M.A. in Economics from Miami University, and a Ph.D. and M.S. in Economics from the University of Texas.

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Felix Reichling

Senior Economist

Felix Reichling comes to the Penn Wharton Budget Model with a background in public policy analysis and macroeconomic research. Before joining Penn, Felix was Chief of the Fiscal Policy Analysis Unit in the Congressional Budget Office’s Macroeconomic Analysis Divisions, where he was responsible for leading a staff of about seven PhD economists in conducting research, model development, and producing CBO publications on how changes in fiscal policy affect the economy and how those changes feed back into the budget (dynamic scoring). Prior to coming to CBO, Felix worked as an economic consultant.

Felix’s academic research includes a study on optimal annuities purchasing decisions that was published in the American Economic Review (together with Kent Smetters) and received the 2016 TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security. More information and links to his other academic research and his CBO publications can be found at his personal webpage .

Felix earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University, where he also earned a M.A. in Economics, a M.S. in Management Science and Engineering, and a B.A. with Honors in Economics and a minor in Math.

James Rentschler

Application Developer

Jim Rentschler joins the Penn Wharton Budget Model with a background in software development and economics. Prior to coming to Penn, he was working as a Software Engineer with Hanlon Advisory Software. There he gained the majority of his experience coding and building websites for financial advisors. He graduated Stockton University with a degree in economics. While not programming, he enjoys playing and watching Rugby Union.

John Ricco

Research Associate

John Ricco is an economic analyst specializing in tax policy and urban economics. He is responsible for developing and maintaining PWBM’s static tax simulator used to project the budgetary and distributional impacts of tax reform proposals. In the past John has worked at the International Monetary Fund.

Andrew Sacher

Director of Data Warehouse

Andrew Sacher brings to the Penn Wharton Budget Model a background in public policy, financial markets, and technology.

Prior to coming to Penn, he worked in global‐economic consulting at the Lindsay Group (TLG) and SGS, and developed the first Android e‐book app. He also worked at the White House’s National Economic Council and at Caxton Associates, a global‐macro hedge fund. Andrew graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in Economics, finishing in three years.


Seul Ki (Sophie) Shin


Sophie Shin holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of expertise are Empirical Microeconomics, Search and Matching Theory, Labor Economics, Family Economics, and Demography. Sophie's scholarly research papers can be found on her personal webpage .

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Daniela Viana Costa


Daniela Costa is an economist with broad research interests. The areas in which she has particular expertise are international trade, the macroeconomic impact of changes in health policy, and the theory of economic development. Daniela earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Minnesota. For more information and links to her research, visit her personal webpage.


Yu Wang

Research Associate

Yu Wang comes to Wharton PPI after getting Master's degree in Applied Mathematics from University of Pennsylvania. His area of expertise are mathematical modeling establishing and analyzing, statistical inferenece and algorithm designing. In the BG group, he designed python code downloading, scrapping, parsing and importing data automatically. Besides, he provide theoretical support for public policy model, such as hypothesis testing, optimization problem solving etc.