Dominic Russel

PhD Student

Harvard University


I’m a PhD student at Harvard University studying Business Economics, a joint degree that combines the Economics Department’s PhD program with support from the Business School. I have also worked as a financial analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a research assistant at NYU Stern, and a contractor with the Core Data Science team at Facebook.

My research interests lie in using big data to better understand market and societal outcomes, and identify challenges in terms of opportunity and equity. This includes interests in financial economics, public economics, and the economic effects of social networks. I also enjoy data visualization and have a few projects posted below.


  • Household Finance
  • Public Economics
  • Social Networks


  • BS in Statistics and Data Science (Double Major), Political Science (Minor), 2017

    University of Michigan

Peer-Reviewed Publications

The Determinants of Social Connectedness in Europe. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Social Informatics, 2020.

Full Paper Online Appendix SocInfo 2020 Presentation Video Code Slides

Working Papers

Social Networks Shape Beliefs and Behavior: Evidence from Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic. R&R at Journal of Political Economy Microeconomics, 2022.

Full Paper NBER Digest Slides

The Social Integration of International Migrants: Evidence from the Networks of Syrians in Germany. 2022.

Full Paper Summary (English) Summary (German)

Other Fun Projects

A Textual Analysis of Every U.S. General Election Debate

A set of textual analyses covering every general election Presidential and Vice Presidential debate in U.S. History (before the final 2020 Trump-Biden debate). [View Project] [View GitHub Repo + Data]

Flagship Public University Affordability by State

A simple interactive dashboard that shows measures related to change in two quantities from 1970 to 2017 by state - median household income and in-state tuition at the flagship public university. [View Project] [View GitHub Repo]

Random Person App

Shiny app that generates random income identities based on global income data; inspired by the Rawlsian notion of the veil of ignorance. [View Project] [View GitHub Repo]

Redlining Maps

A public version of some of the interactive redlining maps I’ve created in R, using Leaflet. [View Project] [View GitHub Repo]