Headshot of Nicholas Skelley

Nicholas Skelley

I am a predoctoral research associate at the MIT Sloan School of Management and J-PAL North America working for Joseph J. Doyle on his research in health economics. As an undergraduate student at Emory University, I was heavily involved in research, working for Stephen D. O'Connell in the Emory Economics Policy Lab (Fall 2020) and as an undergraduate research fellow (Summer 2021). I also completed an honors thesis under the advisement of Kelli Lanier (2021-2022). I have extensive experience programming in R and Stata and have done work in Python and a number of other languages.


Papers & Publications

Healthcare Interventions

Since July of 2022, I have worked with Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. (Erwin H. Schell Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management) on his ongoing projects in health economics, including randomized controlled trials evaluating health outcomes under food-as-medicine programs and the effectiveness of behavioral nudges at improving health and increasing vaccine uptake.

As part of this work, I have participated in meetings with external data and healthcare providers, including Quest Diagnostics, a regional healthcare network, and mental health platforms, and I coauthored an RCT evaluation published in JAMA Internal Medicine. I also got to complete the 2022 J-PAL North America Research Staff Training, attending instruction on best code and project management practices, data security and encryption, power analysis, and a Q&A session with Christopher Blattman concerning his research on gang activity and rule in Colombia.

Loss & Lying

During the 2021-2022 academic year, I worked under the advisement of Kelli Lanier (Associate Teaching Professor, Emory University) on my honors thesis, an experimental investigation of the methods used to study the intersection of loss aversion and lying behavior aimed at resolving conflicting findings in the extant literature.

After conducting the experiment during the spring of 2022, I completed and defended my thesis in April 2022 and have spent the year since then adding more results, analysis, and rigor to the paper. I presented my work at MIT Sloan in December 2022 as part of a predoc presentation series. In 2023, I completed supplemental analyses and began submitting the paper to peer-reviewed journals for publication.

Refugee Aid & Social Programs

I spent the Summer of 2021 working with Stephen D. O'Connell (Associate Professor, Emory University) on research, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on the effects of unconditional cash transfers and World Food Program's cash-for-food vouchers on child fostering and household composition. This research uses data from the UNHCR's Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees (VASyR) and administrative data from Lebanon and exploits a sharp cutoff in UNHCR funding for households in its empirical strategy.

This work builds on Altindag and O'Connell's (2023) existing work on unconditional cash transfers to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and I presented our findings at the 2021 Emory Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium.


Economics Coursework

  • Microeconomics I (Emory PhD sequence), Advanced Microeconomic Theory, 3rd ed. Jehle and Reny (2010).
  • Economics and Psychology, A Course in Behavioral Economics, 3rd ed. Angner (2021). Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman (2011).
  • Causal Inference and Impact Analysis, Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect. Angrist and Pischke (2015).
  • Econometrics I, Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, 7th ed. Wooldridge (2019).

Additionally: Game Theory & Economic Activity, Experimental Economics, Probability and Statistics for Economists, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, and Principles of Microeconomics.

Mathematics Coursework

  • Real Analysis (MIT), Basic Analysis: Introduction to Real Analysis, Lebl (2023).
  • Abstract Vector Spaces, Linear Algebra, 4th ed. Friedberg, Insel, and Spence (2002).
  • Differential Equations, Elementary Differential Equations, 10th ed. Boyce, DiPrima, and Meade (2017).
  • Foundations of Mathematics (Proof-Writing), An Introduction to Abstract Mathematics. Bond and Keane (2007).
  • Multivariate Calculus, Calculus, 8th ed. Stewart (2016).

Additionally: Linear Algebra, Calculus I and II (integral and differential, univariate).


My R packages, tabtex and clustr, are available on GitHub.

My R package, tabtex, is available on GitHub.

  • tabtex is a package for formatting data frames in R as LaTeX tables. I am currently working on expanding and testing its functionality with the intent to eventually submit it to CRAN.

You can find some of my other work in R in my GitHub portfolio, including

  • Replications of peer-reviewed research using differences-in-differences and regression discontinuity designs
  • Code used to create graphs and tables for the manuscript I wrote as part of my work with Stephen O'Connell (see Refugee Aid & Social Programs)
  • Simulation and nonparametric hypothesis testing code used in my honors thesis (Loss & Lying).

At MIT, I've predominantly written code and programs in Stata, including writing project-specific ado files and have done most work securely on MIT's Engaging Cluster.

In addition to my experience in R and Stata, I've used Python for statistical analysis (see GitHub for a k-means clustering example) and have also written code in C#, Java, Lua, JavaScript and jQuery, PHP, SQL, and Swift.