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Department of Economics

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CHRISTOPHER STIFFLER

Year Graduated: 2013Christopher Stiffler

Current Employer/University:  Colorado Fiscal Institute

What do you do in your current position? Or what program are you at currently?
I’m CFI’s economist. CFI is a non-profit research and advocacy group that provides credible, independent and accessible information and analysis of fiscal and economic issues facing Colorado.  I write research papers on various topics from better ways to measure economic growth in Colorado, to designing a paid family leave insurance program for the state, to the impact of low wage workers in the state.  I’m also frequently invited to speak on topics like: income inequality in Colorado, Colorado’s unique constitutional constraints on state revenue, and public K-12 finance in Colorado. 

How did you become interested in Economics?
I started my undergraduate career studying Latin, Physics, and Education.  I didn’t take my first economics course till my junior year of college, when I realized that economics combined many of the topics and skills I enjoyed.  It combines psychology, history, and sociology with the statistics and math background that I enjoyed from physics and the puzzle-aspect that I enjoyed from studying languages like Latin. 

What is the most unique aspect of the DU Economics Program?
The DU program does an excellent job honing your skills about questioning assumptions.

What did you enjoy most in studying economics and your time at DU?
The side conversations with professors and fellow graduate students outside of class were some of the most rewarding aspects of my time in the graduate economics program. 

What was one aspect of DU that helped you find your career interest or has been important to your career?
I found the job posting of my current position on the graduate economics emailing list serve. 

What was your favorite course in Economics?
Macro Theory

What advice would you give to current students about careers in Economics?
There are many careers outside of a path of an economist that are very well suited for the skills that you learn in economics courses.  Having a foundation in statistics or a mastery of macroeconomic topics will help you in a lot of career paths.