Michael Wooley's Homepage


Hello! My name is Michael Wooley. I am (as of January 2018) the senior economist at Grant Thornton. My current interests are in programming (broadly conceived), numerical problems, and ui design. However, I am always up for learning about something new. In a previous life I was an academic economist working on problems in macro, labor, and public economics.

Below you will find some links to my papers and projects. Please feel free to reach out to learn more.

Here is my cv.


  • yapij. A lightweight python interpreter for Electron apps.
    • A single-process, multi-thread application that requires substantially less memory to run than Jupyter-Lab (20-40MB of ram compared to >100MB over several processes).
    • Built-in magics to organize workspaces, handling of common python types (e.g. pandas dataframes) for easy use in node environment, ping-pong heartbeats.
    • Besides node and python: Communication with ∅MQ, packing with MessagePack.
  • Understanding Busines Expectations. (demo site) Framework for eliciting subjective probability distributions in a survey context.
    • Provides new tool to ask questions regarding expectations/beliefs à la Manski [2005].
    • Converts user drawing of curve into proper (but exact) piecewise-linear distribution. Realtime computation of summary statistics means that users know what their edits imply for, e.g., percentiles, mean, variance, etc.
    • Set of questions to be explored in this context is large. The proposal section of the demo site discusses a few possible applications.
    • Main tools: react, D3.js, redux, react-router.
  • GT Macro Modeling Framework. Desktop app for modeling, forecasting, and viewing macroeconomic data.
    • Intuitive UI for use by non-programmers: model, variable, and data management; visualization of data, forecast diagnostics, forecasts.
    • Numerical work (BVAR+Dynamic Factor Models, hierarchical hyperparameter selection, conditional forecasts) in python then connected to electron app via yapij (see above).
    • Main tools: electron, react, python (NumPy, Numba, pandas).
  • Shooting Backwards Developed novel solution to non-linear, non-stationary banking crisis model by Kiyotaki and Gertler (2015)
    • Time to solution cut 15x (relative to original paper)
    • Used MATLAB symbolic algebra to demonstrate backwards-in-time solution a quartic polynomial with analytic solution (impossible with pen and paper)
    • Used spline interpolation to infer solution to inner loop.

Selected Papers and Presentations

  1. “Fiscal Centralization: Theory and Evidence from the Great Depression”, forthcoming. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. (with Daniele Coen-Pirani) [Supplements]
  2. “Labor Market Consequences of Graduating During a Recession: The Case of the Termites”, 2017. [Supplements]
  3. “Monetary Policy in an Economy with Production Networks”, 2017. (Northwestern Macro Lunch)
  4. “State-Local Centralization During the Great Depression: A Case Study of Ohio”, 2013. [First Prize, 2013 Ossip Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing. University of Pittsburgh.]
  5. “Pitt and the Worker Rights Consortium: An Argument for Affiliation”, 2013. [On behalf of Pitt #NoSweat Coalition Against Sweatshop Labor]