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Prof Says

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NerdWallet will be featuring various academics weighing in on topics that are near and dear to the hearts of most consumers.

Latest articles

Paying your Fair Share of Taxes: Professor Ben Ho asks what “fair” means

Thinking about the issues for the coming elections? Professor Ben Ho says don’t bother. 

Should Oil Companies Pay Higher Taxes? Professor Ben Ho on optimal taxation theory

Others in the student loan debt series

Wine Prices and the Consumer – An interview with Professor Tony Lima of California State University, East Bay

Young Adults and Debt – An interview with Professor Deborah Thorne of Ohio University

Should consumers ever buy insurance for their consumer electronics? – Professor Ben Ho of Vassar weighs in 

Meet the professors! 

Paul Schiff Berman is the Dean of the George Washington University Law School. He was previously the Dean and Foundation Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he helped to transform the school and build an innovative and expansive model for 21st century public legal education. Professor Berman received his J.D. from New York University. Prior to entering law school, Dean Berman was a professional theater director in New York City and artistic director of Spin Theater, a not-for-profit theater company.


Ben Ho is a behavioral economist at Vassar College who uses economic tools like game theory and experiments to understand social systems such as apologies, identity signaling, and climate concerns. Before Vassar, he was an assistant professor of economics at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management. Professor Ho was also lead energy economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and has worked and consulted for Morgan Stanley and several tech startups.Professor Ho received his Ph.d. in Economics from Stanford University.


Tony Lima is an economist at California State University, East Bay, where he studies the relationship between the cost of wine and its quality.His current research includes the application of technology in teaching basic economic principles. Professor Lima received his Ph.d. in Economics from Stanford University.


Deborah Thorne is a sociologist at Ohio University, where she studies economic inequality and the causes of personal bankruptcy.She was previously the Director of the Consumer Bankruptcy Project at Harvard University. Professor Thorne received her Ph.d. in Sociology from Washington State University.