The Economic Impact of Increasing College Completion


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Sophia Koropeckyj, Chris Lafakis, and Adam Ozimek
Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education

Sophia Koropeckyj is a managing director for Moody’s Analytics. She oversees the firm’s publications and consulting projects, edits many of the publications, trains new staff members, and gives presentations to clients and trade groups. She covers labor markets, auto-related industries, and the Midwestern economy. Based in West Chester PA, she has been with Moody’s Analytics since 1994. Previously, she worked as an economist for the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center and WEFA. She has completed all but the dissertation portion of her doctoral studies in economics at the University of Michigan. She earned a master’s degree in finance at Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Chris Lafakis is a director at Moody’s Analytics. His expertise is in model validation, macroeconomics, and energy economics. Based in West Chester PA, he also covers the California economy and contributes to He has been quoted by media outlets, including CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, and often speaks at economic conferences and events. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his master’s degree in economics from the University of Alabama.

Michael S. McPherson is President Emeritus of the Spencer Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2003, he served as President of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, for seven years. A nationally known economist whose expertise focuses on the interplay between education and economics, McPherson spent the twenty-two years prior to his Macalester presidency as Professor of Economics, Chairman of the Economics Department, and Dean of Faculty at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. McPherson, who is co-author and editor of several books, including College Access: Opportunity or Privilege?; Keeping College Affordable; and Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy, and Public Policy, was founding co-editor of the journal Economics and Philosophy. He has served as a trustee of the College Board, the American Council on Education, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. McPherson has been a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, and he co-chairs the Academy’s Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education.

Adam Ozimek is a senior economist in the West Chester PA office of Moody’s Analytics. He covers state and regional economies, as well U.S. labor markets and demographics. Prior to joining Moody’s Analytics, he was Senior Economist and Director of Research for Econsult Solutions, an economics consulting company. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Temple University and his bachelor’s degree in economics from West Chester University.