Matthew Caulfield, a junior from Ocean City, NJ, received a crash course in several exciting areas of U.S. economic policy this past summer working at Third Way, one of the nation’s most respected think tanks. Now studying finance and business economics and public policy (BEPP) in Wharton, Matt transferred to Penn after his freshman year from Georgetown where he studied mathematics. He brings to Penn much more than his deeply analytical mind and passion for law, economics, and policy; he also brings a strong, active commitment to campus life and politics – and his love of opera singing.
Having spent a year at Georgetown and having explored his policy interests more deeply at Penn, Matt was ready for his own DC policy experience. This summer, Third Way gave him the opportunity to conduct substantive research and write on diverse aspects of the U.S. economy as an intern in their Capital Markets Initiative. “The Initiative focuses on explaining financial instruments and concepts (such as derivatives or bank liquidity) to DC policy professionals.” Through his internship, Matt coauthored a paper on Bitcoin’s monetary features and the costs and benefits of the online payment system for non-experts, and he developed a condensed briefing on Bitcoin, which he presented to Third Way’s entire economic policy staff. He also contributed to a paper on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s designation of systemically important financial institutions, more commonly referred to as SIFIs or “Too Big to Fail” institutions. To assist with Third Way’s research on student loan debt and wealth inequality, he collected data and performed statistical analyses.
But Matt’s Washington experience was well-rounded. He attended a Wharton Executive Education event for congressional staff on derivatives led by Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate Dick Herring; he staffed a Third Way Workforce Development event with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Perez; he attended a conference on the Heritage Foundation’s research on prize-linked retirement saving; and he took advantage of monthly presentations by the heads of each of Third Way’s policy divisions. “My internship exceeded my expectations. I was given the opportunity to do real policy work and much beyond the office, as well. It was a wonderful experience.”
On campus, Matt is an Executive Editor of the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal, which publishes undergraduate work in the field of law from students all around the world and is one of only three undergraduate law journals featured on HeinOnline, the world’s largest image-based legal research database. He has also written for the Law Journal’s popular legal blog, The Roundtable. He serves as the Treasurer for the University Honor Council as well and helps with their academic integrity initiatives, including organizing Greek life informational presentations and advocating for clearer syllabi collaboration policies. Additionally, he’s involved with the Penn Government and Politics Association in several ways, as a member of the Polybian Society, a writer for The Spectrum, and a Whip of the Liberal Caucus of the new Penn Political Union. His article on the Hobby Lobby case was even featured in The Spectrum’s signature Head-to-Head series, where opposing perspectives are put at odds, in its first-ever print publication earlier this semester. He is also a mentor for new students in the Transfer Student Organization, and he has held research positions in the OPIM and Management departments. And despite his studies and these many other commitments, Matt still finds time to continue his opera training, which he began six years ago. He has been a soloist in the Penn Baroque Ensemble, is a member of the Penn Singers Light Opera Company (which has an upcoming performance), and takes weekly voice lessons through Penn’s Blutt College House Music Program.
The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative was proud to support Matt’s internship at Third Way this summer and we look forward to all of his future contributions to Penn and the world beyond.