Northwest Nazarene University business student Jeremy Vanderpool, Nampa, Idaho, received $5,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation to conduct research on economic freedom. The Koch Foundation approached NNU Professor of Finance and Economics Dr. Peter Crabb earlier this semester looking for a student to further academic research on the important role liberty plays in economic development. Vanderpool will begin research this semester and will travel to Europe during the summer to gather data.
The fellowship is funded by the Charles Koch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Charles G. Koch established this foundation in 1980 to advance social progress and well being through the study and advancement of economic freedom. Vanderpool is one of 200 fellows selected this year. Other Koch Research Fellows were selected from schools the likes of Arizona State University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Ohio State University and St. John’s University.
“Vanderpool’s research will focus on the question: What effect, if any, do church poverty programs have on economic freedom?” said Crabb. Half of the sum awarded will go toward travel expenses and the other half will be used as a stipend. The research methods are still in the beginning stages of development, but Vanderpool hopes to find a relationship between the amount of charitable giving and the levels of economic freedom in a geographic region.
Vanderpool, a junior economics major, will leave for Europe in May to conduct his research. Europe was selected for its diverse collection of religious and governmental institutions in close proximity. The results of the study can then be applied to local programs. He is the first Koch Research Fellow from NNU; however, both Crabb and the Charles Koch Foundation plan to offer more opportunities for students in the future.