Economic research

NKU’s Brooklyn Stephens Wins Best Undergraduate Paper Award at State Economic Research Conference

Brooklyn Stephens of Northern Kentucky University, an economics major and Center for Economic Education scholar, received the Best Undergraduate Paper Award at the 2021 Kentucky Economic Association Undergraduate Research Conference.

Stephens article, Money Keeps Me Up At Night: An Analysis of Financial Anxiety in the United States identifies demographic groups that may suffer from increased financial anxiety.

Brooklyn Stephens

The research study is the first step in the process of identifying policy avenues to ease the burden in people’s lives, which will improve financial and overall well-being.

Stephens said she chose the topic because it was relevant but also understudied.

“There is little existing literature on this topic,” Stephens said. “However, the available sources clearly indicate that financial anxiety can have a host of negative effects such as increased likelihood of depressive and/or anxiety disorder, decreased academic performance of students, and decreased voter turnout. , especially among people living in poverty.”

Stephens is the second NKU economics student to win the award in the past three years. Dakota Langhals won the award in 2018 for her research on the effect predatory lending laws have on mortgage prices and closing rates.

“Winning the Best Paper award was something I never expected, but it means so much to me,” Stephens said. “I am very grateful to the Center for Economic Education for giving me the opportunity to work on this research and learn something new.”

“I am extremely proud of Brooklyn and its efforts,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani, director of the Center for Economic Education. “It is an enriching experience to see students tackle difficult tasks and succeed. While I had no doubts about his abilities, this recognition by the Kentucky Economic Association is validation for Brooklyn of his abilities and a testament to the work of our economics department. We focus on student development by providing career development experiences. »

Haile College of Business’ Center for Economic Education enhances knowledge of economics and personal finance in the region. It focuses on educating educators and engaging the community through relevant educational experiences, striving to be a resource for the local community, as economic education and financial literacy are essential to the success of our region.

To learn more about the Center for Economic Education, visit