March 28 - April 28, 2017
Corrado Di Maria, Associate Professor of Economics, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Bio: Corrado Di Maria is an economist with broad research interests that span the economics of growth and development, environmental and natural resource economics, energy economics and the economics of technological change. His work emphasizes both theoretical and empirical aspects, as well as its policy relevance. His recent research has focused on the interaction between environmental policy and natural resource use, the taxation of exhaustible resources, emissions trading schemes and their efficiency-promoting features, the role of skills in the process of economic growth, and environmental policy in the presence of induced technological change. His current projects range from applications of productivity analysis to induced innovation, to theoretical and empirical analyses of procurement contracts, and from evaluations of the effects of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to investigations of the nexus between financial development and economic growth. Prior to his move to Norwich, Di Maria worked at the University of Birmingham, the Queen's University Belfast, and the University College Dublin. He obtained his PhD from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, having previously studied in Rome, Milan and Vienna.
March 28 - April 28, 2017
Emiliya Lazarova, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Bio: Emiliya Lazarova is a microeconomist with broad expertise in applied theory. Her works have been published in journals such as International Journal of Game Theory, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Social Choice and Welfare, and World Development. Some of her recent projects focus on issues of enforceability of contractual relations both in environments where property rights are protected as well as in the context of weak institutions such as those in the emerging market economies of Central Asian. Lazarova also combines her expertise on matching theory, network theory, and applied micro econometrics in an active research agenda on the study of labor markets and studies aspects such as path-dependence in job search, labor market flows and productivity, and the effect of anti-discrimination legislation on human capital acquisition.
August - September, 2015
Ralph Mastromonaco, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Oregon
Bio: Ralph Mastromonaco's research covers a variety of topics in public and environmental economics. His current research is focuses on applications and methods of non-market valuation. Additionally, he has several projects examining the impact that the hydraulic fracturing boom has had on local communities.
Seminar Topic: Measuring Neighborhood Preferences under Credit Constraints, with Edward Kung (UCLA), Aug. 26, 2015
Seminar Abstract: We study the biases that result from ignoring credit constraints in revealed preference models. Bias arises from three sources: 1) heterogeneity in borrowing costs; 2) an increasing interest rate with respect to borrowing amount; and 3) binding borrowing constraints. Using a novel dataset on housing transactions merged with buyer credit reports from Atlanta, we show that ignoring credit constraints biases estimates for willingness-to-pay for school quality downwards by 2 percent. The downward bias is stronger for low SES households (5 percent). The results suggest that credit constraints are an important factor to account for when evaluating amenities using housing and neighborhood choice data.
September - October, 2015
Kevin Novan, Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
Bio: Kevin Novan's research interests are in the fields of energy and environmental economics, focusing primarily on the design of environmental policies targeted towards the electricity sector. Recent work quantifies the impact of renewable electricity on pollution and examines the energy savings provided by residential energy efficiency investments.
Seminar Topic: Using Smart Meter Data to Evaluate the Returns to Energy Efficiency, Sept. 18, 2015
Seminar Abstract: This paper uses hourly smart-meter data to estimate the social and private cost savings provided by residential energy efficiency investments. Focusing on over 5,000 households in Sacramento, CA that receive new, energy efficient air conditioning units (AC), we estimate not only how much energy savings are caused by the AC upgrades, but also when the energy savings occur. By determining when the energy savings take place, we are able to accurately estimate the avoided generation and pollution costs. We find that, on average, the AC upgrades reduce electricity consumption by 5%. Within the households that account for the majority of the energy savings, the avoided consumption provides an average social benefit of $9.78/month. However, under the current increasing block pricing structure, the households save an average of $27.30/month on their electricity bills. These results highlight that, under the current retail pricing structure – i.e., low fixed fees with high, increasing variable charges – investments in residential energy efficiency are being dramatically oversubsidized.
October - December, 2015
Adrienne Ohler, Associate Professor of Economics, Illinois State University
Bio: Adrienne Ohler's research interests examine the interaction between natural resource use, environmental degradation, and public policy. Ohler’s work at Illinois State includes estimating the value of environmental characteristics, understanding the welfare implications of lottery allocation for natural resource access, examining the relationship between income and environmental quality, and analyzing policies that impact the use of renewable energy.
Seminar Topic: Does Environmental Concern Change the Tragedy of the Commons? Factors Affecting Energy Saving Behaviors and Electricity Usage, Nov. 13, 2015
Seminar Abstract: Electricity consumption produces private goods, such as heat for homes, but fossil fuel consumption impacts the public goods of clean air and water. While self-interests can increase usage, social interests, such as global climate change, can impact an individual's attitude toward energy consumption. This paper examines the tragedy of the commons using household data, and compares the impact of self and social interests in predicting electricity consumption. Using both stated and observed behavioral data, the results show that self-interests have a greater impact on energy saving behaviors and electricity use. We extend the analysis to control for an individual's environmental concern and perceived behavioral impact, finding similar results, and supporting the notion that the tragedy of the commons occurs regardless of a person's perception or environmental concern. These findings may explain why pro-environmental attitudes do not necessarily lead to pro-environmental behaviors, and it contributes to our understanding of the motivating factors for energy savings and electricity use by examining both stated and observed behaviors.