The 1st DC Area Student/Professor Environmental and Energy Economics Workshop took place at Symons Hall on August 7, 2019. The workshop was organized by AREC, and received funding from the University of Maryland’s Global Sustainability Initiative. Its purpose was to encourage graduate students at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University and other institutions in or around the Washington, DC, area to share their ongoing research with peers and faculty members.
AREC was well represented at this workshop, as were the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and School of Engineering, and the Economics Department at Georgetown. Presenters hailed from as far away as Texas (Dorcas Ofori-Boateng, from the University of Texas at Dallas), the London School of Economics (Mook Bangalore), and the Colorado School of Mines (Ensieh Shojaheddini, currently a post-doc at the US Environmental Protection Agency). We were lucky to secure the attendance of an energy statistics team from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (April Patel, Nanda Srinivasan, Joy Sharp, and Terry Yen). There were a total of 40 attendees.
The presentations covered a wide range of energy issues, including possible causes of the so-called “energy efficiency gap,” the effects of the states’ renewable portfolio standards, representations of the electricity grid and ways to study its resilience to climate change, and the present and future of the car market in China. Shocks created by extreme weather events were identified as the possible source of variation to study poverty in developing countries, as well as the value of access to Manhattan from Brooklyn. Environmental economics and policy papers focused on enforcement and compliance, uncertainty about the endangered species and oil and gas drilling decisions, and econometric models of the spatial variation in the Willingness to Pay for certain natural resources.
The discussants and the lively discussions with the audience provided helpful feedback and offered suggestions on how to frame the research for dissertation, publication or job market purposes.
A committee comprised of AREC’s Jim Archsmith and Josh Linn, Lucy Qiu from UMD’s School of Public Policy, Arik Levinson from Georgetown, and EIA’s Nanda Srinivasan and Joy Sharp selected the winners of the Workshop’s three awards. The best paper award (and a $300 prize) went to AREC’s Tihitina Andarge, the best policy-relevant paper ($200) went to Becka Brolinson from Georgetown, and AREC’s Julian Gomez-Gelvez won the “most promising short presentation” award ($100).
We are grateful to the AREC staff that helped with the organization of the workshop (Dany Burns, Marita Eddy, Katherine Faulkner, and Zachary Seidel), and we hope that after its launch at AREC the Workshop will be offered again in the future at other venues in the DC area or at the University of Maryland.