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RRI/ Institute of Water Security and Science Co-Sponsored Seminar April 17, 2018


Assistant Professor Jadwiga Ziolkowska will present Sustainability of Biofuels in an Uncertain Decision Environment. The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. on April 17 in room 325 Brooks Hall.

Ziolkowska is an Assistant Professor and environmental economist in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at University of Oklahoma, and manager of the Water-Energy-Food Institute (WEFI). Before joining OU, Jad was a post-doctoral scholar at University of California at Berkeley, an EU Marie Curie Fellow in the 7th Framework Program, and a researcher at University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD and habilitation, both in agricultural economics from Humboldt University of Berlin. She published 3 books and authored 40+ peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters. Jad is specialized in policy evaluation and decision-making support in the field of natural resource, environmental, bioenergy, agricultural economics, and sustainable resource management. Her current research focus is on optimizing water management systems, desalination, biofuels, and socio-economic implications of drought.

ABSTRACT: The question of increasing biofuels production has become controversial. On the one hand, production of corn-based biofuels creates a ‘food/feed vs. fuel’ tradeoff condition, along with subsequent uncertainties for both consumers and producers. On the other hand, however, advanced biofuels (from, e.g., switchgrass, miscanthus, algae), though widely acknowledged as environmentally more friendly and economically efficient, are not available on a large commercial scale yet.

For many years, the US policy has been actively supporting the production and consumption of biofuels with subsidies and mandates. However, due to the limited production and consumption of cellulosic ethanol, in 2010, the Environment Protection Agency waived and adjusted the envisaged mandate down to 16 billion gallons by 2022.

The limited resource availability for the production of advanced biofuels feedstocks and the question of sustainability of biofuels production are major issues impacting decision making that, in addition, is plagued by uncertainties, due to incomplete information or missing knowledge about the consequences of possible policy actions.

During this talk a multi-objective optimization model, combining fuzzy logic and parametric programming will be presented, to discuss the question of sustainable biofuels production in the situation of limited resources and in an uncertain decision environment.

RRI Seminar January 25, 2018

RRI seminar speaker Dr. Fernando Salgueiro Perobelli, Professor of Economics and Researcher at the Territorial and Sectorial Analysis Laboratory at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, will present Demographic Changes in Brazil and its Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Input-Output Analysis. The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. on January 25 in room 325 Brooks Hall.

ABSTRACT: In recent years, the debate on issues related to demographic changes and their impacts on the economy has increased. However, demographic changes affect not only variables such as economic growth and the labor market, but also aggregate consumption, and especially the composition of this consumption. These changes in population composition may occur in the coming decades in many parts of the globe, and their effects on the composition of consumption, notably on energy demand and emissions, are not yet known. In this context, this article aims to estimate the changes in the pattern of consumption in Brazil due to the changes projected in the age pyramid in 2050 and the consequences of these changes on CO2 emissions. For this, projections will be made using an input-output model for the Brazilian economy for the year 2010 considering 15 productive sectors and six age groups. The results suggest that the change in the age structure does not seem to lead to a less intensive consumption pattern in emissions, although the share of sectors such as Fuels and Transport showed a small decrease in the consumption vector by 2050.

Professor Brad Humphreys Named Benedum Scholar

Professor Brad Humphreys

Economics Professor and RRI Faculty Research Associate Brad Humphreys was named a 2016-2017 Benedum Distinguished Scholar. This prestigious annual award is bestowed upon faculty who are engaged in “creative research,” many of whom are known internationally. He will deliver a public lecture on “Some Inconvenient Facts About the Economics of Sports in America” on Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. as part of the 2016-2017 Benedum Lecture Series. The lecture will take place at Erickson Alumni Center, Ruby Grand Hall, Salon C, with an accompanying public reception to follow. For more information, click here.

2018 Summer Course in Spatial Econometrics

The Regional Research Institute Summer Course in spatial Econometrics is scheduled for June 25 through June 28, 2018 at the Regional Research Institute located at 886 Chestnut Ridge Road in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Description:

The objective of the course is to provide a (not so short) introduction to spatial econometrics. Students will learn how to model and incorporate spatial dependencies into their empirical analyses. The course will cover basic as well as more advanced concepts ranging from the different typologies of spatial data, through the definition of connectivity in space (spatial weights matrices), to a comprehensive treatment of various spatial econometric models, both crosssectional as well as panel. Estimation methods presented will include MLE (maximum likelihood), GMM (generalized method of moments), GLS (generalized least squares), and GS2SLS (generalized spatial two-stage least squares). The latter part of the course will deal with special topics such as panel data models and various testing procedures.

Instructor:

Gianfranco Piras, Associate Professor of Economics, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Organization:

The courses are organized into a format that includes morning (theoretical) lectures and afternoon computing lab and applications sessions. A reading list will be provided for each of the topics covered.

Material:

Suggested readings include:
Kelejian H.H. and Piras G. (2017) “Spatial Econometrics, 1st Edition”, Academic Press.
Additional readings will be provided during the course.

Applications:

Applications Period Opens: January 8, 2018
Extended Application Deadline: April 23, 2018
Acceptance Notification: Two days after application is received.
Confirm Participation by April 27, 2018

Important Dates:

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a brief statement of interest to the RRI . Applicants will be screened for suitable levels of preparation and background, and placed into the course on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fees:

Course fees are $3,000. Fees cover course tuition, lunches and course material. Submitted fees will be non-refundable. Accommodation and other living expenses are not included. A block of rooms will be reserved at nearby hotels at a discounted rate.

Additional information about lodging will be available at a later date.

 

American University Professor to Speak on Race, Class, and Politics


Dr. Derek Hyra, author and associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University, will speak at the “Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City” Brown Bag seminar on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at noon in the Rhododendron Room of the Mountainlair.

Hyra’s research focuses on processes of neighborhood change, with an emphasis on housing, urban politics and race.

The Brown Bag Seminar is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Regional Research Institute.

RRI Summer Courses in Spatial Econometrics

July 31- August 3, 2017

Description:
The objective of the course is to provide a (not so short) introduction to spatial econometrics. Students will learn how to model and incorporate spatial dependencies into their empirical analyses. The course will cover basic as well as more advanced concepts ranging from the different typologies of spatial data, through the definition of connectivity in space (spatial weights matrices), to a comprehensive treatment of various spatial econometric models both crosssectional as well as panel. Estimation methods presented will include MLE (maximum likelihood), GM (generalized method of moments), GLS (generalized least squares), and GS2SLS (generalized spatial two stage least squares). The latter part of the course will deal with special topics such as panel data models, and various testing procedures.

Instructor:
Gianfranco Piras

Organization:
The course is organized into a format that includes morning (theoretical) lectures and afternoon computing lab and applications sessions. A reading list will be provided for each of the topics covered. Additional course materials will be provided.

Applications:
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a brief statement of interest to RRI@mail.wvu.edu. Applicants will be screened for suitable levels of preparation and background, and placed into the course on a first come, first served basis.

Important Dates:
Applications period opens: March 13, 2017
Extended Application Deadline: July 1, 2017
Acceptance Notification: Two days after application is received.
Confirm Participation by July 8, 2017

We will be able to admit a limited number of participants based on applications received by the deadline. Participation must be confirmed through the payment of course fees on or before July 8, 2017.

Fees:
The course fees are $3,000. Fees cover course tuition, lunches and course materials. Submitted fees will be nonrefundable. Accommodation and other living expenses are not included. A block of rooms will be reserved at nearby hotels at a discounted rate.

Additional information and a link for registration will be available soon on the RRI website at: http://rri.wvu.edu/.

Dr. Alexandra Tsvetkova is Recipient of the 2017 Miernyk Medal

Dr. Alexandra Tsvetkova  (winner) and Dr. Randall Jackson (presenter)

Dr. Alexandra Tsvetkova  is the winner of the 2017 William H. Miernyk Research Excellence Medal Competition. Tsvetkova won $1,500 for her paper titled, “Self-employment effects on regional growth: A bigger bang for a buck?” for which she is the lead author. Tsvetkova is a post-doctoral researcher in the department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University

Tsvetkova said, “I feel honored and humbled to be selected as the recipient of the 2017 Miernyk Medal. It is a great encouragement to continue research during the stage of my life when I am considering various future career paths.”

The Miernyk Medal Award was presented at the 2017 Southern Regional Science Association conference held in Memphis, TN this past March. According to Dr. Randall Jackson, Director of the Regional Research Institute, competition for this prestigious award, “named after one of the most influential and highly regarded regional economics scholars of the last century” is held annually among young scholars for the best solely-authored paper presented at the SRSA, yet only six other individuals have won this award: Carlianne Patrick in 2016, Jonathan Winters in 2015, Zhenhua Chen in 2014, Olivier Parent in 2008, Shaoming Cheng in 2006, and Santiago Pinto in 2005. The Miernyk Medal may not be awarded every year, at the discretion of the panel.

Workshop on Methods for Regional Science

The RRI Workshop on Methods for Regional Science is composed of a group of sessions created to share applied knowledge. In this workshop, students and professors can share with other members of the WVU community the methodologies and tools used in research, and our goal is to provide help to handle new applications. Students can learn to use tools that they might use for their own research.

This workshop will include in-class demos in which attendants can apply what they are learning. All presentations will be held at the RRI computer lab, room 519 at the CRRB. Because room capacity is limited, attendance will be handled by Eventbrite. (See links below.)
Materials will be posted on this RRI website.

Schedule
March
• February 9: Zheng Tian
Presentation: (RRI-WMRS) Emacs, Org-Mode, and Reproducible Research

• February 23: Juan Tomas Sayago
Presentation: (RRI-WMRS) Workshop on How to Make Maps With Qgis and R.

• March 2: Juan Tomas Sayago
Presentation: (RRI-WMRS) Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) with R.

• March 23: Caleb Stair
Presentation: (RRI-WMRS) IO Snap and applications.

• April 6: Juan Tomas Sayago
Presentation: (RRI-WMRS) Spatial Econometrics (Cross Section) with R.

• April 20: Juan Tomas Sayago
Presentation: (RRI-WMRS) Spatial Econometrics (Panel Data) with R.

Dr. Randall Jackson Works With World Bank Global Solutions Group to Structure Regional Policy Analysis.

When the World Bank wanted to prepare its newly formed Global Solutions group to solve some of the world’s most complex territorial and spatial development, analysis, and policy design challenges, it called upon leaders in the field of regional science to share their knowledge.

According to Dr. Nancy Lozano-Gracia, Senior Economist at the World Bank, the presentations would introduce staff to the “concepts, tools, and policy instruments that can be used when thinking about Territorial Development.” The presentations took place on December 5, 2016, at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

One of the speakers was Dr. Randall Jackson, Director of the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University and professor of geography, who provided a range of methods for application to regional policy analysis. This information was intended to provide the group with an overview of available tools and to better understand the methods available in regional economic analysis and the scenarios in which they can be used to solve various policy questions.

Also presenting were Drs. Raymond J.G.M. Florax, professor of spatial and environmental economics at Purdue University, and Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Emeritus Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory and emeritus professor of agricultural and consumer economics, economics, geography, and urban and regional planning, at the University of Illinois. Dr. Florax presented applications of spatial economic methods to regional development problems, and Dr. Hewings provided an overview of regional policy issues and concerns.