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.

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

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.

Gianfranco Piras

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.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a brief statement of interest to 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.

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:

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.

• 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.

Patricio Aroca

Patricio Aroca, Professor and Director of the Center for Regional Economics and Policy at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Viña del Mar, Chile, and Associate Researcher of the Center for Conflict and Cohesion Studies of the Chilean National Fund for Science (CONICYT). He holds a bachelor degree in business from Universidad Austral de Chile (1983), a master in economics from Universidad de Chile (1987), a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995).

He has been principal investigator of several project: among which are the nucleus “Regional Science & Public Policy” of the Chilean Millennium Scientific Initiative (2008-2014), the research project of the Chilean FONDEF-CONICYT “Measuring the Impact and Spillover of Chilean Regional Investment” (2013-2015) and recently the joint grant CONICYT Chile – BMBF Germany, “Development of Sustainable Mining Strategies in Chile with a Regionalized National Model”. In addition, he has published in international journals like the World Bank Economic Review, Resources Policy, Journal of Regional Science, Papers in Regional Science, Annals of Regional Science, International Regional Science Review and his most recent edited book jointly with Juan Cuadrado-Roura “Regional Problems and Policies in Latin America” (2014) from Springer had more than 15.500 downloads. In addition, he has consulted for the World Bank, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), IADB (Inter American Developing Bank) and CELADE-ECLAC (Latin American Center for Demography – Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean).

As part of several board of the different RSAI associations, he has helped to found the Chilean, Argentinian, Colombian, Ecuadorian regional science association. An also he participated actively in the foundation of the RSAmericas and the current approved proposal for the creation of the Latin American and the Caribbean Regional Science Association, where his main role was to coordinate the Mexican and Brazilian association to get an agreement where both were willing to be part of the new association.

Currently, he is President of the Pacific Regional Science Council (2016-2017) and member of the board of Chilean Copper Commission (2014-2018). In addition, he has participated in the following boards:
2011 – 2013 President of the RSAmericas
2009 – 2011 Member of the Board, Chilean Economists Society (SECHI: Sociedad de Economistas de Chile)
2009 – 2013 Member of the Board, Regional Science Association International (RSAI)
2016 – 2017
2009 –  2013 Member of the Board, Chilean Society of Regional Science (SOCHER)
2008 – 2010 Member of the Board, Regional Science Association of the Americas (RSAmericas)
2008 – 2012 Member of the Board, Pacific Regional Science Council (PRSCO)
2006 – 2008 President of the Chilean Society of Regional Science (SOCHER).

RRI Seminar November 17, 2016

Patricio Aroca from Chile will present The Smartness Migration Impacts on Smart Cities on Thursday, November 17 at 12:30 P.M. in room 325 Brooks Hall at 12:30 p.m. He is a professor and director of the Center for Economics Policy at Universidad Adolfo Ibanez and associate researcher of the Center for Conflict and Cohesion Studies of the Chilean National Fund for Science.


RRI Seminar Series, Tuesday, October 18, 2016

scwzDr. Max Schweizer, Foreign and Economic Affairs Advisor, Lecturer, and Researcher and Former Swiss Diplomat will discuss Brexit, looking into the historical relations between  Great Britain and continental Europe.

SPEAKER: Dr. Max Schweizer, Foreign & Economic Affairs; Advisory – Lectures – Research

TOPIC: Brexit – the End of “Regionalism” in Europe? Observations of a Former Swiss Diplomat

TIME: Tuesday, October 18, 2016
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

PLACE: Room 325 Brooks Hall.

ABSTRACT: Great Britain’s 2016 decision to leave the EU shocked not only Europe but also the world. Never before has a member country decided to exit this regional integration project. Thus, Great Britain’s new policy brings along challenges the EU has never faced before. Most questions regarding the Brexit remain unanswered. To understand this challenge, a look into the historical relations between Great Britain and continental Europe is indispensable.

Great Britain joined the European Economic Community (ECC), a predecessor of today’s EU, in 1973.  Before that, she initiated the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) dating back to 1960. Only one year later (1961) she tried (!) to initiate membership negotiations with the EEC, while EFTA partners were neither informed nor consulted. Now, more than 43 years after having joined the European integration project, she decides to leave.

The Brexit hurts the ‘European peace project’ both materially and regarding its prestige. Not only is Great Britain the second largest EU economy but also the second largest budget contributor (“net payer”).

The Brexit negotiations are supposed to start “before the end of March 2017.” This is the deadline set by the new British Prime Minister Theresa May. Until then, she promised to symbolically “press the button” (Art. 50, Lisbon treaty) triggering the exit discussions. Article 50 provides a 24 month time frame to find practical solutions.

The Brexit challenge is substantial – but only one of the EU’s multiple problems. Yet, the European history after WWII is proof of the continent’s extraordinary problem-solving capacity. Will it work once more?

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Schweizer received his doctorate in geography from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Kaunas, Lithuania and is a Visiting Professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, Zhuhai. He spent more than 30 years as a diplomat in the Swiss foreign service, raising to the rank of Minister. He was Deputy Permanent Representative of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA) at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland in Geneva to the WTO (World Trade Organization), EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and UNCTAD. During his career Minister Schweizer was posted as Swiss diplomat to South Africa, Saudi-Arabia, Turkey, Finland, Baltic States, and Spain. Drawing on his experiences and expertise, he has published numerous books and has taught in the area of Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy at the School of Management and Law at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Winterthur. He is, therefore, in a privileged position to comment on the changing economic-legal landscape in Europe and the rest of the world, including some of its regional implications.