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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 Part of Team to Educate Countries on Best Practices for Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development

(Reprinted with permission from WVU Today)
“Recognizing the depth and breadth of its knowledge about unconventional natural gas resources, the United States Department of State has called on West Virginia University to share that expertise with the world.

With increasing interest in natural gas development both in the U.S. and worldwide, the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources has reached a cooperative agreement with WVU to create the International Forum on Unconventional Gas Sustainability and the Environment, or INFUSE, a unique technical program dedicated to increasing other countries’ understanding of best practices for unconventional gas resource development through a mix of classroom and in the field activities.”
For more on this story, please click here.

Amir Borges Ferreira Neto Awarded Fellowship


Amir Borges Ferreira Neto is a graduate research assistant in the RRI and a doctoral candidate in the College of Business and Economics. Just recently, he became a recipient of the W. Marston and Katharine B. Becker Doctoral Fellows Endowment. The Beckers are both WVU alumni.

Borges Ferreira Neto said, “I am honored and grateful to have been awarded this prestigious fellowship.” He continues, “On the one hand, the fellowship will allow me the opportunity to focus on both my doctoral and my personal research, which are consistent with the donors’ expectations of regional and public policy-oriented research. On the other hand, over the next couple of years I will be able to complement my doctoral training with  teaching experience while continuing to maintain focus on my research.”

This fellowship is awarded to the top students by the Center for Free Enterprise at WVU and is based on a student’s ability to communicate basic economic principles through research on state policy. Fellows are expected to engage in the ongoing dialogue on state economic policy through public speaking opportunities and new commentary and publications. Borges Ferreira Neto explained, “Because of this fellowship, I expect to finish my doctoral program with both research and teaching experience concurrent to publishing and participating in conferences to strengthen network opportunities.”

Students are awarded a $20,000 annual stipend to work on research relevant to West Virginia economic policy while pursuing doctoral studies.

William H. Miernyk Reception

Reception Poster 2

2005 marked the first presentation of The William H. Miernyk Research Excellence Medal.” The Medal was presented at the annual SRSA meeting April 7-9, 2005 in Arlington, VA. Bill’s health would not permit him to travel to the meeting.

A small reception for Professor Miernyk was held on the evening of Wednesday, April 6 in Morgantown at the Radisson Hotel with several of his former colleagues and students. An enjoyable time was had by all and we invite you to view the photo album below.

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Labys Receives Miernyk Award

Walter LabysWalter C. Labys, who has been on the WVU faculty since 1975, was honored April 2001, at a special 35th Anniversary celebration for WVU’s Regional Research Institute, with the “Miernyk Award for Career Scholarly Achievement,” 2000. This award was established in honor of Professor William H. Miernyk, the Director of the Institute from its establishment in 1965 until his retirement in 1983. It recognizes individuals whose careers have been marked by sustained scholarly productivity, dedication to students, service to scholarly organizations, and an enduring commitment to the Regional Research Institute and West Virginia University. Like Dr. Miernyk, Professor Labys’ distinguished career at WVU has been dedicated to these ideals.

Speakers for the event included Professors William Miernyk who presented the award, Peter Schaeffer, Division Director of Resource Management, and Ronald L. Lewis, Interim Director of the Regional Research Institute who also presented Labys with a travel honorarium from the Institute. Attending this special event were faculty research associates of the Regional Research Institute, former students, colleagues, such as Jean-Baptiste Lesourd of France, J. Hiliary Kelley, former dean of Comer, and numerous friends and family members.

Walter C. Labys is Benedum Distinguished Scholar, Professor of Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics. He also holds the position of Gunnar Myrdal Scholar from the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1959, a M.B.A. from Duquesne University in 1962, a M.A. in economics from Harvard University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Nottingham in 1968.

He is a graduate of the Preparatory School at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe. He served as Economic Affairs Officer with the United Nations in Geneva from 1969 to 1971 and as a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies of the University of Geneva from 1971 to 1975. He was appointed at West Virginia University in 1975 to help found the Ph.D. Program in resource economics; in 1990 he was given the University’s highest academic award, Benedum Distinguished Scholar and in 1998 was named Outstanding Researcher. During 1981-82, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Energy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Faculty Research Associate with the Regional Research Institute, and served as founding President of the WVU “Faculty Club.”

Over the past thirty-two years, Dr. Labys has pioneered in the development and application of econometric methods important for analyzing commodity price behavior, the building of structural commodity models, and the impact of commodity markets on the stability and growth of surrounding developing economies. His numerous books and articles have been of particular interest not only to other economists but also to industry and government planners at national and international levels.

Throughout his career, Dr. Labys has taken a strong interest in the relationship of his research to international policy making. He was honored as the first Gunnar Myrdal Scholar by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. He has served as research Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (The United Nations University) in Helsinki. He also has been a visitor at the following universities: the Faculty of Economics and GREQAM at the University of Aix-Marseille; the Department of Applied Economics at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna; the Center for Industrial Econometrics at the University of Montpellier in France; the Research Center for World Commodity Markets at CNAM-Paris; he Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow; the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna; the Institute for International Economics in Stockholm; and the London School of Economics in England. He has acted as a consultant or research advisor to several international organizations and has visited more than 80 nations. He has worked with the U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Dr. Labys has authored or collaborated on 15 books, more than 120 research articles and chapters, and has presented more than 130 invited addresses, colloquia and papers. In January of 2000 he delivered the millennium lecture at the Center for Economic and Policy Research at St. Vincent College. He has directed more than 40 masters and doctoral theses. Selected studies have been translated and published in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Polish, and Russian. He has two children, Paul and Lottie by his late wife, Jane Reardon Labys. Walt married Kathy Lohmann, who retired as English teacher at Morgantown High School.