2017 Summer Conference Awards

AERE is pleased to announce the following Awards given during the 2017 AERE Summer Conference

AERE Fellows
Sir Partha Dasgupta and Dr. Al McGartland

Publication of Enduring Quality
Richard Newell, Adam Jaffe, and Robert Stavins for "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1999.
and
David Popp for "Induced Innovation and Energy Prices," American Economic Review, 2002.

Outstanding Publication in the
Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Mary Evans for "The Clean Air Act Watch List: An Enforcement and Compliance Natural Experiment," 2016.

We invite you to read more about the awardees below!


AERE FELLOWS

Sir Partha Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge.  He has served as the Chairman of the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics' Scientific Advisory Board (1991-1997), was a Founder Member of the Management and Advisory Committee of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, and in 1996 he helped to establish the journal Environment and Development Economics, published by Cambridge University Press.

Among other numerous awards and honors, Professor Dasgupta was named a Fellow of the Econometric Society (1975), a co-winner with Karl-Goran Maler of the 2002 Volvo Environment Prize, winner of the 2004 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award of the International Society for Ecological Economics, and was the 2007 recipient of the John Kenneth Galbraith Award by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Professor Dasgupta has also been President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (2010-11) and was named Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her Birthday Honours List in for "services to economics" (2002).

Within the area of environmental and natural resource economics, Professor Dasgupta's influential publications include Guidelines for Project Evaluation (with S.A. Marglin and A.K. Sen; United Nations, 1972), Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources (with G.M. Heal; Cambridge University Press, 1979 (recipient of the AERE "Publication of Enduring Quality Award in 2003); The Control of Resources (Harvard University Press, 1982); and Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment (Oxford University Press, 2001; revised edition, 2004).

  

Dr. Albert McGartlandDr. Al McGartland is Director of the National Center for Environmental Economics at the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Prior to his current role at the US EPA, Dr. McGartland was Vice President of Abt Associates (1990-1991) and a Senior Economist at the US Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (1988-1990).

Dr. McGartland has dedicated his career to the advancement of economic science and its role in environmental policy-making.  The National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) that Dr. McGartland directs has a staff of PhD economists who conduct state of the art research to support the use of economic science in federal decision making. 

Through his own research, that of the NCEE staff, and through the support of a great many others' research, Dr. McGartland has had a tremendous and lasting impact on advancing the role of environmental economics in improving the design and evaluation of environmental policy.  His own influential publications include "The Net Benefits of Incentive-Based Regulation: A Case Study of Environmental Standard Setting" (with Wallace Oates and Paul Portney), American Economic Review, 1989, and "Marketable Permits for the Prevention of Environmental Deterioration" (with Wallace Oates), Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 1985.  In addition, the guidance documents for economic analysis of environmental regulations and policies prepared by NCEE under Dr. McGartland's leadership are considered state-of-the-art across federal agencies and considered by international agencies as the best source describing economic methods for policy evaluation.


PUBLICATION OF ENDURING QUALITY

The Publication of Enduring Quality (PEQ) award recognizes works that are of seminal nature and with enduring value in environmental and resource economics.  The PEQ selection committee was chaired by Brian Copeland, University of British Columbia, and included Olivier Deschenes, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Frances Homans, University of Minnesota. 

This year, AERE recognizes two influential empirical papers on induced innovation in environmental economics.


"The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change"
by Richard G. Newell, Adam B. Jaffe, and Robert N. Stavins
Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 114, No. 3 (1999), pp. 941-975

Richard NewellAdam JaffeRobert Stavins  

 

 

 

 

 

 and

"Induced Innovation and Energy Prices"
by David Popp
American Economic Review, Vol. 92, No. 1 (2002), pp. 160-180

 David Popp

Environmental outcomes are influenced by the cumulative effects of technical change. Through price incentives, market-based environmental policies may be able to shift the path of innovation towards cleaner technologies, making the attainment of environmental goals more feasible.  The idea that the direction of innovation is influenced by relative prices goes back to Hicks and his theory of induced innovation. A key empirical question is whether there is evidence of this effect in contexts relevant to environmental problems and, if so, the magnitude of the effect.  The two papers we honor with the 2017 PEQ award study the effects of energy prices on energy efficiency.  One looks at the energy efficiency of final products; the other looks at patents.  

Newell, Jaffe and Stavins' paper studies the effect of energy price increases on the relationship between cost and product characteristics.  They find evidence that technological change became biased towards energy efficiency after the increase in energy prices in the 1970's.  Their findings suggest that the post-1973 energy price increases accounted for between one quarter and one half of the improvements in energy efficiency of air conditioners and water heaters over the 20-year period ending in 1993.

Popp uses patents for energy-efficient technologies as a measure of innovative activity.  He estimates a strongly positive long-run elasticity of patenting with respect to energy prices.  Innovative activity responds quickly to prices, but the effect decreases over time, suggesting that there are diminishing returns to research.  He also finds that the quality of existing research knowledge matters.  He uses patent citation data to construct a measure of the stock of knowledge in the relevant area and finds that this has a positive and significant effect on innovative activity.  

These two papers helped to establish an empirical research agenda on the role of innovation in the design of environmental policy and, by showing that induced innovation was empirically grounded in this context, also influenced the burgeoning theoretical literature in the field.

The impact of these important papers goes well beyond the academic literature. Current market-based environmental policies are, in part, motivated by the fact that higher energy prices should create incentives for energy-saving innovations, as demonstrated in the papers we honor as the 2017 Publications of Enduring Quality.


Outstanding Publication in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Each year, AERE selects an outstanding research paper published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists during the previous calendar year.

"The Clean Air Act Watch List: An Enforcement and Compliance Natural Experiment"
by Mary F. Evans

Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, volume 3, number 3, pp. 627-65, 2016.

This research asks the question: can traditional regulation of the environment be improved or replaced by public release of information about polluting facilities?  The 2016 JAERE paper by Mary Evans makes two major contributions in this literature. First, it is a model of academic innovation in identification. It uses an accidental public release of facilities’ identities on an EPA Clean Air Act “watch list” to identify the impacts of both traditional and informational policies in what is essentially a national quasi-experiment. Second, it measures the complementarity of government oversight and civil action: government oversight is effective but can be substantially more effective when information regarding that oversight enters the public realm. The paper includes an extensive series of robustness checks that rule out potential confounding factors, and it provides a benchmark of best practice in quasi-experimental evaluation.  For regulators, her paper provides potential new management tools that are easy to implement and likely to make real world impacts.  For researchers, her paper provides a robust, well executed, and highly policy relevant blueprint for examining non-traditional forms of regulatory impacts.