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Christopher Burns, Ph.D. Candidate

Photo of Chris BurnsMy research and teaching interests include applied econometrics and statistics, environmental and resource economics. I am currently finishing my PhD dissertation, which looks at Monte Carlo methods for reducing bias caused by measurement error in two economic models used in fisheries. The two models that are examined include the stochastic frontier and the Schaefer production model. This research contributes to the field of economic policy by examining the consequences of measurement error for fishery management. Further, I show the Monte Carlo method known as simulation extrapolation (SIMEX) to be a useful tool for applied economics, because it can obtain less biased parameter estimates without need for instruments. This method can readily be adapted to other applied economic models where some estimate of the measurement error variance is known.

For a total of four semesters I have taught a section of Resource Economics 121, Hunger in a Global Economy. This course explores the problem of chronic undernutrition by using economic theory, and gives students an overview of issues surrounding economic development, food security and demographic transition. For the past year I have also provided statistical consulting at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In addition to teaching workshops on the statistical language R, I have also provided consultation on methodological issues for graduates and faculty.

Working Papers

“Measurement Error in a Stochastic Frontier Model:  A Fishery Context”

Ongoing Research

“Measurement Error Correction in the Generalized Schaefer Production Model: A Monte Carlo Method”

“Does Mandatory Labeling For Alcoholic Beverages Have a Measurable Effect on Quantity Demanded or Total Alcohol Consumption?”

“Effect of lignocellulosic biochars on water use efficiency of four pitch pine scrub oak taxa in pot trials” with Licht, J., McLaughlin, H. and Eisen-Cuadra, A.

“Effect of lignocellulosic biochars on moisture retention, shrinkage and plasticity of non-hydric sandy loams” with Licht, J., Shields, F., and Byer, S.

Teaching Experience

Hunger in a Global Economy.  Instructor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, and Fall 2013. >>Syllabus

Resource Economics Math Camp for Graduate Students.  Instructor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, August 2013.

Introduction to Statistics Using R. Workshop at ISSR at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Fall 2012-Fall 2013.

Applied Regression with R. Workshop at ISSR at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Fall 2012-Fall 2013.

Intermediate Statistics for Business and Finance. Teaching Assistant at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Fall 2010-Spring 2011.

Introduction to Econometrics. Teaching Assistant at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Spring 2010.

Introduction to Statistics. Teaching Assistant at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Fall 2009.

Conference Presentations

Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association Annual Meeting, June 2013. Ithaca, NY.

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting, August 2013. Washington, D.C.

617-820-6437
cbburns"at" acad.umass.edu