At the Department of Resource Economics, we tackle complex questions about how to use our environmental, natural and human resources. By researching important societal problems and gathering and analyzing data, we offer policy solutions that move the needle on today’s most pressing issues. Our undergraduate and graduate programs focus on industrial organization, environmental economics, and natural resource economics. And our award-winning faculty produces groundbreaking research that impacts how we approach our world.
Resource Economics associate professor Christine L. Crago is co-PI on two grants totaling $6.3 million from the National Science Foundation. The grants will fund a new graduate training program, ELevating Equity VAlues in the Transition of the Energy System (ELEVATE) which aims to ensure that the transformation of the electric grid is both sustainable and benefits all members of society equitably, an aspect of energy transition not often considered in policymaking or public discourse. “I’m really excited to be looking at equity and distributional impacts of the renewable energy transition,” says Dr. Crago. “As we promote an energy system dominated by renewable energy, we want to carefully consider the impact of more renewables on energy prices and control of energy assets, and their subsequent impacts on equity.”
Though there are many factors still uncertain about the fall 2020 semester, the Department of Resource Economics is excited to introduce its new faculty: Yongjoon Park, Assistant Professor; Manasvini Singh, Assistant Professor; and Lucy Xiaolu Wang, Assistant Professor (starting September 2021).
“We're experiencing some severe societal challenges, but this university's commitment to faculty excellence is amply demonstrated by recruiting these outstanding new faculty,” said John A. Hird, Dean of SBS. “We're all excited to begin engaging with them.”
David Keiser, assistant professor of resource economics, published an article that has been recognized as one of The Quarterly Journal of Economics's top five cited articles of 2019.
"Consequences of the Clean Water Act and the Demand for Water Quality," co-authored by Joseph Shapiro (University of California, Berkeley), uses the most comprehensive set of files ever compiled on water pollution and its determinants, including 50 million pollution readings from 240,000 monitoring sites and a network model of all US rivers, to study water pollution’s trends, causes, and welfare consequences.
Angela de Oliveira, professor of experimental and public economics in the department of resource economics, has received a $205,000 standard grant from the National Science Foundation to study the motives, beliefs, and behaviors behind in-kind charitable giving.
De Oliveira says that understanding the motives and beliefs behind in-kind giving is important, because while a significant amount of giving is done via the often inefficient method of in-kind donations, its wastefulness may be addressed with well-designed interventions. She hopes her team’s research will provide information that will help charities increase the efficient use of the gifts they receive, thereby benefitting donors, the recipients of charity services, and local communities.
As high temperatures become more frequent and intense due to climate change, UMass Amherst scientists are developing interdisciplinary research aimed at helping communities increase resilience to extreme heat by monitoring physiological, mental and behavioral health factors.
Tauhidur Rahman, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, and social scientist Jamie Mullins, assistant professor of resource economics,received a $75,000 planning grant from the National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Communities program to fund their project.