Many governments seek to advance public policies that aim to improve the welfare of their citizens.  Often these efforts are inadequate, and in some instances, may even make things worse. This is especially true for two of society’s most pressing environmental and energy challenges: addressing anthropogenic climate change and ensuring access to affordable, clean energy for all citizens.

       My research focuses on the welfare evaluation of imperfect or ‘second-best’ public policies.  Thematically, my research examines large-scale public policies that target significant market failures, with a particular focus on public policies related to climate change, energy and transportation systems, and the urban sector. Methodologically, my research explores these themes using and advancing theoretical and empirical models grounded in the fields of environmental and energy economics, public finance, and political economy, such as computational general equilibrium models, optimal power flow models, models of strategic regulatory decision-making, and models of political economy.

       The imperfections I examine through my research span two interrelated areas:

1.            The welfare evaluation of current and proposed policies given the presence of pre-existing policy distortions and multiple market failures, and,

2.            The evaluation of the incentives, institutions, and decision-making processes that explain why imperfect policies often emerge

In short, the when and why, public policies succeed or fail. For additional details, please see my past and current research

        As large-scale environmental and energy problems demand complex interdisciplinary answers, I am interested in developing quality interactions with both economists and non-economists that seek to integrate economic models with models of political economy, physical, engineering, chemical, electrical, and ecological systems. To this end, an ideal collaboration is one which fosters and extends our knowledge of and the tools of economics at the same time that it extends your primary field of knowledge. My educational background and current research demonstrate both this commitment as well as its promise to deepen our knowledge in profound ways. Please feel free to contact me, should you be interested in such a collaboration. 

        Prior to joining Penn State in 2014, I completed my PhD at Cornell University where I studied environmental and energy economics as a member of Dr. Antonio M. Bento's research group.  I also hold a M.S. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, where I studied environmental and development policy, and two B.A.s in economic and political science from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Primary Fields: Environmental Economics, Energy Economics

Secondary Fields: Public Finance, Political Economy

Topics: Climate Change, Energy Systems, Welfare Evaluation of Public Policy, Optimal Design of Public Policy, Estimation and Validation of Structural Models

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