College of Business
Economics & Finance Dept.
1000 E University Ave.
Dept. 3985, BU 225 East
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2175
Fax: (307) 766-5090
February 9, 2015 — People living in remote, less-productive agricultural lands in developing countries need particular attention in any efforts to reduce poverty, two University of Wyoming researchers have concluded.
Edward Barbier, the John S. Bugas Professor of Economics and Finance in the UW College of Business, and graduate student Jake Hochard published an article, “Identifying Geographical Poverty Traps in Rural Areas,” in the January 2015 World Bank Research E-Newsletter.
The researchers analyzed the distribution of populations in favorable vs. less favorable agricultural lands in 83 developing countries to determine how those locations affected income growth between 2000 and 2012. They found that, as more rural people are located on remote and marginal agricultural lands, the poverty-reducing impact of income growth tends to be lower.
“In particular, our results suggest that the most critical and vulnerable rural population groups are those located on less favored agricultural lands that also are remote from markets,” they wrote. “It is this group that should be the main target of any strategy aimed at encouraging outmigration while investing in improving the livelihoods of those who remain in such areas.”
The new findings support previous research by Barbier and others showing that such geographical “poverty traps” in rural areas of developing countries pose a particular challenge.
“In such a case, reducing rural poverty requires either a large-scale regional approach or assisting the exit of populations,” Barbier and Hochard wrote. “It may be that both strategies will be required to alleviate the problem of the concentration of rural populations on less favored agricultural lands and remote areas which, as this paper has shown, appears to be a major obstacle to the poverty-reducing effect of overall income growth in developing countries.”
Widely published in natural resource and development economics, as well as the interface between economics and ecology, Barbier has served as a consultant and policy analyst for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many United Nations organizations and the World Bank. He has written more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, written or edited 21 books, and published in popular journals.
December 19, 2014 — A University of Wyoming economics faculty member and a recent UW Ph.D. graduate are among the authors of a scientific paper calling for increased global efforts to fight emerging diseases before they can spread significantly.
The article is based on Jamison Pike’s dissertation research in the Department of Economics and Finance at UW, directed by Professor David Finnoff.
Pike, now working as an economist with the New York City-based EcoHealth Alliance, and Finnoff joined colleagues from EcoHealth Alliance in writing the article that appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. TIME magazine featured this research in its most recent issue, stating: “… Experts estimate the world will see about five new emerging infectious diseases each year and that we need new prevention strategies to cut economic losses.”
Using economic modeling to assess responses to outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, the researchers make an economic case for immediate efforts to reduce the underlying drivers of disease emergence -- and the human behaviors that cause it to spread.
“Our findings illustrate the significant savings that can be generated by global initiatives to mitigate disease emergence,” Finnoff says. “Mitigation policies are worth implementing even if they are minimally effective in reducing emerging disease risk.”
The World Health Organization reports that the number of people infected with Ebola has surpassed 17,000, with more than 6,000 deaths. The two-year financial cost of Ebola may reach $32.6 billion, according to the World Bank.
Meanwhile, estimates of the economic cost of an influenza pandemic range from $374 billion to $7.3 trillion, with the potential for 142 million deaths globally, according to the paper.
The researchers note that 60 percent of all human diseases and 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases involve animal-to-human transmission. As a result, the underlying factors that contribute to disease outbreaks result primarily from human population growth and environmental changes -- which increase the risk of emergence of viral, parasitic and bacterial diseases in humans and animals.
Strategies exist to reduce the underlying causes of disease emergence -- such as increasing farm biosecurity, promoting behavioral change in at-risk populations and detecting pathogens in wildlife -- but they require collaborative efforts among governmental and intergovernmental agencies, the researchers say. Instead, most current pandemic control programs are reactive and focus on reducing the impact of a pathogen after it has infected many.
“Our economic modeling shows us the new approach to address emerging diseases at the source is the right long-term strategy,” Pike says.
If governments and other agencies immediately focus their policies on reducing the likelihood of an emerging disease originating, they could save between $344 billion and $360.8 billion over the next century, the article concludes.
It can be viewed at www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/12/12/1412661112.abstract.
Finnoff says Pike’s research “demonstrates the quality of both our UW graduate students and the training they receive.”
December 19, 2014 — The University of Wyoming’s expertise in conservation economics has taken a step forward with the arrival of a new faculty member who has extensive domestic and international experience researching the intersection of economic and ecological systems.
H. Jo Albers has joined the UW faculty to fill the newly endowed Knobloch Wyoming Excellence Chair for Conservation Economics and Finance. She comes from Oregon State University, where she was a professor in the OSU College of Forestry’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society and in the graduate Applied Economics program. Her UW faculty position in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources includes a joint appointment with theDepartment of Economics and Finance in the College of Business.
“With its migratory species, range of land uses from recreation to energy, and patterns of land ownership, Wyoming is a veritable laboratory for studying conservation tools to promote ecologically healthy, working landscapes,” Albers says. “I’m excited about research and teaching collaborations with people across the university and the state.”
In 2013, the Knobloch Family Foundation contributed $2 million to the Haub School toward a conservation economics endowed chair. Other Wyoming families also contributed. The state matched the gifts with funds from the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment, established by the Legislature in 2006 to create senior faculty positions for distinguished scholars and educators at UW.
The Knobloch family has a strong interest in research and education that can lead to recognizing the value of natural capital including open landscapes, robust wildlife populations and functioning ecosystems. Carl Knobloch first visited Wyoming while working in the oil and gas industry. He and his family moved here permanently because of the large, intact landscapes and impressive migratory herds of deer, elk and other wildlife.
Albers, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University California-Berkeley and other degrees in geology and environmental studies, was a 2013 Fulbright Scholar at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where her research and outreach focused on policies to promote both biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching, Albers integrates information about ecological and institutional systems into economic decision frameworks at a landscape scale. She looks forward to developing new research questions and collaborations in Wyoming.
“Dr. Albers’ research on the interactions of private and public resource manager/users in the production of ecosystem services will inform strategies for protecting landscapes in Wyoming and the West,” Haub School Director Indy Burke says. “We’re excited about her plans to build communities across campus to teach, conduct analyses, and undertake outreach from an interdisciplinary perspective.”
|October 6, 2014 — UW economist and International Programs Director Anne Alexander, a policy fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, published a blog on the AAAS website that analyzed the economic impacts of pandemics in response to the current Ebola outbreak.|
September 10, 2014 — The University of Wyoming Department of Economics and Finance has one of the world’s top programs in environmental economics, according to a prestigious worldwide organization that disseminates economics research.
In its “Top 10% Institutions and Economists in the Field of Environmental Economics,” Research Papers in Economics ranked the UW Department of Economics and Finance 11th -- tied with Oxford University. The list includes all academic and non-academic research institutions globally.
Among universities only, UW is ranked seventh in the world, again tied with Oxford. Among only U.S. universities, UW is fourth behind Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale.
“The ranking is a tribute to the considerable research productivity and performance of all the Economics and Finance faculty engaged in environment economics,” says Ed Barbier, the John S. Bugas Professor of Economics and Finance in the UW College of Business. “It also reflects well on the entire university and College of Business, which over the years has supported and facilitated the decision by our department to make environmental economics our key field of specialty.
“That decision has proven to be far-sighted, as our environmental economics program has now demonstrated that it is one of the best among universities in the United States and the world.”
In addition to the ranking for the entire department, three faculty members are listed among the world’s top 100 environmental economists. Barbier is ranked 23rd, while Jay Shogren, Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management, is 41st on the list. Shogren recently was named a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the nation’s pre-eminent professional society for environmental economists and policy.
Chuck Mason, UW's H.A. "Dave" True Jr. Chair in Petroleum and Natural Gas Economics, is ranked 91st on the Researcher Papers in Economics list.
“That is another indication of the depth in our department, with three of the endowed chairs ranked individually in the top 100 environmental economists in the world,” Barbier says.
The Department of Economics and Finance offers undergraduate and master's degrees in economics and finance, including a dual master's in economics and finance combined, as well as a doctoral degree in economics. In 2010, the National Research Council ranked the department as the nation's leader in faculty research output and eighth overall in research productivity out of 120 U.S. Ph.D. programs.
The department’s faculty strives to use economics and finance to create more well-being while protecting the environment and natural resources.
July 21, 2014 — University of Wyoming Professor Jason Shogren has been named a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE), the nation’s pre-eminent professional society for environmental economists and policy.
Shogren is the Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management in the Department of Economics and Finance in the UW College of Business. He was recognized for outstanding professional contributions and demonstrated leadership in the field of environmental economics, according to an AERE release.
He received a certificate at a recent ceremony at the World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists in Istanbul, Turkey. Along with its European counterpart, AERE is the world’s largest community of environmental and resource economists.
The AERE Fellow designation has been a significant honor for 10 years. Individuals are nominated by their peers in the association membership. Thomas Crocker, UW emeritus professor of economics, is the other AERE fellow from Wyoming.
The AERE Board evaluates each candidate’s contributions to the advancement of economics and considers published works, the position held with his or her employer, AERE activities, membership and accomplishments in other societies, and other professional activities.
Shogren has published more than 200 articles in the past 20 years, in a broad range of areas relevant to environmental and resource economics. Several of these papers were co-written with former graduate students. He has directed dozens of Ph.D. students during his career.
Additionally, he served as co-editor of Resource and Energy Economics, editor-in-chief of Elsevier's online Encyclopedia of Resource, Energy and Environmental Economics, and was a senior staff economist for the Council of Economic Advisors.
The AERE fellowship is the latest in an impressive string of career accomplishments. Shogren served a year as the “King’s economist” in Sweden (2012 Royal Guest Professor of Sweden's King Carl Gustaf XVI) and was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was co-recipient of a Nobel Peace prize in 2007.
A UW Ph.D. recipient in 1986 and a faculty member since 1995, Shogren has background and research interests that include risk; experimental methods; endangered species; invasive species; climate change; environmental federalism; contingent valuation; environmental liability; agricultural management; forest management; energy; health; political economy; regulation; international trade; and paleoeconomics.
April 28, 2014 — Creating a learning environment dedicated to the knowledge and growth of students and providing outstanding leadership with fellow faculty members are just a couple of the reasons Associate Professor David Finnoff has received a top University of Wyoming teaching honor.
The John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award was established in 1977 by businessman John P. “Jack” Ellbogen to “foster, encourage and reward excellence in classroom teaching at UW.” Winners are selected from a list nominated by students, and the awards are based entirely on classroom performance and helpfulness to students.
An associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, Finnoff is in his 10th year as a UW faculty member.
“His impact on classroom teaching goes beyond just his classes,” wrote Fred Sterbenz, chair of the UW Department of Economics and Finance, in his nomination letter. “He has often visited classes taught by our graduate students and advised them on what they could do better. By spending some time advising a graduate student on what can be done better, he has an effect on many students taking undergraduate economics, even if they do not take his course.”
Former student, Shana McDermott, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of New Mexico, agrees. Finnoff has improved not only the lives of students, but has had a huge influence on the faculty members as well.
“My admiration and gratitude for my professor and mentor, Professor Finnoff, goes beyond words,” says McDermott. “He is a constant pillar of support and guidance for his students. I whole-heartedly believe that he is the strongest candidate for this award, given his dedication to students and enthusiasm for teaching.”
Finnoff received both his doctoral and bachelor’s degrees from UW. He began his teaching career as an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida Department of Economics, transferring back to teach at UW in 2004.
Students who have taken his courses express that Finnoff is everything a college professor should be.
“Dr. Finnoff expects a lot of his students and really pushes them hard,” said one student in an evaluation. “He really knows his stuff. He comes to class every day ready to teach and expects us to learn. He is among the greatest teachers that I have had. The economics department would have a huge hole in it without him.”
Students also noted Finnoff’s willingness to spend time outside the classroom for supplemental instruction, and also the compassion he shared with each student.
“Dr. Finnoff is wonderful. He always has time to help us out during his office hours, which made a difference. He has a personal relationship with all of his students: he knows about us and he cares about us. He loves his subject and this shows as he teaches,” a student wrote. “The only thing that would be better is if we did not all have to present or talk at each stage of our paper. I would rather listen to him teach. I loved his class. He is a wonderful professor.”
One of Finnoff’s colleagues in the department also learned from him because of his teaching style.
“I have received amazing feedback regarding Dave from the many undergraduate and graduate students who have taken his classes,” wrote Associate Professor Rob Godby, “I also have seen this firsthand as I was chair of our department for five years, and was the beneficiary of the ‘great teaching’ seminars I received while evaluating his classes. These were not reviews so much as learning experiences for me.”
Professor Patrick Fleming and students presented to the State Loan Investment Board on April 10, 2014. The State Loan Investment Board Members include Governor Matt Mead, Treasurer Mark Gordon, Secretary of State Max Maxfield, State Auditor Cynthia Cloud, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill.
Dr. Robert Godby, an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance, published his first book titled The European Financial Crisis in December of 2013. Professor Godby began his academic career at the University of Wyoming in 1997. He has since published articles in journals, contributed to edited volumes, presented his research internationally, and served as public expert by commenting in radio, national television, and public media interviews on his main research areas, which include macroeconomic and monetary policy, behavioral economics, energy economics, industrial organization, and environmental economics and policy. He collaborates with other researchers on projects and serves as a mentor to graduate students. More details about Professor Godby can be found on his University of Wyoming academic profile webpage at the following link: http://www.uwyo.edu/econfin/people/faculty/robert-w-godby.html.
A brief synopsis of The European Financial Crisis as posted on goodreads.com follows:
“The European debt crisis has posed a challenge for many people to understand, both non-Europeans and Europeans alike. Even economists, finance specialists and market commentators are often uncertain of its causes or in the interpretation of events ongoing, or of past events that have taken place that then shaped the current situation. Typically this lack of understanding results from a lack of understanding of how European institutions work, the structure of European politics and the Eurozone, the economics of the financial system, or the relationship of debt markets to current government policies in the EU. The purpose of this book is to describe the causes and outcomes of the European debt crisis (to the date of publication) within the context of three questions most often asked about the debt crisis: (i) what happened? (ii) why did it happen? and (iii) why has the crisis been so difficult for policy-makers to address? The book attempts to answer these questions in a straightforward, scholarly and thoughtful fashion, thereby developing a wider understanding of the crisis in its entirety for the reader. The book is by no means meant to be an exhaustive treatment on any of the issues it discusses. But the approach taken should be useful for those people who wish to better understand the events of the European financial crisis over the past three years but who do not need to acquire an exhaustive background in European institutions, debt markets, history and economic policy-making. For that reason the proposed book would have appeal to undergraduate students in business, economics, politics or interdisciplinary studies looking for an approachable yet detailed overview of the crisis, for graduate classes seeking similar goals and lay-people or professionals interested generally in the topic and/or with a need to acquire a basic understanding of the topic. Further, the book could serve as an introduction in courses or settings that lead to deeper discussion of the economic, political, and financial issues it presents. “
Professor Edward B. Barbier will be a Keynote Speaker at the ESPA Annual Science Conference in London which is being held on Wednesday, November 20 and Thursday, November 21. The Theme of the Conference is “Winners and Losers: Trade-offs in Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation”. Professor Barbier will make his presentation titled “Ecosystem Services and the Poor on Marginal Lands: Tradeoffs and Synergies” from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. GMT on Wednesday, November 20. For those who would like to web-stream Professor Barbier’s presentation as well as the Conference, please click here to view a PDF with the web-streaming details.
Professor Edward Barbier will present "Scarcity and Frontiers: How Economies Have Developed through Natural Resource Exploitation" as part of the faculty senate speaker series. The presentation will be held November 11, 2013 at 4:10 p.m. in Classroom Building Room 129. A brief description of the presentation as described by the faculty senate is as follows: "Throughout much of history, a critical driving force behind global economic development has been the response of society to the scarcity of key natural resources, such as land, forests, fish, fossil fuels and minerals. Increasing scarcity raises the cost of exploiting existing natural resources and creates incentives in all economies to innovate and conserve. However, economies have also responded to increasing scarcity by obtaining and developing more abundant sources of natural resources. Since the agricultural transition over 12,000 years ago, this exploitation of new “frontiers” has often proved to be a pivotal human response to natural resource scarcity. This talk, based on Barbier’s 2011 Cambridge University Press book of the same title, explores the contribution that natural resource exploitation has made to economic development in key eras of world history and also shows how we can draw lessons from these past epochs for the role of natural resources in global development today.
"Edward B. Barbier is the John S. Bugas Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming. His main expertise is natural resource and development economics as well as the interface between economics and ecology. He has served as a consultant and policy analyst for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many UN organizations, the World Bank and the OECD. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, written or edited 21 books, and published in popular journals."
Dr. Thunstrom has been a visiting professor in the Department of Economics and Finance for the last 2 years, and it has been a very positive experience for her. She is excited about starting her new job as an assistant professor in the department this fall. Her research is in the fields of health economics, public economics and behavioral economics. Her focus is on analyzing contributors to the rise in diet related illnesses and how public policy may impact healthy choices, but she enjoys digging into other topics as well. She enjoys teaching and has been teaching principles of macroeconomics in Sweden and here at UW. This fall, she will also teach Public Economics, which she is much looking forward to. Dr. Thunstrom said: “My interest in public policy goes back to my first job at the Swedish Ministry of Finance, which gave me insight into policy making both nationally and in the European Union. I completed both my MSc and my Ph.D. at Umea university, Sweden, and have been working in Stockholm, at HUI Research AB, ever since I got my doctorate degree. Apart from a great research environment and wonderful colleagues, I fully enjoy the sunshine and white winters here in Wyoming -- it is a big step up from the darkness and dampness of the Scandinavian winters! Some of my favorite things to do, in addition to spending time with family and friends, include jogging and skiing around the Snowy range with my husband (Jason Shogren) and our four-year-old son.”
Longs Peak is one of the more difficult but accessible 14'ers because of the distance and elevation gain of the trail. The hike is about 14 miles with 5,100 feet of elevation gain. Do not let this deter you! Many people that climb Longs choose to hike up to the "Keyhole" which avoids the last 1,000+- feet of elevation and some of the more "technical" climbing. The hike up to this point is family friendly for the most novice hikers. The last part, past the keyhole to the summit, requires a bit of hand-over-hand scrambling but no technical gear (ropes, helmets, etc.) is required.
Our first climb (in 2011) required snowshoes and crampons -- in 2012 we walked up in sneakers. The conditions are somewhat unpredictable but either way we will make sure everyone is prepared! We will hike the mountain on Saturday September 14th! The past two trips have been a really great experience and a nice opportunity to spend some out-of-office time in the alpine air with our colleagues. So, get ready physically or mentally!
For detailed information about the mountain and trail please see http://www.14ers.com/routemain.php?route=long1&peak=Longs+Peak.
In the past we have left Laramie around 1 AM, been on the trail by 4 AM, off the summit by Noon, eating dinner at a local restaurant around 6 PM and back in Laramie that evening but there are plenty of camping and lodging opportunities in the Estes Park area to make the front end or back end of the trip more manageable.
Jake Hochard hopes some of you will join us and he'd be happy to answer any questions about the hike or logistics of the trip! Please email him at email@example.com.
The students pictured from left to right are as follows: John Strandholm, Jacob Hochard, Katie Lee, Zachary Timpe, Steve Targos, and Eric Becker.
The Econ and Finance department had special visitors last week when Dr. Do and his family stopped in. Dr. Do is a professor of Economics at Hanoi University of Agriculture. His daughter graduated from UW with a Masters in Finance last May.
Dr. Do has been working and visiting many campuses in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Germany, and Norway, and few in the U.S. Dr. Do shared about his visit on our campus, “UW has definitely left an impression with outstanding facilities, renowned faculty in many major areas, as well as interesting history of the development. I am very proud my two children have received their education from UW."
Names from right: Totti Nguyen, Klaas van 't Veld (Director of Graduate Programs), Chung Do, Duong Do, Fred Sterbenz Economics and Finance Department Chair), and Kim Do
On April 11th, the Investment Management class presented their investment performance to the State Loan Investment Board in Cheyenne. The class manages approximately $1.25 million dollars in assets from the State of Wyoming and the University of Wyoming foundation. Members of the board are Governor Matt Mead, Secretary of State Max Maxwell, State Treasurer Mark Gordon, State Auditor Cynthia Cloud, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill. Unfortunately, Governor Matt Mead was in the Middle East meeting with energy officials. The class prepared and presented their investment outlook which encompasses the current Global economic conditions and investment opportunities for this year. The students are currently producing a positive alpha over the S & P 500 benchmark. This is quite an accomplishment as approximately 70% of active managers are not able to beat their respective benchmark.
The students pictured from bottom to top are as follows: Kaitlin Mary Inchauspe; Tracy T Mc Ewen; Ivana Milickovic; Olivia Davis; Trista Louise Wood; Patrick Anthony Passow; Colin W Herold; Zachary David Mills; Foerstner G Meyer; James B Williamson; Devon Richard Johnson; Jeremiah B. Decker; Nicholas Joseph Diller; and Derek Ian Sibrel.