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UW Again Ranks Among World Leaders in Environmental Economics

September 22, 2015

The University of Wyoming Department of Economics and Finance continues to be ranked among the world’s top programs in environmental economics, according to IDEAS, a prestigious worldwide organization that disseminates economics research. IDEAS is a service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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. The list includes all academic and non-academic research institutions globally. Among universities only, UW is ranked sixth in the world.

The rankings, based on citations by peers and other criteria, reflect a long tradition of research productivity and performance of all of the Department of Economics and Finance faculty engaged in environmental economics, says Professor Rob Godby, department chair. He says UW, led by economist Bill Morgan, decided to make environmental economics a key field of specialty when the field was emerging in the 1960s.

“Recognizing UW would always have a relatively small faculty, he (Morgan) wisely chose to focus on a new area of study at a time when such things as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other environmental protection regulations were beginning to take effect,” Godby says. “Over time, several faculty members became leaders in the field.”

As the department’s reputation grew, it became easy to recruit top environmental economists to UW, Godby says, “because faculty want to come to an institution that already has established a reputation in an area of study they want to focus on.”

In addition to the ranking for the entire department, three faculty members are listed among the world’s top 100 environmental economists. Ed Barbier, the John S. Bugas Professor of Economics and Finance, is ranked 16th, while Jay Shogren, Stroock Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management, is 54th on the list and Charles Mason, the H.A. True Chair in Petroleum and Natural Gas Economics, is ranked 90th.

Additionally, Barbier, Shogren and another faculty member, Sherrill Shaffer, the Guthrie Distinguished Professor of Banking and Financial Services, all are ranked in the top 5 percent of world economists in all fields. Mason is listed in the top 7 percent.

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.

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