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Three Department of Economics faculty members have published papers in the recently released Oxford Handbook of Land Economics, edited by Joshua Duke and Junjie Wu. The Oxford Handbook Series is a collection of specialized volumes, each containing papers from a particular area of economic research.

A chapter on “Regulatory Takings,” by Professors Thomas Miceli and Kathleen Segerson, offers a more general analysis of government actions that reduce private property values, pointing out that the difference between these partial “takings” and outright seizures of private property is largely a matter of degree.  Their model offers a unified approach to the wide variety of issues associated with zoning, environmental and safety regulations, historic landmark designation, requirements to provide access for the disabled, and many other public restrictions on private land use.  In addition to their economic analysis, they review key elements of the case law and legal literature on regulatory takings.

In another chapter, titled “Open Space Preservation: Direct Controls and Fiscal Incentives,” Professor Dennis Heffley and his co-author Ekaterina Gnedenko (Lecturer, Tufts University) review the economic literature on various types of land use controls, especially programs designed to protect and preserve open space.  They also develop and simulate a model showing that state grants to local governments, intended to reduce local fiscal pressure to permit more development, may actually result in more land being zoned for development and a reduction in open space.  An econometric analysis of fiscal data and satellite-image land use data for Connecticut towns further attests to the policy problem illustrated by the simulations

segerson_smallProfessor Kathleen Segerson has been named a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. This is the University’s highest honor for faculty excellence in research, teaching, and service. Professor Segerson was one of three faculty at the University bestowed with this distinction.

The full article, as seen on UConn Today, can be read here.

Another version of the article appeared on CLAS’s page, and can be read here.

Congratulations, Professor Segerson, on this exceptional honor.

 

 

segersonKathleen Segerson, Philip E. Austin Professor of Economics, has been awarded the 2013 University of Connecticut Distinguished Professor Award. 

The UConn Alumni Association established the Distinguished Professor award in 1976 for “an excellent teacher as well as an individual of international reputation whose scholarship reflects substantial credit to the University of Connecticut – a renaissance person.” 

Kathleen Segerson, an environmental economist, earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Dartmouth and her doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from Cornell. She studies the incentive effects of alternative environmental policy instruments, including applications in groundwater contamination, hazardous waste management, land use regulation, and climate change. She’s also taken part in projects related to ecosystem services and to marine species protection.

Fellowships include the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, of which she has served as president and vice president, and the American Agricultural Economics Association. Kathleen is a member of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Academy of Sciences and a handling editor for the journal Conservation Biology.

She was co-editor and associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and an associate editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Past service also includes the Chartered Board of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and several advisory committees for the National Research Council and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Segerson will be honored at the Alumni Association Awards Celebration on Friday, October 11, 2013 at the UConn Storrs Campus, and the following day at the UConn Homecoming Game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.

The National Climate Assessment, which is conducted every four years and submitted to the President and Congress, provides an assessment of the state of knowledge about climate change and its impacts in the U.S.  The report was mandated by the 1990 Global Change Research Act.  The first assessment was produced in 2000, and the next one is due to be released in 2013.  By statute, before release, it must be reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences.  NAS has recently put together the panel that will review the report.  The 23-member panel is comprised of scholars from across the country in a wide range of fields.  Professor Kathleen Segerson has been appointed as a panel member.  As part of her appointment, she will be responsible for providing comments and feedback on the draft report to the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program, which is responsible for preparing the report.  After the review process is completed, the final report will be available to the public at http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/nca-overview.

This year’s Austin Forum will feature a presentation by Prof. Jonathan Gruber, entitled “Health Care Reform in the U.S.: What Happened and Where Do We Go Now?” It will take place on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. This event is open to the public.

Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’ health care reform effort and has been a consultant on health care reform for the Clinton, Edwards, and Obama presidential campaigns. The Washington Post called him “possibly the [Democratic] party’s most influential health-care expert.” In addition, in 2006 he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

In addition, Professor Gruber is the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate, and the author of a leading undergraduate textbook Public Finance and Public Policy. He is also a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Health Economics.

The purpose of the Forum is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about U.S.: What current public policy issues from an economic perspective. The Forum is funded through the Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair, which is currently held by Professor Kathleen Segerson in the Department of Economics.

Prof. Langlois will be one of five inductees at the annual dinner meeting of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. It will take place in the North Reading Room of the Wilbur Cross Building on March 30.

The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences was chartered by the State of Connecticut in 1799. It is the third oldest learned society in the United States. Its founders include Noah Webster and Ezra Stiles. Its official purpose is “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest and happiness of a free and virtuous people.” Currently, almost 60 University of Connecticut faculty are members of the Academy, including fellow department member Prof. Segerson

Prof. Segerson is the invited editor of a forthcoming volume on the Economics of Pollution Control, which is scheduled for publication in February 2011 by Edward Elgar Publishers. The book collects 26 previously published articles that provide a contemporary overview of this field. Rather than highlighting classic papers in the field, the volume focuses on more recent key contributions, highlighting advances in theory, models, and empirical methods that have occurred over the past ten to fifteen years. The included papers illustrate the wide range of contexts and ways in which the insights from economics in general, and environmental economics in particular, can inform current policy debates over pressing environmental issues. The volume is part of Elgar’s The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics series.

Professor Kathleen Segerson has just finished serving on a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) charged with reviewing the Obama Administration’s draft revision of the federal “Principles and Guidelines” for water resources management. The Principles and Guidelines provide guidance to federal agencies involved in water project evaluation and planning and restoration. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 mandated that these guidelines be revised to reflect current concerns, priorities and methods, and required that the proposed revisions be reviewed by the NAS. The revisions are intended, among other things, to ensure that the principles and guidelines embody the use of “best available economic principles and analytical techniques”. The Obama Administration issued a draft revision of the P&G document in December of 2009. A 13-member interdisciplinary panel was appointed by the NRC to review that draft and make recommendations for improvements. Segerson served as one of three economists on the panel. The panel’s report, which recommends significant changes to the proposed new guidelines as they relate to economic analysis, will be sent to the Obama Administration and released to the public on December 2.

Professor Kathy Segerson is a member of the Chartered Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), which meets regularly to provide EPA with scientific and technical advice about proposed regulatory changes, research and budget priorities, and other Agency activities. The SAB is an interdisciplinary board comprised primarily of academics, but also includes individuals who work for state governments or in the private sector. While most members have expertise in the biological, physical and health sciences, the Board also includes social scientists, reflecting EPA’s increasingly recognition of the important role that economic and social factors play in advancing its mission. Professor Segerson is currently in her second 3-year term on the Board. Among her most notable contributions while serving on the Board is her leadership as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services, which prepared a comprehensive report (pdf) for EPA that provides advice to the Agency on how it can improve valuation of the ecological effects of its various decisions and programs.

Zinnia Mukherjee defended her dissertation in December 2009, and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Connecticut College, New London, CT. Her dissertation, titled “Three Essays on Conservation of Endangered Species”, analyzes the effectiveness of policies involving regulatory threats in controlling stochastic externalities. In addition, the dissertation analyzes the welfare effects of unilateral conservation policies in an open economy under alternative market structures and resource management regimes. Zinnia’s advisor is Prof. Segerson.

Currently, Zinnia is working on two new research projects. The first is funded by the UConn Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering through a Multidisciplinary Research Award that Zinnia received in 2009. The project develops a bio-economic discrete choice model to analyze how fishers decide to allocate their fishing effort among various fish species and fishing zones, given that species vary in terms of their sensitivity to marine hypoxia. The impact of marine hypoxia on fish landings is estimated for several Long Island Sound fisheries located in different areas along the coast of Connecticut. The second project looks at the impact of differences in U.S. state laws on the incidence of crime against women (sexual crimes) and the potential migration of repeat offenders across states to target preys more easily and escape harsher penalty sentences.

At UConn, Zinnia has taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses. She had been actively involved with the Association of Graduate Economic Students (AGES) throughout her grad school years and presided over the organization in 2007-2008. She is currently enjoying her work experience at Connecticut College.

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