CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Harvard Environmental Economics Program has, for the twelfth consecutive year, awarded three prizes to Harvard University students for the best research papers addressing a topic in environmental, energy, or natural-resource economics – one prize each for an undergraduate paper or senior thesis, master’s student paper, and doctoral student paper. Each prize was accompanied by a monetary award. The Harvard Environmental Economics Program (HEEP) is a University-wide initiative based in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government that seeks to develop innovative answers to today’s complex environmental challenges.
Robert Stavins, HEEP Director and A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), noted that “Many of the submissions were excellent, and many might qualify as winners. It was difficult for the committee to exclude these from final consideration.”
The winners are:
The Ana Aguado Prize for the best paper by a doctoral student:
The Prize is shared this year between:
Shefali Khanna, Ph.D. Student in Public Policy and Kevin Rowe, former Ph.D. Student in Public Policy (graduated in November 2020): “Short and Long-Run Consumption and Non-Payment Responses to Retail Electricity Prices in India.” Shefali’s dissertation committee: Rema Hanna, Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, HKS (Chair); Jie Bai, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Christopher Knittel, George P. Shultz Professor of Applied Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management; and Robert Stavins, A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development, HKS. Kevin’s dissertation committee: Rohini Pande, currently Henry Heinz II Professor of Economics, Yale University (chair); Jie Bai, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Rema Hanna, Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, HKS.
Daniel Stuart, Ph.D. Student in Public Policy: “Strategic Non-Reporting Under the Clean Water Act.” Dissertation committee: Joseph Aldy, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy (Chair); Robert Stavins, A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development, HKS; and James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Department of Economics, and member of the faculty at HKS.
The Mossavar-Rahmani Center Prize for the Best Paper by a Master’s Student
The Prize this year is awarded to:
Eki Ramadhan, Master in Public Administration in International Development candidate, 2021, “Stemming the Tide of Overfishing: Ensuring Sustainable Exploitation of Marine Fishery Resources by Small-Scale Fisherfolk in Indonesia.” Second Year Policy Analysis (“SYPA,” Master in Public Administration in International Development capstone project). SYPA Advisor: Jie Bai, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, HKS. SYPA section leader: Michael Walton, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS.
The Enel Endowment Prize for the Best Senior Thesis or Undergraduate Paper
The Prize is shared this year between:
Alida Monaco, “Divestment Under Duress: A Quantitative Exploration of the Effects of University Fossil Fuel Divestment on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Senior Thesis submitted for the concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Thesis Advisor: James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and member of the faculty at HKS.
Oliver York, “Assessing the Impact of Rooftop Solar on Household Electricity Consumption.” Senior Thesis submitted for the concentration in Economics. Thesis Advisor: James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and member of the faculty at HKS.
Further information about the prize-winners:
Shefali Khanna is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy, a program based in HKS, with a disciplinary focus on energy and environmental economics. She is a HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow. Prior to beginning her Ph.D., Shefali was a Research Assistant at Resources for the Future (RFF), where she conducted evaluations of residential energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy standards in the US. In addition, she assisted the World Bank in updating its protocol for estimating global health damages from ambient air pollution. She graduated with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Alida Monaco will receive her A.B. in Economics with a concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy and a secondary in Astrophysics in May 2021. She is a United Nations Millennium Fellow, collaborating with other UN Millennium Fellows at Harvard to install rain gardens across campus to mitigate flooding due to climate change. She was a Grants Management Summer Analyst with the World Bank Group in 2020 and works as a sustainability intern with the Harvard Office of Sustainability. Alida further served as a student representative to President Larry Bacow's Sustainability Subcommittee on Scope Three Emissions, which advises the President on the subject. In addition to her sustainability achievements, Alida was the President of the Harvard Ballroom Dance Team from 2018 to 2020.
Eki Ramadhan will receive his Master’s in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) from HKS in May 2021. He worked for the World Bank in the summer of 2020, focusing on poverty assessment for the Republic of Kiribati. At Harvard, he has been involved in research projects on sexual and reproductive health in South Africa, circular economy in Ghana, and the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations in Peru and Ethiopia. Eki also worked as a Natural Resources Program Research Assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Prior to Harvard, Eki worked at J-PAL Southeast Asia mainly on randomized controlled trials pertaining to political economy and governance. He has also worked on the water-food-energy nexus in the Greater Mekong Subregion and Australia’s illegal logging policy. Eki graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University, where he was a Freeman Asian Scholar double majoring in Economics and Government.
Kevin Rowe received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from HKS in November of 2020, where he was also a HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow. He is currently an Economist/Data Scientist at Uber. Kevin’s doctoral research focused on environmental and energy markets and regulation, particularly in India. Prior to beginning his Ph.D., Kevin was a Research Fellow at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at HKS, where he worked on several randomized field evaluations of reforms to air- and water-pollution-control policies in India. Kevin has a Master in Public Policy from HKS and a B.A. in Government from Hamilton College. Kevin was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and also worked at the World Resources Institute.
Daniel Stuart is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy, a program based at HKS. He is a HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow and is interested in energy and environmental economics and policy. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked as a research assistant at MIT and as a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. Daniel received a B.A. in Economics with Honors from Swarthmore College.
Oliver York will receive his A.B. in Economics (Highest Honors) with a secondary in History of Science in May 2021. He has recently worked in a number of research positions, including with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Harvard Department of Economics, Harvard Public Opinion Project, the Dumbarton Oaks Program on Cultural Philanthropy, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Oliver has also served on the Harvard Art Museums Student Board, Harvard’s Standing Committee on Undergraduate Education Policy, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Student Advisory Board, the Harvard Crimson as a biweekly columnist and Editorial Board Editor, and as a representative on the Harvard Undergraduate Council.
About the sponsors and the prizes:
The Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics at Harvard University was established in February 2007 through a generous capital gift from Enel, a multinational energy company and one of the world’s leading integrated electricity and gas operators.
HEEP is based in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School. The Center’s mission is to advance the state of knowledge and policy analysis concerning some of society’s most challenging problems at the interface of the public and private sectors.
Ana Aguado, for whom the doctoral prize is named, was a leader in European energy policy and business communities for twenty years, before passing away in October 2016. She was Secretary General of the European Distribution System Operators’ Association for Smart Grids from 2014 to 2016. Before holding that post, Ms. Aguado was Chief Executive Officer of Friends of the Supergrid, dedicated to building an integrated power grid in Europe.
For more information, please contact Casey Billings, HEEP Program Coordinator: