CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Harvard Environmental Economics Program has, for the eighth 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.
Karl Aspelund, Shauna Theel, and Andreas Westgaard
Not pictured: Jisung Park and Austin Tymins
Photo credit: Bryan Galcik
The papers were judged by Rema Hanna, Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); William Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, HKS; Joseph Lassiter, Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management, Retired, Harvard Business School; Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, HKS, and HEEP Director; and James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and member of the faculty at HKS. All five reviewers are Faculty Fellows of HEEP. The prizes were supported by the Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics at Harvard University.
Robert Stavins noted, “This year’s submissions were of especially high quality, addressing a number of important topics in environmental and resource economics. We are delighted that the HEEP paper competition has engaged students across the University, and we hope it serves to encourage further research on this set of issues in the future.”
The Winners are:
The Ana Aguado* Prize for the Best Paper by a Doctoral Student
Jisung Park, “Will We Adapt? Labor Productivity and Adaptation to Climate Change.” Ph.D. candidate in Economics. Dissertation committee chair: Lawrence Katz, Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
The Mossavar-Rahmani Center Prize for the Best Paper by a Master’s Student
Shauna Theel and Andreas Westgaard, “Moving Toward Energy Efficiency: A Results-Driven Analysis of Utility-Based Energy Efficiency Policies,” Second Year Policy Analysis Exercise (or “PAE,” Master in Public Policy capstone project). Advisor: Joseph Aldy, Associate Professor of Public Policy, HKS. PAE Seminar Leaders: Philip Hanser, Principal at the Brattle Group and Senior Associate, HKS; John Haigh, Executive Dean, HKS, and Co-Director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government.
The Enel Endowment Prize for the Best Senior Thesis or Undergraduate Paper
The Prize is shared this year between:
Karl Aspelund, “When and Where the Weather Matters: Changing Seasonal Cycles in Employment since 1990 and Implications for Adaptation to Heat and Cold.” Senior Thesis submitted for the concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Thesis Advisor: James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Department of Economics.
Austin Tymins, “Economies of Shale: Quantifying the Economic Benefits of Fracking through Asset Prices.” Senior Thesis submitted for the concentration in Economics. Thesis Advisor: James Stock, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Department of Economics.
Further information about the prize-winners:
Karl Aspelund will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Public Policy, Phi Beta Kappa, with a specialty in environmental economics, from Harvard College in May 2017. Karl has served as an intern at Resources for the Future, a leading environmental economics research institute; the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; the Harvard Education Innovation Laboratory; and the office of U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Jisung Park will receive his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in May 2017. He has published several research papers on climate-change economics in peer-reviewed economics journals and given invited talks at Stanford, Yale, and Seoul National Universities. He is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Sense and Sensibility, a site publishing posts and other content from a global network of experts on sustainable development. Jisung studied at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, after graduating summa cum laude in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University.
Shauna Theel will receive her Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS in May 2017. Before becoming a student at HKS, Shauna worked with the American Wind Energy Association and Media Matters for America. She served as an Energy and Climate Change Mitigation Intern with the United Nations Development Programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in summer 2016. She was a Louis Bacon Environmental Leadership Fellow at HKS—one of five such MPP students each year to receive this full scholarship.
Austin Tymins will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with a secondary field in Energy and Environment, from Harvard College in May 2017. He has worked during summers at several financial firms—in part focusing on the energy sector—including Bain Capital Credit and Oaktree Capital Management. He was Co-President of the Harvard Sport Analysis Collective, a student-run organization dedicated to quantitative analysis of sports strategy and management.
Andreas Westgaard will receive his Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS in May 2017. Before becoming a student at HKS, Andreas worked with the Pew Center on the States and the Federal Reserve Board. While at HKS, Andreas worked in summer 2016 with HC Technologies, an algorithmic proprietary trading firm. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Boston University in Political Science.
Further information about 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 SpA, a progressive Italian corporation involved in energy production worldwide.
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.
*Before passing away in October 2016, Ana Aguado, for whom the doctoral prize is named, was a leader in European energy policy and business communities for twenty years. 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.
Media Contact: Bryan Galcik (617) 384-8415; firstname.lastname@example.org