The Harvard Environmental Economics Program has, for the ninth 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, A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) 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:
The Prize is shared this year between:
Cuicui Chen, “Slow Focus: Belief Evolution in the U.S. Acid Rain Program.” Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy. Dissertation committee chair: Ariel Pakes, Steven McArthur Heller Professor of Economics. Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Todd Gerarden, “Demanding Innovation: The Impact of Consumer Subsidies on Solar Panel Production Costs.” Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy. Dissertation committee chair: Robert Stavins, A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development, Harvard Kennedy School.
The Mossavar-Rahmani Center Prize for the Best Paper by a Master’s Student
The Prize is shared this year between:
Patricia Florescu and Jack Pead, “Realizing the Value of Bonneville Power Administration's Flexible Hydroelectric Assets,” Second Year Policy Analysis Exercise (or “PAE,” Master in Public Policy capstone project). Advisors: William Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, HKS; John Macomber, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School. PAE Seminar Leader: John Haigh, Co-Director, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, and Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS.
Justin Galle and Cole Wheeler, State-Level Strategies to Advance Market-Driven Procurement of Energy Efficiency,” Second Year Policy Analysis Exercise (or “PAE,” Master in Public Policy capstone project). Advisor: Joseph Aldy, Associate Professor of Public Policy, HKS. PAE Seminar Leader: John Haigh, Co-Director, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, and Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS.
The Enel Endowment Prize for the Best Senior Thesis or Undergraduate Paper
Hunter Stanley, “Be Cool: Temperature Variation as a Driver of U.S. Income Inequality.” Senior Thesis submitted for the Concentration in Economics. Thesis Advisor: Dale Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris University Professor at Harvard University.
Further information about the prize-winners:
Cuicui Chen will receive her Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in May 2017, with a disciplinary focus on economics. She is conducting several research projects with Harvard faculty members on topics in environmental economics. Cuicui holds an M.S. in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Environment and Natural Resource Program at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in fall 2018. She has accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Economics at the University at Albany - State University of New York, to begin in spring 2019.
Patricia Florescu will receive her Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS and Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in May 2018. She holds a B.A. in applied mathematics from Harvard College (2011), where she modelled urban development in Brazil as an A.G. Booth Fellow. Patricia has worked with the Utilities and Renewables Group at Jefferies Power, Strategic Industrial Capital Partners (London), and ICF International (2013 – 2015) on a range of energy-related topics and projects.
Justin Galle will receive his Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS in May 2018. He holds a B.A. in Political Science, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California – Santa Barbara. Justin served as a Clean Energy Center Intern at Synapse Energy Economics (Feb. – April 2017) and as an Energy Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Kate Brown of Oregon (June – August 2017). He received a Roy Family Award from HKS’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and has worked on energy and environmental issues in Chile.
Todd Gerarden will receive his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in May 2017, with a disciplinary focus on economics. He has published several papers, with co-authors, on topics related to energy efficiency and is conducting several other research projects in energy and environmental economics. Todd served as a research assistant at Resources for the Future (2010 – 12) and as an intern in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2010). He holds a B.S. with Highest Distinction in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia (2010). Todd has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, to begin in fall 2018.
Jack Pead will receive his Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS in May 2018. He previously attended the University of Melbourne, receiving in 2011 both a B.A. (Arabic and Political Science) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance). He worked with Lazard in Australia and Riyadh as an Associate and Analyst on a range of projects, including a number in the energy field (2012 – 2015). Jack was a Resource Mobilization Associate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (summer 2017).
Hunter Stanley will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with Energy and Environment as a secondary field, from Harvard College in May 2018. Hunter has held internships and summer employment with Boston Consulting Group and Axon, focusing in part on energy issues. He is Co-Captain of Harvard College Club Lacrosse and an expert scuba diver.
Cole Wheeler will receive his Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS in May 2018. At HKS, he has been a Louis Bacon Environmental Leadership Fellow in the Center for Public Leadership. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, with a concentration in energy and climate policy. Cole served as a Policy Fellow in the Office of Governor Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania, summer 2017), as a Research Associate in Energy and Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, and in various energy and climate-related positions at Next Generation (2013 – 2014).
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.
For more information, please contact Casey Billings, HEEP Program Coordinator: