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NEWS: Harvard Environmental Economics Program Awards Student Prizes for 2012-2013 Academic Year

For Immediate Release: May 15, 2013
Media Contact: Bryan Galcik (617) 384-8415; bryan_galcik@harvard.edu

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Harvard Environmental Economics Program has awarded three prizes to Harvard University students for the best research papers addressing a topic in environmental, energy, or resource economics—one prize each for a senior thesis, master's student paper, and doctoral student paper. Each prize was accompanied by a monetary award. The Harvard Environmental Economics Program 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.

HEEP paper prize winners

From left to right: Steve Cicala, Professor Robert Stavins, Will Talbott, Robert Stowe, and Jason Chapman.
Not pictured: Hee Kwon Seo

The papers were judged by Richard Hornbeck, Assistant Professor of Economics in Harvard University's Department of Economics—and three faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School: Joseph Aldy, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Erich Muehlegger, Associate Professor of Public Policy; and Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program (HEEP). All four reviewers are Faculty Fellows of HEEP. The prizes were supported by the Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics at Harvard, Christopher P. Kaneb '90, and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation.

There was a record number of submissions to this fourth annual competition. According to Robert Stavins, "The papers submitted this year to the HEEP prize competition were of excellent quality--demonstrating impressive research skills and knowledge of important issues in environmental, natural resource, and energy policy."

The Winners are:

The Enel Endowment Prize for the Best Paper by a Doctoral Student

Steve Cicala, "When Does Regulation Distort Costs? Lessons from Fuel Procurement in U.S. Electricity Generation." Ph.D. Committee Chair: Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University.

The Christopher P. Kaneb Prize for the Best Paper by a Masters Student

Will Talbott, "Lighting the Way: Unlocking Performance Gains in Electricity Distribution and Retailing in India." Second Year Policy Analysis (Master in Public Administration/International Development capstone project). Advisor: William Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Prize for the Best Senior Thesis

Hee Kwon Seo, "Can Behavioral Biases Explain Demand for a Harmful Pesticide? Evidence from India." Advisor: Shawn Cole, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School.

Further information about the prize-winners and sponsors:

Steve Cicala will receive his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in May 2013. He received his bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of Chicago, where he was the Student Marshall (highest undergraduate distinction). Steve was then a Research Associate for two years at the Initiative on Chicago Price Theory, in the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago, before beginning his doctoral studies at Harvard. Steve will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy beginning fall 2013. His research focuses on the economics of environmental regulation.

Will Talbott will receive concurrent degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School (Master in Public Administration/International Development) and the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MBA) in May 2013. He received his B.A. in Economics and International Relations (Phi Beta Kappa) from Pomona College in 2005. In the interim, Will held research and consulting positions at, among others, the World Bank, the Bogota (Colombia) Metro Project, and the Carnegie Endowment for World Peace.

Hee Kwon Seo will receive his bachelor's degree in applied mathematics, with a focus on economics and computer science, from Harvard College in May 2013. His senior thesis is based on field research with Professor Shawn Cole, which assesses the impact of providing low-cost, mobile-phone-based agricultural advice to farmers in India. Hee Kwon is from the Republic of Korea; participated in the Harvard Beijing Academy in summer 2008 and is fluent in Chinese; and attended the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut.

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.

Christopher P. Kaneb works in real estate development as a Principal at Catamount Management Corporation. He holds an A.B. from Harvard University ('90).

James M. Stone is chair of the Plymouth Rock Companies. He holds BA, MA, and PhD degrees from Harvard University, where he also taught the economics of securities markets.

Cathleen Douglas Stone has been Special Assistant for Environment to the Mayor of the City of Boston since 1997.


For details of the contest, click here.

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