Spring 2020

January 24
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Mariah Ehmke

University of Wyoming

Parental Economic Behavior and Immunization Hesitancy in Rural Wyoming

Abstract Over the last twenty years, risks associated with preventable communicable diseases have risen due to parental immunization hesitancy. Research on causes and consequences of immunization hesitancy tends to focus on traditional public health analysis of urban communities. This research is unique as it applies economic analysis, especially behavioral economic analysis, to parents’ immunization decisions in rural communities of the Intermountain West. The objective of the research is to measure the role of parental economic behavior in child immunization outcomes. The data were collected using economic experiments and a questionnaire administered to 198 parents. Preliminary findings indicate increasing risk aversion is associated with greater DTaP utilization. Other measures of economic behavior not significant. Further, findings indicate participants’ decisions are influenced by family and social relationships more than physician and institutional advice. The results suggest strategies to encourage herd immunity in rural areas of Wyoming need to target parents with risk-seeking behavior via social networks.

February 21
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Aaron Smith

University of California, Davis

Food vs. Fuel? Impacts of the North Dakota oil boom on agricultural prices

Abstract Farmers and politicians in North Dakota and nearby states claim dramatic increases in shipments of crude oil by rail in 2013-14 caused service delays and higher costs.  We investigate these claims accounting for other potential sources of rail congestion.  We show that grain price spreads between the market hub and regional elevators expanded significantly when crude oil shipments increased. However, the incidence of those effects was borne mostly by buyers paying higher prices at the hub, rather than farmers receiving lower prices. The effects differ by the type of grain being transported.  Wheat markets were affected much more than corn and soybeans, most likely because shipping delays were more costly for wheat than corn and soybeans. When rail capacity is scarce, railroads use railcar auctions to price discriminate over the time sensitivity of a shipment.

March 20
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Tanya Rosenblat

University of Michigan



Fall 2019

September 27
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Jill McCluskey

Washington State University

Can Income Predict Food Safety Risk in Retail Food Environments?

Abstract In this study, we model the relationship between food safety and the average income in the surrounding community. Using data on the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes collected from grocery store delis, we find that stores located in census tracts whose residents are in the lower quartiles of income have higher L. monocytogenes prevalence. The only other statistically significant sociodemographic variable is the category of "other races," which includes Asian, American Indian, and mixed-race residents.  We argue that a store's census-tract income is useful in predicting the prevalence of L. monocytogenes, and thus low-income status should be considered as a risk factor.

October 4
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Jerry Skees

Global Parametrics

Introducing Global Parametrics: A Dialogue with the Founder

Abstract Global Parametrics (GP) is a commercial enterprise with a social mandate which aims to develop financial disaster risk management solutions to counter the risk of natural disasters in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). GP investors are DFID (British) and InsuResilience Investment Fund (Germans). GP aims to lead the market in providing access to sustainable risk transfer services by bringing together climate and seismic sciences, financial engineering and risk-taking capacity to offer tailored solutions to those investing in efforts to aid the poor and vulnerable. GP should also be positioned to develop effective indexes that can be replicated on a global scale. GP owns a global risk hazard platform that allows us to structure financial solutions to help firms manage direct loss and business interruption caused by extreme weather (drought, excess precipitation, heat waves, extreme weather events that drive animal and plant disease, etc.) and other catastrophe events (tropical cyclone, earthquake, volcanoes, flood, etc.).

October 11
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Amanda Countryman

Colorado State University

Teaching Tactics to Engage Diverse Learners

Abstract Educators face numerous challenges while teaching undergraduates, graduates and professionals. This seminar will explore innovative teaching strategies to reach students with diverse learning styles and backgrounds, and instructional methods to overcome theory-averse attitudes. Teaching tips and tactics will be shared for novel approaches to managing classroom structure, content delivery, assessment design, and course evaluation.

November 1
3:00-4:30
Filley Hall 210

Nathan Hendricks

Kansas State University

Marginal Cost of Carbon Sequestration through Forest Restoration of Agricultural Land in the Southeastern United States

Abstract We analyze the cost-effectiveness of carbon sequestration through afforestation via the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). We use the correlated random effects (CRE) probit model to estimate the impact of an increase in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments on land use transitions. The CRE model allows us to control for unobserved heterogeneity and exploit exogenous variation in returns over time. Our estimates are used to simulate land use change and carbon sequestration supply curves over different time horizons. At the average historic CRP rent rate, 2.09 million tonnes of carbon are sequestered annually at a marginal cost of about $45 per tonne of carbon under the 1-year horizon---equivalent to removing 453,379 passenger vehicles from the road each year. Increasing the rent to reflect a payment of $62/tonne of carbon increases annual carbon sequestered by 1.40 percent, 7.02 percent, and 14.08 percent over 1, 5, and 10-year time horizons.

Past Seminars