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Lab Seminar: Bargaining in the Shadow of Prior Appropriation

Leslie Sanchez, research economist at the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station presented on Native American water settlement negotiations. Water use in the western United States remains highly concentrated in irrigated agriculture, in part because the first in time, first in right tenets of appropriative water law have insulated irrigators, as senior appropriators, from legal challenges to their water use.

Lab Seminar: Predicting PFAS in Drinking Water

Laura Quinones presented ongoing research on PFAS, also known as “Forever Chemicals," that have become prevalent in domestic water supplies. The long lasting nature of these pollutants is worrisome and highlights the need for policy intervention. The discrepancy between state and federal regulation has led to unequal testing across the US. Data availability is sparse across states and limits our ability to perform policy evaluation surrounding these chemicals.

Lab Hike: Cache Creek

The NatuRE Policy lab hiked to the top of Fiske Peak in Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park this past weekend.

Lab Seminar: Customer perspectives of real-time electricity tariffs

ARE Ph.D. student Stuart Morrison presented his work on customer responses to variable electricity pricing in Australia. It is becoming increasingly common for energy providers to charge residential consumers a price that is driven by daily electricity markets, rather than a conventional, flat fee. Economic theory suggests that residential consumers will adjust their behavior as prices change throughout the day. But there are many margins along which this adjustment might occur.

Lab Seminar: The Principle of Targeting and Environmental Benefits

Erica Chuang, Ph.D. candidate in the University of California San Diego Department of Economics, presented on principle of targeting for environmental externalities. Economists generally agree that in terms of tax and subsidy structure, Pigou is king. However, market-based instruments that imprecisely target externalities are common, and the degree to which imprecision matters for the objectives of those policies has yet to be fully explored.

Lab Seminar: The Impacts of Grid-Scale Lithium-Ion Battery Investment on Wholesale Electricity Prices in California

Matt Dudek presented his work on the impact of grid-scale battery storage capacity on electricity prices in California. A key barrier to expanding renewable energy production is the daily mismatch between intermittent generation and electricity demand. For example, despite a massive expansion in the low marginal cost solar power production, electricity can only be produced from these sources when the sun is shining.

Lab Seminar: Predicting Maize Yields at Large Scale using Remote Sensing

New ARE faculty member Dr. Jay Sayre presented his work on the use of remote sensing methods to predict agricultural and ecological outcomes at fine scale using only relatively aggregated, publicly available data. He showed how he and his co-authors combine machine learning algorithms that capture agronomic features of crop growth trained on satellite imagery to estimate maize yields in Mexico.

Lab Seminar: Fisheries Diversification and Local Economies

Kyumin Kim’s research focuses on the impact of diversification on risk and return in the context of fishing revenues in Alaskan fishing communities. Unlike earlier studies, Kyumin adopts the principles of modern portfolio theory to analyze and elucidate the risk-return tradeoff in commercial fishing, specifically at the community level.

Lab Seminar: Tropical forest protection and land clearing fires in Indonesia

Yuexuan (Kelly) Wu presented ongoing research on the impact of a deforestation moratorium in Indonesia. Since 2000, Indonesia has seen a 17% reduction in forest cover. Much of the forest loss can be attributed to fires that are used to permanently clear land for agriculture. If the moratorium is effective, we should expect that land-clearing fire activity decreases in areas impacted by the moratorium relative to areas that are not impacted by the moratorium.

Lab Seminar - Climate adaptation: wild fires, risk preferences, and migration

Madeline Turland recently presented her job market paper, which explores the factors driving human migration in response to the threat of wildfires and how people's risk preferences impact their choice of where to live. Many individuals opt to move to areas with lower wildfire risk as a strategy for risk reduction. To measure the impact of changes in wildfire risk, she developed a novel data set by using a quirk of California insurance markets.

Lab Seminar: effect of competition on gas prices in california

This week, Reid Taylor presented his recent research, which delves into the impact of entry and market power on fuel prices in California. This study was prompted by recent policy changes aimed at limiting the establishment of new gas stations in specific areas across the state. These policies, designed to curtail carbon emissions, are expected to exert an influence on the market power of existing fuel retailers and, in turn, the prices of fuel for consumers.