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NEWS: Student Prizes for Academic Year 2010-2011

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2011
Media Contact: Jason Chapman (617) 496-8054; jason_chapman@harvard.edu

Harvard Environmental Economics Program Awards Student Prizes for
2010-11 Academic Year

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, masters 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 Student Prize Winners

Sitting (Left to Right) Jackson Salovaara, Professor Robert Stavins, Sounman Hong; Standing (Left to Right) Torben K. Mideksa, Matthew Ranson, Vilas Rao. Not Pictured: Jon Glassman.

The prizes were judged by a committee of four Faculty Fellows of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program:  Professor Rema Hanna, Harvard Kennedy School; Professor Richard Hornbeck, Department of Economics; Professor Erich Muehlegger, Harvard Kennedy School; and Professor Michael Toffel, Harvard Business School. The prizes were supported by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, Christopher P. Kaneb, and the Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics at Harvard.

This second annual Harvard Environmental Economics Program prize competition attracted many excellent submissions. According to Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, “The submissions for this year’s suite of three prizes demonstrated great creativity, impressive research skills, and excellent exposition.  I’m pleased to say that this made it difficult for the judges to select the winners.”

The Winners are:

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

Jackson Salovaara, “Coal to Natural Gas Fuel Switching and CO2 Emissions Reduction.” Advisors: Professor Michael McElroy and Dr. Xi Lu, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The Christopher P. Kaneb Prize for the Best Paper by a Masters Student
The prize was shared among the authors of two papers:

Jonathan Glassman and Vilas Rao, “Evaluating the Economic Benefits and Future Opportunities of the Maine Island Trail Association.” Second-Year Policy Analysis Exercise for the Master in Public Policy program. Advisor: Professor Monica Singhal, Harvard Kennedy School.

Torben Mideksa, “The Economic Impact of Oil Endowment: The Case of Norway.” Prepared for the joint Harvard Kennedy School and Department of Economics course, “Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy,” led by Professors Robert Stavins (Harvard Kennedy School) and Martin Weitzman (Department of Economics).

The Enel Endowment Prize for the Best Paper by a Doctoral Student
The prize was shared between the authors of two papers:

Sounman Hong and Thummim Cho, “Induced Innovation in Auto Industry: Marginal Cost of Quality Approach.” Sounman Hong’s Ph.D. Committee Chair: Professor Matthew Baum, Harvard Kennedy School. Thummim Cho’s Ph.D. committee chair: Professor Ariel Pakes, Department of economics.

Matthew Ranson, “Rational Climate Skepticism and Non-convergent Beliefs.” Ph.D. Committee Chair: Professor Richard Zeckhauser, Harvard Kennedy School.

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Further information about the prize-winners and sponsors:

Thummim Cho is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics. He graduated summa cum laude in economics and mathematics from Cornell University in 2007 and then worked two years with NERA Economic Consulting’s Securities & Finance Group.

Jonathan Glassman will graduate this month with a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. He received an M.S and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Jonathan is a founder or co-founder of two start-up companies: Ardica Technologies, working with hydrogen-energy technologies, and Apurimac Design, an engineering-consulting firm.

Sounman Hong is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He received a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009; a Diploma in Law in 2007 from the National University of Singapore; and a Bachelor of Economics and Statistics from Yonsei University in the Republic of Korea in 2003. Sounman has also worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Seoul Office.

Torben Mideksa will graduate this month with a Master in Public Administration—International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School. He received an M.Phil. in Development and Environment Economics from the University of Oslo in 2006 and a B.A. in Economics from Mekelle University in Ethiopia in 2002. From 2007-2009 Torben was a Research Fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo.

Matthew Ranson is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, focusing on environmental and natural resource economics and behavioral decision theory. He received his A.B. in 2002 from Harvard College in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and in Economics. Matt worked with Abt Associates' Environment, Trade, and Agriculture Division for five years before starting his Ph.D. program.

Vilas Rao will graduate this month with a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. He received his B.A. in economics from Stanford University. Vilas was a Research Analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia from 2007-2009 and has also worked with Mercy Corps in Nepal.

Jackson Salovaara is receiving his A.B. in Applied Mathematics, with a minor in Environmental Science and Public Policy, from Harvard College this month. He will begin a masters program in economics at Trinity College, University of Cambridge in fall 2011, as a Harvard-Cambridge Scholar. Jackson was a 2010 summer intern in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change and was a member of Harvard's varsity wrestling team during his junior and senior years.
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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.

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

The Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics, at Harvard University, was established in February 2007 through a generous capital gift of $5 million from Enel, SpA, a progressive Italian corporation involved in energy production worldwide.
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The Harvard Environmental Economics Program is based in the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. For more information, see: www.hks.harvard.edu/m-rcbg/heep.

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