Economics Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

The Provost’s office at the University of Connecticut regularly recognizes faculty members with excellent teaching evaluations commending them as achieving “excellence in teaching”.

A number of faculty members in the economics department have received this recognition in the past year:  Professors Talia Bar, Ken Couch, Delia Furtado, Paul Hallwood, Olivier Morand, Susan Randolph, Kathy Segerson, Mikhael Shor, Owen Svalestad, and Jackie Zhao.

Congratulations to these economics faculty for their important contributions to the educational mission of UConn!

Zheng Xu Defends Dissertation, Stays at Harvard

ZhengDefenseOn August 28th, Zheng Xu defended his dissertation, “Developing in the Era of Globalization: The Case of China” written under the supervision of major advisor Professor Delia Furtado and associate advisors, Professor Nishith Prakash, Professor Kathleen Segerson, and Professor Richard Freeman from Harvard University.

Zheng’s dissertation studies how globalization has reshaped China in terms of the labor market, environment, and media. The first chapter examines how rising demand for Chinese exports affects Chinese labor markets. Particular emphasis is given to how the massive internal migration in China shapes the labor market consequences of trade. The second chapter studies whether party-newspapers in China are less likely to report local pollution events and whether the difference distorts households’ self-protective behaviors against potential health risks. The third chapter uses the list of environmental goods endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to test whether export production improves air quality in China through adoption of green inputs.

Since September of 2013, Zheng has been a research fellow in the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. In 2014, he received a CLAS Graduate Fellowship which helped support his time at Harvard. Zheng has already started a new position as postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

Congratulations, Zheng!

Professors Miceli and Segerson Cited in The Economist

micelisegersonAn article on land assembly in developing countries published in the May 2nd-8th 2015 edition of The Economist cited a paper by economics professors Thomas Miceli and Kathleen Segerson. The article discusses problems developing countries face in assembling land for large-scale economic development projects.

The author writes, “A theoretical model set out in a paper published in 2011 by Thomas Miceli and Kathleen Segerson of the University of Connecticut shows that when a buyer has to negotiate in sequence with sellers of contiguous plots of land, the price of each successive sale will rise. Landowners know the project cannot proceed unless the buyer acquires all the plots he needs. The more he acquires, the greater the cost of abandoning the project. The ransom those yet to sell can demand increases accordingly.”

The article referred to is “Land Assembly and the Holdout Problem Under Sequential Bargaining,” which was published in the American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 14 (2012): 372-390.

Prof. Segerson appointed to NAS climate change committee

segersonProfessor Kathy Segerson was recently appointed to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) National Research Council (NRC) Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) ( was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” Every four years it prepares the National Climate Assessment (NCA), which provides an overview of what is currently known about the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.  In May 2014, the USGCRP released the third NCA ( The NRC Committee provides ongoing and focused advice to the USGCRP, including formal reviews of the NCAs.  It is comprised of 20 individuals from academia, government, and the private sector, with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including economics, engineering, risk communication, sociology and ecology ( . Professor Segerson’s appointment to the Committee is for three years.

Econ Dept. Well-Represented in Oxford Handbook of Land Economics

Three Department of Economics faculty members have published papers in the recently released Oxford Handbook of Land Economics, edited by Joshua Duke and Junjie Wu. The Oxford Handbook Series is a collection of specialized volumes, each containing papers from a particular area of economic research.

A chapter on “Regulatory Takings,” by Professors Thomas Miceli and Kathleen Segerson, offers a more general analysis of government actions that reduce private property values, pointing out that the difference between these partial “takings” and outright seizures of private property is largely a matter of degree.  Their model offers a unified approach to the wide variety of issues associated with zoning, environmental and safety regulations, historic landmark designation, requirements to provide access for the disabled, and many other public restrictions on private land use.  In addition to their economic analysis, they review key elements of the case law and legal literature on regulatory takings.

In another chapter, titled “Open Space Preservation: Direct Controls and Fiscal Incentives,” Professor Dennis Heffley and his co-author Ekaterina Gnedenko (Lecturer, Tufts University) review the economic literature on various types of land use controls, especially programs designed to protect and preserve open space.  They also develop and simulate a model showing that state grants to local governments, intended to reduce local fiscal pressure to permit more development, may actually result in more land being zoned for development and a reduction in open space.  An econometric analysis of fiscal data and satellite-image land use data for Connecticut towns further attests to the policy problem illustrated by the simulations

Prof. Kathleen Segerson named Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor

segersonProfessor Kathleen Segerson has been named a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. This is the University’s highest honor for faculty excellence in research, teaching, and service. Professor Segerson was one of three faculty at the University bestowed with this distinction.

The full article, as seen on UConn Today, can be read here.

Another version of the article appeared on CLAS’s page, and can be read here.

Congratulations, Professor Segerson, on this exceptional honor.



Prof. Kathleen Segerson Honored by UConn Alumni Association

segersonKathleen Segerson, Philip E. Austin Professor of Economics, has been awarded the 2013 University of Connecticut Distinguished Professor Award. 

The UConn Alumni Association established the Distinguished Professor award in 1976 for “an excellent teacher as well as an individual of international reputation whose scholarship reflects substantial credit to the University of Connecticut – a renaissance person.” 

Kathleen Segerson, an environmental economist, earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Dartmouth and her doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from Cornell. She studies the incentive effects of alternative environmental policy instruments, including applications in groundwater contamination, hazardous waste management, land use regulation, and climate change. She’s also taken part in projects related to ecosystem services and to marine species protection.

Fellowships include the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, of which she has served as president and vice president, and the American Agricultural Economics Association. Kathleen is a member of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Academy of Sciences and a handling editor for the journal Conservation Biology.

She was co-editor and associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and an associate editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Past service also includes the Chartered Board of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and several advisory committees for the National Research Council and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Segerson will be honored at the Alumni Association Awards Celebration on Friday, October 11, 2013 at the UConn Storrs Campus, and the following day at the UConn Homecoming Game at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Professor Segerson appointed to the NAS Review Panel of the National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment, which is conducted every four years and submitted to the President and Congress, provides an assessment of the state of knowledge about climate change and its impacts in the U.S.  The report was mandated by the 1990 Global Change Research Act.  The first assessment was produced in 2000, and the next one is due to be released in 2013.  By statute, before release, it must be reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences.  NAS has recently put together the panel that will review the report.  The 23-member panel is comprised of scholars from across the country in a wide range of fields.  Professor Kathleen Segerson has been appointed as a panel member.  As part of her appointment, she will be responsible for providing comments and feedback on the draft report to the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program, which is responsible for preparing the report.  After the review process is completed, the final report will be available to the public at

Next Austin Forum on Economics and Public Policy to address health care reform

This year’s Austin Forum will feature a presentation by Prof. Jonathan Gruber, entitled “Health Care Reform in the U.S.: What Happened and Where Do We Go Now?” It will take place on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. in the Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. This event is open to the public.

Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’ health care reform effort and has been a consultant on health care reform for the Clinton, Edwards, and Obama presidential campaigns. The Washington Post called him “possibly the [Democratic] party’s most influential health-care expert.” In addition, in 2006 he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

In addition, Professor Gruber is the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate, and the author of a leading undergraduate textbook Public Finance and Public Policy. He is also a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Health Economics.

The purpose of the Forum is to provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about U.S.: What current public policy issues from an economic perspective. The Forum is funded through the Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair, which is currently held by Professor Kathleen Segerson in the Department of Economics.