Thursday, May 17, 2012

Google Scholar Changes Search Page

Google has "updated" the Google Scholar home page. This includes changing the linked to Advanced Search to a tiny arrow inside the search box. You have to hover over it for a while or click on it to realize that it links to Advanced Search. As far as I can see, the new interface does not include the option to only search certain fields such as "business and economics" which the old Google Scholar Advanced Search allowed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


We just hosted a quick visit by Bob Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski to the Crawford School. Bob gave a public lecture and Bob and Ida participated in roundtable discussions with PhD students and faculty from the Crawford School and the Fenner School.

I have some more colleagues lined up to visit later this year. Next month, Stephan Bruns will be visiting Crawford for the whole of June. He will be working with me on our energy-GDP causality research. He will give a presentation in our economics PhD seminar series. At the end of the month, Christian Gross, also from Jena, will visit briefly and give a seminar. In September/October, Astrid Kander will visit to work on our ARC project.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Energy Strategy Reviews

A new journal in the energy sphere: Energy Strategy Reviews. The journal claims that it:

"provides authoritative content on strategic decision-making and vision-sharing related to society's energy needs. The journal stimulates the exchange and sharing of knowledge and best practice in energy strategy, planning and implementation."

An interesting graph in the opening editorial shows the number of academic papers produced by each country based on data from Scopus:

China is about to overtake the US. I wonder what caused the big jump in China's share in 2004-5?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

PhD Applications

Unlike North America, applying to do a PhD in the social sciences and humanities here in Australia requires lining up a supervisor (=advisor) up front. Therefore, it is more like applying to do a PhD in the natural sciences and engineering in the US. If you don't have a supervisor who is interested we won't take you on as a PhD student. This is despite the fact that at ANU there is significant coursework required in the economics programs, which makes it seem more like a US PhD.* There are some useful tips for PhD applications in this blog post, though this seems a bit too much for an initial approach. I don't need Powerpoint slides, for example. But I do want a CV and grades can be useful too. If you just send an e-mail with no CV I will have to ask you right away for a CV, unless it is really obvious from your letter that you are not suitable. At Crawford, we have an "Expression of Interest" process that tells prospective students what information we need. This is kind of an informal application process (without an application fee), which allows us to assess whether there is a supervisor interested in supervising you and whether you have a chance to be accepted or get funding etc. You can just approach a supervisor directly too, but this gives an idea of the information we are going to need.

Personally, at this stage, I'm only interested in taking on students who are really good, well prepared, and interested in working in an area closely related to my current and future research interests. My recent working papers and this blog can give you an idea about what those are. This is going to result in the best experience for the student in launching a career. A student working on something only vaguely related to what I do is going to get a lot less useful input from me, beyond basic tips on how to do research, and is going to have to be very self-motivated. I won't be helpful in putting them in touch with important people in the field etc.

If you have different skills to me though - for example, you are familiar with some modeling or math techniques other than econometrics - that could be good as we could complement each other.

* I can supervise students in either our economics or our environment programs.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Southerners are "American" while Northerners are "German"

I know I have seen this image and data before (in a book we got for free at a geography conference) but I ">just saw it again and now the connections to US politics sprung into my mind. Southerners tend to see themselves as either as unhyphenated Americans or Black. In the north, relatively few people see themselves as just American and instead remember their ethnic ancestry and are proud of it. The largest ancestry is German though the English were the "charter group" and hence the United States speaks English rather than German.

In a past academic life :) I taught cultural geography and researched ethnic distribution in cities....

It seems that the core "red states" area is also the area where people identify as American most. Well, this isn't quite true:

but I think interesting all the same.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mexico and the UK have the Toughest Climate Change Policies

The Mexican legislature passed one of the strongest national climate-change laws so far on 19 April reports Nature. The UK and Mexico now have similar binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. IN my opinion, another piece of evidence against the simplistic environmental Kuznets curve theory. At least, against the theory that income-related preferences drive emissions reductions. Mexico has world mean income per capita - in fact I often think that Mexico is a microcosm of the world as a whole - many of its indicators are near world means. That means it is not a poor country, of course, but it is not rich either.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Public Lecture by Bob Costanza at the Crawford School

Bob Costanza is visiting the Crawford School at ANU and giving a public lecture:

‘Ecosystem services come of age: Linking science, policy, and participation for sustainable human well-­being’
Tuesday 15 May 2012
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Weston Theatre, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU

More details and RSVP here.

Costanza is University Professor of Sustainability in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. He is also editor-in-chief and co-founder of the new journal Solutions. Bob was the founding president of the International Society for Ecological Economics and founding editor of Ecological Economics. He has a very impressive record of high impact publications.

On a personal note, my PhD advisor, Cutler Cleveland studied for his masters degree with Bob at Louisiana State University. Bob was also my wife, Shuang's PhD adviser. And I coauthored a paper with Bob in 2004. I often think that ecological economists should have "Costanza numbers" like the well-known Erdös numbers :)

Crawford School Working Papers in April 2012

This month the three most downloaded papers across our six active working paper series were:

Carbon Pricing that Builds Consensus and Reduces Australia's Emissions: Managing Uncertainties Using a Rising Fixed Price Evolving to Emissions Trading, Frank Jotzo, 36 downloads.

IMF Programs: Who Is Chosen and What Are the Effects?, Robert J. Barro and Jong-Wha Lee, 22 downloads.

Total Factor Productivity and Economic Growth in Indonesia, Pierre van der Eng, 16 downloads.

Total downloads were 651 with 2135 abstract views across the six active series.

There are also quite a lot of new papers:

Papers by Hal Hill, Shuhei Nishitateno, and Budy Resosudarmo in the Arndt-Corden series.

Three new papers in the ASARC series.

Papers by Andrew Macintosh and Kaliappa Kalirajan in the CCEP series.

Also a paper by Stephen Howes in the Development Policy series.

Sorry for omitting coauthors.