Friday, October 30, 2015

Discovery Projects 2016

We - myself together with Stephan Bruns and Alessio Moneta - got an ARC Discovery Projects grant. Thanks also to Zsuzsanna Csereklyei who contributed to the development of the proposal and who we may hire as a post-doc using the grant - depending if she wants to come to Australia for the time we will be able to afford to fund with the money we received ($A273k - 65% of what we requested). This is my second ARC grant following the DP12 grant that we got a few years ago. The title of our project is: "Energy Efficiency Innovation, Diffusion and the Rebound Effect". We will be looking at the diffusion of energy efficiency innovations and trying to measure the economy-wide rebound effect empirically. This was our second attempt at applying for a grant on this topic. Last time around we were rated in the top 10% of unfunded proposals and so I thought it was worthwhile revising and resubmitting!

Other good news today is that my colleague, Paul Burke got a DECRA grant. I think this is our fourth DECRA at Crawford. Congratulations to Paul! Also Peter MacDonald and Robert Sparrow got a DP16 grant. Congratulations to Robert and Peter!

Google Scholar Matures

Since it was introduced in late 2004, Google Scholar has rapidly grown to become a widely used tool for finding and assessing the impact of academic literature. The database still suffers from noise relative to its competitors Scopus and Web of Science but it has broader coverage, especially in the social sciences and humanities and is open access. As the database developed, Google have periodically added new information sources to the database. This resulted in a rapid growth in estimated citations of articles in the early years. However, it now seems that the database has matured. The following graph shows the growth rate of citations to my research in the previous 12 months, measured monthly since 2009 for Google Scholar in blue and a bit more intermittently for Scopus in red. I have also fitted exponential trend lines to the two series:

Initially the growth rate of Google Scholar citations was very high and very erratic. But the month to month variation in the annual growth rate has reduced drastically over time. By contrast, the growth rate of Scopus citations has been much more consistent, with a slow rate of decline in the percentage growth rate over time. Interestingly, the two series have also converged to a common growth rate of 17-18% per year. So, it seems that Google's database is now as mature as Scopus is. This doesn't mean that Google is now as high a quality data source as Scopus is. It isn't. But large revisions to citation counts or additions of large new data sources seems to be a thing of the past.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Business as Usual Emissions Projection from Sanchez and Stern Econometric Model

I finished preparing my presentation for Thursday in Brisbane. The topic of my talk is "Drivers of Industrial and Non-Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions". It's mostly based on my paper with Luis Sanchez. I'm also adding some material from Chapter 5 of the IPCC AR5 report (WG3) to give context. This is because this "trends and drivers" research theme came out of my work on the IPCC chapter. Reyer Gerlagh produced our original "iconic image" (yes, we called them that in the IPCC process) of the long-run growth rates of emissions and income per capita and then I suggested to do an econometric analysis along those lines. I think it was Reyer also who suggested how to model the EKC in a growth rates model.

I've also "added some value" by doing a business as usual projection using our model. This is something we are thinking to do as part of the revise and resubmit for a related paper. The graph shows projections to 2030 for 3 developing and 3 developed countries and the world (well, our 129 country sample) as a whole:

Indonesia and India have similar income per capita, so an EKC model would project similar emissions growth in both countries. The graph shows the value added of our model, which suggests that emissions will grow slower in Indonesia, which is more emissions intensive. The global outcome is similar (a little bit higher) to RCP 8.5, which is the highest emissions growth scenario used in AR5. RCP 8.5 assumes slower economic growth than we are here but slower than historic progress in energy intensity.

To get the projection, I used our model parameters estimated for the 1991-2010 period and the UN median projection for population growth. I used USDA ERS projections for economic growth rates in each country. Other variables are at their values for 2010.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Managing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy

On Thursday morning at 9:35am I'll be presenting at the Managing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy Conference at Griffith University in Brisbane. I'll be presenting my paper on Drivers of Industrial and Non-Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This is a slight change from the original paper I was supposed to present, as that got published in the meantime, and the organizers only want unpublished research. I blogged about the paper in March. Right after me, John Foster is speaking.  John Gowdy from my former university RPI is also speaking at the conference. The full schedule is here.