Thursday, December 28, 2023

Annual Review 2023

I've been doing these annual reviews since 2011. They're mainly an exercise for me to see what I accomplished and what I didn't in the previous year. 

The big new development this year is that together with Johannes Sauer and Eric Yu Sheng I took on the joint editor-in-chief role of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. My goal, apart from the usual ones of increasing the impact, prestige, and outreach of the journal, is to get more environmental and resource economics papers published in the journal. So, if you have a suitable paper, please send it to us! We started handling new manuscripts in July and from 1 January we are officially the editors, though we have been increasingly taking on the various roles over the last few months. I will be at the AARES Conference in February, giving a report at the AGM and hosting a "Meet the Editors" session.

I made three trips out of the Canberra and NSW coast region this year, the first since early 2020. I still  haven't been outside of Australasia since 2018. It's pretty hard to travel for any length of time without taking the family and with two small children neither of us feels like traveling anywhere very far. I flew twice to Melbourne for conferences. In March for the Western Economic Association Conference and at the end of November for the Monash Environmental Economics Workshop. I presented our research on electricity markets at both of them.

The third trip was in January to Sydney for a holiday. There is a bit more activity on campus than last year, but it is still much quieter than before the pandemic. For example, we lost three food outlets near Crawford during the pandemic, which haven't returned.

Coogee, NSW

This was the second year that I taught IDEC8018 Agricultural and Resource Economics. Though it was a lot easier than last year, I still had to do quite a lot of preparation for this course. I taught it together with IDEC8053 Environmental Economics in Semester 2. I last taught IDEC8053 in Semester 1, 2021. I taught lectures in hybrid mode – an in-person lecture livestreamed on Zoom. Tutorials were split between an in-person and an online tutorial. The courses went OK, but attendance both online and in-person fell off sharply as the semester progressed. Michael Ward told me that at Monash Economics they are dropping live lectures and switching to pre-recorded material only together with in-person workshops.

It was a slow year for research. I worked on some things that went nowhere, did a couple of projects with visitors, inched a few other things along, and discussed funding proposals. At the end of the year I was working on modelling glacial cycles, which I am trying to give up on, and completing a new paper with Xueting Jiang that hopefully we can post early next year.

I had a couple of visitors to Crawford during the year. Suryadeepto Nag visited Crawford to work with me on his master's project, which I jointly supervised, from late November 2022 to February 2023. We researched the impact of electrification on development in rural India using Indian survey data. The paper has just been rejected by one journal and we are now revising it to give it another shot elsewhere. The editor and referees didn't seem to get the propensity score weighting approach to addressing selection bias.

In July, Khalid Ahmed visited. We wrote a piece on recent developments in Chinese carbon emissions for The Conversation. We managed to publish an updated version in a new journal called Environmental Challenges. Khalid has now moved to Brunei.

I published four journal articles with a 2023 or in press date:

Timilsina G., D. I. Stern, and D. K. Das (in press) Physical infrastructure and economic growth, Applied Economics

Ahmed K. and D. I. Stern (2023) China's carbon emissions trend after the pandemic, Environmental Challenges 13, 100787. 

Jiang X. and D. I. Stern (2023) Asymmetric business cycle changes in U.S. carbon emissions and oil market shocks, Climatic Change 176, 147. 

Kubiszewski, I., L. Concollato, R. Costanza, and D. I. Stern (2023) Changes in authorship, networks, and research topics in ecosystem services, Ecosystem Services 101501. 

The first paper was already in press in 2022 and the last was accepted in 2022 as well. There are also a couple of book chapters.

We posted three new working papers:

Are the Benefits of Electrification Realized Only in the Long Run? Evidence from Rural India. July 2023. With Suryadeepto Nag.

China's Carbon Emissions After the Pandemic. July 2023. With Khalid Ahmed.

More Than Half of Statistically Significant Research Findings in the Environmental Sciences are Actually Not. January 2023. With Teshome Deressa, Jaco Vangronsveld, Jan Minx, Sebastien Lizin, Robert Malina, and Stephan Bruns.

We have one journal article under review at the moment. This is a second submission of our paper on confidence intervals for recursive impact factors. We are also working on a revision of the paper authored by Deressa et al. mentioned above and the revision of the Indian electrification paper. There are several other papers on my to do list, but they range from one we are actively trying to complete, to ones that I haven't really done anything on any time recently and ones that may never happen.

Google Scholar citations reached roughly 26,000 with an h-index of 61. I again wrote fewer blogposts this year. Five in total compared to eight in 2022. Twitter followers rose from 1750 to almost 1850 over the year. People keep talking about the demise of academic Twitter. Maybe there are fewer academic posts than before, but unclear if there is one  single other place where people are congregating. I find Twitter very useful for news and don't want to spend time trawling various platforms looking for content.

I reviewed 8 journal articles, two tenure or promotion cases, one book proposal, and two grant proposals, one promotion case, and one textbook proposal. I am taking on fewer reviews because of my new role as AJARE editor. So, I turn down quite a lot of journal article and some grant review requests. I prioritize journals that I have published in or have been reviewed by recently.

My PhD students Xueting Zhang and Debasish Das both submitted their PhDs in the second half of the year. I took on a new PhD student, Mi Lim Kim, who is working on supply-side climate policy. I also have a new student, Banna Banik from Bangladesh, starting in early 2024.

I am not going to make any more predictions this year, because some of last year's predictions did not materialize!

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