Wichman AERE Award

CEnREP alumni receives AERE’s Outstanding Dissertation Award!

Congratulations to Casey Wichman who won the Association for Environmental and Resource Economists’ Outstanding Dissertation award, presented on January 6, 2017 in Chicago, IL at AERE‘s annual luncheon and award ceremony.  Casey received his Masters in Economics at NC State University in 2011, where he wrote his MA thesis under the supervision of CEnREP Director Laura Taylor and Associate Director Roger von Haefen.  His MA thesis explored water conservation policies and was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 

Casey Wichman. Photo credit: Resources for the Future.

Casey earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of Maryland in 2015 and is currently a Fellow at Resources for the Future.  University of Maryland Professors Maureen Cropper and Rob Williams nominated Casey for his dissertation “Information and Environmental Policy”.

The dissertation is comprised of three essays. In the first essay Casey explores how residential water consumers perceive and respond to prices in a block rate regime. In particular, Casey uses a natural experiment to statistically identify whether consumers are responding to marginal or average prices in consumption. Casey’s analysis suggests that consumers respond to average rather than marginal prices.

In the second essay Casey examines the impact of increased billing frequency on water demand in a block rate regime. Again using a natural experiment, he finds that residential water demand increases significantly with increased billing frequency, resulting in a 0.5 to 1% increase in consumer surplus for the change in billing frequency he observed.

In his final dissertation essay Casey develops a theoretical model of pro-environmental preferences for privately provided public goods in an asymmetric information context. He uses his model to analyze alternative regulatory incentive schemes offered by a regulator when informational constraints placed on the regulator differ. Casey is able to characterize the socially optimal incentive scheme.

Casey also received this year’s Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation award.  The first time a student has won both awards!  Congratulations Casey!