Category Archives: Faculty

Professor Elissa Braunstein

Braunstein to vice-chair panel guiding $700 million in COVID relief funds 

Chair and Professor of Economics Elissa Braunstein has been appointed to serve as Vice-Chair of the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund Subpanel created by the Colorado Legislature. The subpanel was created to guide Colorado’s spending of $700 million in federal relief funds remaining from the American Rescue Plan Act.  

“The economy is getting better, but the still-fragile recovery is unequally distributed across different groups of Coloradoans, and it is important to invest these one-time funds in ways that support closing those gaps and make the future brighter for all Coloradoans,” said Braunstein. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve Colorado in this capacity.” 

The subpanel consists of five economists appointed by majority and minority leaders, Governor Jared Polis, and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Braunstein and chair Phyllis Resnick of Colorado Futures Center were both appointed by Democratic majority leaders Sen. Leroy Garcia and Rep. Alec Garnett. 

As Vice-Chair, Braunstein works with the team of economists to better understand who is being left behind as Colorado emerges from the pandemic. The Subpanel is tasked with cataloguing, explaining, and ranking the pandemic’s impacts on the Colorado economy, and making recommendations to state legislators on policies that will stimulate the economy, provide necessary relief for Coloradoans, and/or address emerging economic disparities resulting from the pandemic. Their report will go to the legislative task force to vote on and submit to the governor before next legislative session. 

An agrivoltaic system such as the ones under study at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Undergraduate Research Internships Increase Student Data Skills, Partnerships across Colorado

This summer, the CSU Department of Economics was thrilled to launch a new program to increase funded research opportunities and data skill development for undergraduate students through paid research internships, matching motivated students who have learned baseline data and econometrics skills with faculty mentors to develop those skills through hands-on experience.

Under the leadership of Undergraduate Program Co-Director Steven Shulman, Economics faculty offered internships to an initial cohort of six students who worked for CSU research centers REDI@CSU, PAC@REDI, and CSAL; Feminist Economics, a peer-reviewed journal edited by Economics Chair Elissa Braunstein; an independent project on U.S. labor, led by Assistant Professor Zachary Schaller; and an external placement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

“The Economics department has always had incredible research collaborations between our faculty and graduate students. Being able to extend these opportunities to undergraduates will go a long way towards preparing students to go into the workforce or on to graduate school when they leave CSU. We were happy to see that in this initial group of pairings, it was often a win/win/win for the students, faculty and the community,” said Shulman.

Fisher's Peak State Park

The view from the top of Fisher’s Peak State Park in Las Animas County (CO Parks and Wildlife)

Ready for the job market

Senior Josh Rudd spent his summer as an undergraduate research intern for CSU’s Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI).

A team of cross-departmental faculty and graduate students, REDI is heavily invested in rural economic development and enlisted Rudd to assist with building a digital dashboard for every county in Colorado to track new small businesses through different stages of their life cycle.

“Small business is largely what keeps rural areas going, so we’re interested in better understanding entrepreneurship. I loved the idea of including undergraduate students where we can in order to give them some hands-on work experience in economics,” said Professor of Economics and REDI co-director Stephan Weiler.

REDI is also currently conducting a study of Fisher’s Peak, Colorado’s newest state park in Las Animas County, to estimate the park’s economic impact on the region. Rudd’s role was to assist with a literature review and econometric analysis to estimate the number of new visitors to the park, which just opened in October 2020 and is still in development, and the total dollars they bring into the area throughout their stay.

In both projects, Rudd has been able to practice and acquire new econometrics and data science skills through faculty mentorship and “just in time” learning through finding, organizing and manipulating raw datasets, as well as creating explanations, summaries and keys for several graphs and tables created from those datasets.

“I learned an immense amount from this experience. The biggest thing, I think, was seeing how classroom economics can be used in solving specific real-world questions. Even though I’ve worked through ‘realistic’ economics problems in various classes, it really doesn’t compare to having a specific open-ended question asked by independent organizations about a situation you can visit with a 4-hour car trip,” he said.

As Rudd prepares to graduate from CSU this fall, he is optimistic the experience will better prepare him for the job market.

“My time with REDI showed me how economics can be used in nearly any situation and industry. By having a background in economics, I can gain an edge in whichever field I pursue,” he said.

Asst Prof Zach Schaller

Assistant Professor Zachary Schaller

Paul DeCelles

Paul DeCelles

Faculty see returns on investments

An important component of the program is faculty mentorship. Interns typically met weekly with their mentor to check in on progress and ask questions as they worked through literature reviews and data analysis. When successful, these collaborations benefit both mentor and mentee with tangible results.

For senior Paul DeCelles and Assistant Professor Zachary Schaller, that’s exactly what happened. Schaller, who joined the CSU Economics department in 2020, is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on labor markets, unions, and industrial conflict.

“Economic labor statistics are often broken out by detailed industry, identified by a corresponding numerical code using either the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) scheme, largely used prior to 1997, or the now-standard North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) scheme. Translating from one to the other can be difficult, especially for people trying to create consistent time-series data,” Schaller explained.

In real terms? That means spreadsheets filled with data – a lot of it. For 10 hours a week, DeCelles poured over spreadsheets of industry codes to develop a tool that will help Schaller and fellow microeconomists translate between the two systems.

“Thanks to Paul’s efforts, we developed a series of crosswalks that can connect the systems smoothly at any level of aggregation,” said Schaller, who made the tool available to economist researchers in early July.

For the second half of the internship, DeCelles gathered union election data to help Schaller replicate and extend a study on the decline of union membership in the U.S., supplementing a paper that Schaller will submit for publication this fall.

“Professor Schaller provided me with an opportunity to develop research skills as well as gain more confidence in the world of data analysis, especially in R and Excel. Also, I strengthened my general research skills such as writing a report on specific findings from collected data,” said DeCelles, who is considering pursuing graduate studies in Economics or a career as a policy analysis after graduating from CSU.

“I think the internship has been really useful for both of us. I was able to tackle a few projects that would have otherwise stayed on the back burner, and Paul was able to see pretty quickly that our research labor bears fruit and can help others in the field,” said Schaller.

An agrivoltaic system such as the ones under study at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

An agrivoltaic system such as the ones under study at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Creative Commons)

Cutting edge energy research

Increasing comfort with and capability to do remote work also contributed to successful summer internships. For senior Jawaher Al Maaini, remote work meant an incredible opportunity to work as a Solar and Agriculture Economic Analyst for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) based in Golden, Colo.

Throughout her internship, Al Maaini conducted an extensive literature review of more than 75 economics studies on the cost, performance, and crop yield impacts of agrivoltaic systems – solar panels that allow crops to continue growing underneath, making dual use of Colorado farmland. As the technology is relatively new, economists can play a key role in helping energy companies and farmers who lease their land understand the potential for mutual profit.

“Jawaher has initiated what is likely to be the most comprehensive review and assessment of available literature in the field of agrivoltaics, which will serve as the foundation for follow-on synthesis studies and help guide future research directions,” said Jordan Macknick, NREL energy engineer and environmental analyst. “She was very eager to tackle this challenge, and she showed great, efficient talent in extracting data from the studies and synthesizing the results.”

“My experience this summer has been phenomenal. I had a great time working closely with Jordan and [faculty mentor] Dr. Weiler, and I learned a lot about agrivoltaics and how they relate to economics. While I didn’t have the chance to visit the labs or the field to see the work due to the pandemic, I still got a good visualization of the work. I hope to continue working on something similar after graduation,” said Al Maaini.

Weiler hopes NREL is simply the first of many outside agencies who will partner with CSU to offer these cutting-edge research opportunities to economics undergraduates.

“The neat thing about this program is that CSU pays the student interns, which is sparking interest in the program among many of our external partners. Economists working throughout the state really like this idea, and we’re excited about the prospect of expanding the number of external internships in the coming semesters,” he said.

Fall Internships Available

Following the successes of the summer program, the Department of Economics is seeking to fill eight positions for the Fall 2021 semester for research projects detailed here. Internships pay $15/hour for approximately 10 hours of work per week, up to $2,500 per position.

To apply, a student must have declared a major in Economics and have successfully completed ECON 235 (Working with Data) and/or ECON 335 (Introduction to Econometrics). Successful applicants will be prepared to assist the project with strong data and communication skills but will also receive faculty mentorship throughout the semester to increase their knowledge and skills.

Economics students who meet these requirements are encouraged to apply on Handshake by the deadline, Wednesday, August 25.

CSU promotes Economics faculty members Tavani, Numa, Fremstad

Three faculty members of the CSU Department of Economics have received promotions, effective July 1, 2021. Guy Numa and Anders Fremstad have both been granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. Daniele Tavani has been promoted to full Professor.  

The department celebrates the accomplishments of our dedicated and richly talented faculty, whose research and commitments to teaching enrich our curriculum and understanding of Economics as a pluralist social science.  

Read about these promoted faculty: 

Daniele Tavani, Professor and Graduate Program Director  
Ph.D. Economics, The New School for Social Research
Dottorato (PhD) in Economia Politica, Sapienza University of Rome 

Dr. Daniele Tavani’s research focuses on (i) economic growth and the distribution of income and wealth; (ii) the interaction between labor market institutions, income distribution and technological change; (iii) the role of the public sector in long-run policy and its distributional effects; (iv) social interactions, social multipliers and economic performance. He is a coauthor of Growth and Distribution, Second Edition (Harvard University Press, 2019) and has been published in journals such as Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Surveys, Feminist Economics, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics. Dr. Tavani also serves as Associate Editor for the Review of Social Economy, the Journal of Economic Surveys,  the Review of Keynesian Economics, and the Review of Political Economy. 

 


Guy Numa, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Economics, Université Paris Dauphine 

Dr. Guy Numa specializes in History of Economic Thought, Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Industrial Organization, and Caribbean Political Economy. His work has appeared in leading journals such as The Journal of Economic PerspectivesHistory of Political EconomyThe Journal of the History of Economic Thought, and The European Journal for the History of Economic Thought. Dr. Numa is the author of a book on the regulation of the railroad industry published by Éditions Classiques Garnier, and he also co-authored two books on the 2009 social movements in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. 

Dr. Numa is a member of the advisory board of History of Political Economy, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought. He was the 2016 recipient of the Young Researcher Award of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET), a prize recognizing outstanding publications in the history of economic thought. 


Anders Fremstad, Associate Professor
Ph.D. Economics, University of Massachusetts-Amherst 

Dr. Anders Fremstad specializes in microeconomics, environmental economics, and political economy, with a current research focus on the sharing economy, household and urban economies in carbon emissions, and the distributional impact of carbon mitigation policy.  He has used carbon footprint data to study household and urban economies in carbon emissions, the potential of work hours reductions to address climate change, and the distributional impact of carbon pricing policies. Dr. Fremstad has coauthored reports making the case for carbon dividends and a Green New Deal, and his writing has appeared in such news outlets as The Denver Post, Jacobinand Project Syndicate, with additional research cited by the Washington PostThe Economist, and NBC News

At CSU, Dr. Fremstad teaches courses in microeconomics, environmental economics, and political economy, and he is a co-author CORE’s open textbook and open materials

Ed Barbier

Dr. Edward B. Barbier Named Among List of World’s Top Science Researchers 

Dr. Edward B. Barbier, University Distinguished Professor of Economics at Colorado State University, has been listed among the world’s most-cited scientists in an index published by Stanford University in 2020. Barbier is ranked #1 for career-long citations in the subfield of Agricultural Economics and Policy.  

Barbier’s most recent work examines habitat loss and the risk of disease outbreak. Barbier is also contributing to United Nations conversations on COVID-19 and rebuilding a green, sustainable global economy.

Citation tools, such as the Hirsch index, are frequently used as an indicator of a researcher’s international recognition and reach. The Stanford University group, headed by Professor John P.A. Ioannides, achieved a universal normalization of citation metrics by introducing a composite citation index which integrates the total number of citations, the H-index, a co-authorship-adjusted index, number of citations to papers as single author, number of citations to papers as single or first author, and number of citations to papers as single, first, or last author. 

Based on these studies, the Ioannides group generated data lists with the top 100,000 researchers in the world from every scientific discipline, as well those ranked in the top 2% in their main subfield discipline, during their academic career.  

Guy Numa

Professor Guy Numa on racism and exclusion 

Colorado State University and the College of Liberal Arts is committed to tackling the wicked problem of racism and exclusion. In this SOURCE story our own Dr. Guy Numa is one of three CLA professors highlighted. Numa stresses the importance of moving from discussion to action. He is a proponent for the creation of “baby bonds,” trust accounts that would be given to all newborns at birth, with larger amounts given to those in low-income families, to elevate the economic status of minority families.

Asst Prof Zach Schaller

Welcome Assistant Professor Zachary Schaller to the Economics Department!

We welcome a new face to the Economics Department this year, Assistant Professor Zachary Schaller!

Dr. Schaller earned his B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Western Colorado University in 2015 and his doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Irvine in June 2020. Schaller’s research fields are applied micro-theory, labor economics, and economic history. His work so far focuses on American labor unions, using a combination of empirical methods and economic theory to understand the decline in union prevalence and bargaining power. His research is motivated by the increasing disparity between worker’s wages and labor productivity. He says, “As labor markets have become more polarized in the United States and much of Europe there is increasing evidence that real economic losses can stem from distributional issues.  I wish to understand how these changes came about and how they have impacted people’s lives.”

Dr. Schaller will be teaching two sections of ECON 204, Principles of Macroeconomics, this fall semester. When asked about his teaching philosophy, Dr. Schaller said, “One of the wonderful things about economics is that it imparts such a useful way of thinking about the world. I hope that my students will take away not only enthusiasm for the discipline, but also a new language and a new lens through which they can view their jobs, majors, finances, politics, and communities.” He hopes to arm his students with the quantitative literacy and strategic thinking ability they need to navigate complex social issues, such as racism, climate change, poverty, health care, and inequality.

We are thrilled to have Dr. Schaller join our amazing team of faculty members!

Economics Department Office is Open (Virtually)!

The Economics Department office will be operating remotely until further notice. Normal office hours will be in effect Mondays thru Fridays: 7:30 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-4:30 pm (MST).

The office staff may be reached at 970-491-6324 or via email: CLA_Economics@colostate.edu

If you need assistance from any other faculty or staff, you are welcome to contact them directly via email. You can view our department’s website for contact information: https://economics.colostate.edu/people/

We are here to help! Stay well! #RamsTakeCareOfRams 🐏

Stephan Weiler

Winter 2019/Spring 2020 CLA Magazine featuring Professor Stephan Weiler now available

The Winter 2019/Spring 2020 edition of the CLA Magazine is now available for your viewing pleasure! The Liberal Arts Magazine showcases stories from faculty, students, and alumni on universal topics. In this issue, we apply the lenses of the liberal arts to place and space. Our department’s article highlights the work of Professor Stephan Weiler and REDI.

Identifying rural solutions to urban needs, and vice versa, has been a big part of Professor Weiler’s work for decades. With the Regional Economic Development Institute, Weiler and others are examining the many ways to bridge the urban-rural divide. Whether it’s malting barley, charter school supply and demand, or poverty and incarceration, rural and urban communities can learn from and benefit one another and provide opportunities for more people to succeed.

Ed Barbier

Professor Ed Barbier featured in Euromoney

Professor Ed Barbier is featured as one of the best-known environmental economists in the world in this article posted on Euromoney.com.

Edward B. Barbier is a Professor in the Department of Economics, Colorado State University and a Senior Scholar in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. His main expertise is natural resource and development economics as well as the interface between economics and ecology.  He has consulted for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many UN organizations, the World Bank and the OECD. He has authored 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, written or edited 24 books, and published in popular journals. Barbier is a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and is consistently ranked among the top cited environmental economists globally. Google Scholar lists him as currently having nearly 50,000 citations, including 20,000 since 2013.

Ed Barbier with Rick Miranda - University Distinguished Professor

Professor Ed Barbier named University Distinguished Professor

The 2019 Celebrate! Colorado State Awards, held on May 9th, recognized more than 60 people from across the university, among them Economics Department Professor Ed Barbier.

Barbier was awarded the title of University Distinguished Professor, CSU’s highest academic recognition.

“Dr. Barbier’s career record clearly ranks him among the most outstanding members of his discipline,” Dean Ben Withers wrote in a letter endorsing Barbier’s nomination. “The letter of nomination provided by his faculty colleagues clearly outlines the global disciplinary and interdisciplinary image of his work, beginning with his seminal 1989 publication Blueprint for a Green Economy, and extending to the recent publication of his influential policy papers in the journals Science and Nature.”

Barbier was nominated by Professor and Senior Associate Dean Alex Bernasek, Professor and Chair Elissa Braunstein, Associate Professor Terrence Iverson and Associate Professor Sammy Zahran.

“Professor Barbier has had a long and distinguished career in environment, natural resource and development economics,” they wrote in their nomination. “He originated some of the earliest economic approaches to ‘sustainable development,’ publishing path-breaking work in this area in the 1980s. Professor Barbier’s continuing excellence of achievements and contribution places him among the top of his discipline: He is consistently ranked among the most highly cited environmental economists and among the top 5% of all economists by citations. He is also listed as one of the 50 most influential scholars on sustainability, according to Cambridge University’s Institute of Sustainable Leadership.”

Among his most recent accomplishments are a May 2018 Science article, “How to pay for saving biodiversity,” co-authored with CSU colleagues Joanne Burgess, assistant professor of economics, and Thomas Dean, a management professor. In January, he wrote an article titled “How to make the next Green New Deal work” for Nature, in which he commented on the recent proposal for a Green New Deal from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His new book, The Water Paradox: Overcoming the Global Crisis in Water Management, was published by Yale University Press in February.

Barbier received his undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Yale University, his M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of London. He joined CSU in 2017 from the University of Wyoming. Barbier received CSU’s 2018 Scholarship Impact Award.