Seminars

Impact of reviews on price: Evidence from sentiment analysis of Airbnb reviews in Boston -- Abdelaziz Lawani
Friday, October 6, 2017
11:45 am
Charles E. Barnhart Building, Room 341
There is a growing interest in deriving value from user-generated comments and reviews online. For businesses and consumers using online platforms, the reviews serve as quality metrics and influence consumers purchasing decision. This study examines the relationship between guests reviews, used as a proxy for quality, and the price set by hosts on the Airbnb platform in Boston. Using sentiment analysis to derive the quality from the reviews and a hedonic spatial autoregressive model applied to rental room prices on Airbnb, we find that prices are strategic complements and are influenced by the review score, the characteristics of the room, and the features of the neighborhood. The marketing implication is that consumers respond to the contents of online reviews, in addition to customer ratings. Policies that improve the quality of the room for one host will have a spillover effect on the price of rooms offered by other hosts.  
Immigration Reform and Farm Labor Markets -- Timothy J. Richards
Friday, September 22, 2017
11:00 am
Charles E. Barnhart Building, Room 341
Farmers throughout the United States report a shortage of workers. At the same time, there are proposals to strengthen the enforcement of existing immigration laws. In this paper, we develop an equilibrium approach to examine the impact of removing undocumented workers from the California agricultural labor market and to infer whether there is evidence of shortages using individual-worker data. We find evidence that is consistent with a persistent shortage in some sub-sectors of the California farm labor market. Further, we find that removing all undocumented farm workers from the state would lead to a nearly 50% increase in wages.
Real-time Consumption Analytics, Non-linear Pricing, and Residential Water Demand -- Mehdi Nemati
Friday, September 8, 2017
12:00 pm
Charles E. Barnhart Building, Room 341
This paper estimates how household-level water consumption may be impacted by the distribution of Home Water Use Reports (HWURs) by Dropcountr (DC), a digital and web-based consumption analytics platform. Similar to Opower in the energy sector, DC offers a social comparison, consumption analytics, and conservation information to residential accounts, primarily through digital communications. In this paper, we use daily data from January-2013 to May-2017 from a mid-sized California water utility and monthly data from May-2012 to May-2017 from a major utility in the southwest of the United States. Results indicate an economically and statistically significant 5−15% and 3−13% reduction in average daily household water consumption for the California and the southwest utility, respectively, for the typical household under treatment of the DC program. We observe significant variation in the DC`s effect across households’ dependent on the baseline consumption quintile for both utilities. Furthermore, results suggest that the effect of DC varies by the number of months being in the program, the day of the week, quartile of the year, message type, and enrollment wave. Early findings indicate these responses to DC program is coming from the moral suasion channel rather than information.
Bio-fuels, Price Supports, and Urban Growth in the American -- Dr. William Hoyt
Friday, September 9, 2016
12:00pm
Charles E. Barnhart Building, Room 341
This study provides evidence of the impact of agricultural rent on urban growth. We measure the opportunity cost of land by the annual weighted revenue and cost per acre of farm land, which are based on price, cost, land used, and productivity data on nine major agricultural commodities at county levels in U.S. We estimate that urban population will be 1.8% percent lower when agricultural revenue doubles, and 1.3% higher when agricultural cost doubles; urban population growth rate will be 1.1 (0.6) percent point lower (higher) when agricultural revenue (cost) doubles. These estimates of the impacts agricultural revenues and costs on urban growth, as well as the impacts of government subsidies, are then used to simulate the impacts of changes in governments subsidies, bio-fuel subsidies, and technological change in agriculture on urban growth .
Household Consumption Responses to SNAP Participation -- Shaheer Burney
Friday, August 19, 2016
12:00pm
341 Charles E. Barnhart Building
Obesity is inordinately prevalent among food insecure households in the US. Some researchers have identified the consumption of unhealthy food as one of the sources of this seemingly paradoxical relationship. One of the goals of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is to encourage healthy eating behavior among low-income households. However, literature lacks conclusive evidence for the success of the program in achieving that goal. This paper exploits an underutilized source of variation, the early-2000s recession in the US, to determine the impact of SNAP participation on household Food Away From Home (FAFH) expenditures. A difference in difference model is constructed using high post-recession growth in SNAP caseloads as treatment. The results show that households in the treatment cohort significantly decrease consumption of FAFH relative to households in the control group after the early-2000s recession. This provides evidence that SNAP participation may lead households to make healthier eating choices.
On the Economics and Politics of Food Standards: Some Insights from Beer, Wine, and Chocolate Markets -- Johan Swinnen
Friday, September 11, 2015
10:00 A.M
341 Charles E. Barnhart Bldg.
We are excited that Dr. Johan Swinnen, very well-known agricultural economist, Director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the University of Leuven, and President of the International Association of Agricultural Economics, is visiting UK on September 11 as part of the Year of Europe. He will make a presentation to our department in the morning and a presentation to the entire university community that afternoon at 3:30 in the Young Library auditorium.
Canvas Demo -- Kelly Cruse
Thursday, August 6, 2015
10:00 A.M
Charles E. Barnhart Bldg. - Room 341
Kelly Cruse will be here to demo Canvas, the Learning Management System that is replacing Blackboard. (Blackboard users – you have until June 30, 2016 to make the switch.)

Date: Thursday, August 6
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Location: CEB 341

Candidate Seminar -- Adriana Valcu
Thursday, May 28, 2015
10:00 A.M
Charles E. Barnhart Bldg. Room 341
Candidate Seminar. Dr. Valcu is a candidate for the Environmental and Resource Economics Faculty. This seminar is representative of her research.
Candidate Seminar -- Xiangping Liu
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
11:00 A.M
Charles E. Barnhart Bldg. Room 341
Candidate Seminar. Dr. Liu is a candidate for the Environmental and Resource Economics Faculty. This seminar is representative of her research.
Measuring the Welfare Losses of Supply Disruptions in Urban Water Systems -- Steven Buck
Thursday, May 21, 2015
10:00 A.M
Charles E. Barnhart Bldg. Room 341
Candidate Seminar. Dr. Buck is a candidate for the Environmental and Resource Economics Faculty. This seminar is representative of his research.