All of our PhD students complete a research project during their second year in the program. Each year, the Applied Economics department presents awards for the best Second Year Paper. In 2017-18, the Best Second Year Paper Award went to David Rossi, and an honorable mention went to Kedar Kulkarni.

David's winning paper, “The Influence of Risk Attitudes on Suppression’s Budget Share under a Fragmented Wildfire Budgeting Policy," derives the conditions under which the risk attitudes of incident managers can affect the socially efficient allocation of a wildfire management budget. It is shown that multiple types of risk attitudes separately influence an organization's demand behavior and increase the percentage of its budget devoted to wildfire suppression efforts.

Kedar's paper, “Quantifying Climate Vulnerability of Agricultural Systems: A county-level and regional level analysis in the United States," focuses on quantifying vulnerability and risks of agricultural systems. The paper uses the partial and quantile moments based approaches to exploit a rich panel dataset from the U.S. Agriculture Census and estimate the effects of climatic variables on the mean and high-order moments at the county and regional level.