Research Scholars

As part of our mission of working across disciplines and research institutions, the Payne Institute has established a Visiting Scholars Program, the goal of which is to facilitate the residency of a limited number of distinguished scholars from other academic institutions or accomplished professionals whose expertise coincides with the Payne Institute’s current research efforts. The Payne Institute’s Visiting Scholar Program provides qualified researchers the opportunity to work alongside our research team, interact with faculty and students, and share and collaborate on research ideas – all in the beautiful Colorado environment.

Past Visiting Scholars

Corrado Di Maria

Associate Professor of Economics, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, Spring 2017 Corrado Di Maria
Corrado Di Maria is an economist with broad research interests that span the economics of growth and development, environmental and natural resource economics, energy economics and the economics of technological change. His work emphasizes both theoretical and empirical aspects, as well as its policy relevance. His recent research has focused on the interaction between environmental policy and natural resource use, the taxation of exhaustible resources, emissions trading schemes and their efficiency-promoting features, the role of skills in the process of economic growth, and environmental policy in the presence of induced technological change. His current projects range from applications of productivity analysis to induced innovation, to theoretical and empirical analyses of procurement contracts, and from evaluations of the effects of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to investigations of the nexus between financial development and economic growth. Prior to his move to Norwich, Di Maria worked at the University of Birmingham, the Queen’s University Belfast, and the University College Dublin. He obtained his PhD from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, having previously studied in Rome, Milan and Vienna.

Emiliya Lazarova

Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, Spring 2017 Emiliya Lazarova
Emiliya Lazarova is a microeconomist with broad expertise in applied theory. Her works have been published in journals such as International Journal of Game Theory, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Social Choice and Welfare, and World Development. Some of her recent projects focus on issues of enforceability of contractual relations both in environments where property rights are protected as well as in the context of weak institutions such as those in the emerging market economies of Central Asian. Lazarova also combines her expertise on matching theory, network theory, and applied micro econometrics in an active research agenda on the study of labor markets and studies aspects such as path-dependence in job search, labor market flows and productivity, and the effect of anti-discrimination legislation on human capital acquisition.

Ralph Mastromonaco

Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Oregon, Fall 2015 Ralph Mastromonaco
Ralph Mastromonaco’s research covers a variety of topics in public and environmental economics. His current research is focuses on applications and methods of non-market valuation. Additionally, he has several projects examining the impact that the hydraulic fracturing boom has had on local communities. Seminar Topic: Measuring Neighborhood Preferences under Credit Constraints, with Edward Kung (UCLA), Aug. 26, 2015 Seminar Abstract: We study the biases that result from ignoring credit constraints in revealed preference models. Bias arises from three sources: 1) heterogeneity in borrowing costs; 2) an increasing interest rate with respect to borrowing amount; and 3) binding borrowing constraints. Using a novel dataset on housing transactions merged with buyer credit reports from Atlanta, we show that ignoring credit constraints biases estimates for willingness-to-pay for school quality downwards by 2 percent. The downward bias is stronger for low SES households (5 percent). The results suggest that credit constraints are an important factor to account for when evaluating amenities using housing and neighborhood choice data.

Kevin Novan

Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, Fall 2015 Kevin Novan
Kevin Novan’s research interests are in the fields of energy and environmental economics, focusing primarily on the design of environmental policies targeted towards the electricity sector. Recent work quantifies the impact of renewable electricity on pollution and examines the energy savings provided by residential energy efficiency investments. Seminar Topic: Using Smart Meter Data to Evaluate the Returns to Energy Efficiency, Sept. 18, 2015 Seminar Abstract: This paper uses hourly smart-meter data to estimate the social and private cost savings provided by residential energy efficiency investments. Focusing on over 5,000 households in Sacramento, CA that receive new, energy efficient air conditioning units (AC), we estimate not only how much energy savings are caused by the AC upgrades, but also when the energy savings occur. By determining when the energy savings take place, we are able to accurately estimate the avoided generation and pollution costs. We find that, on average, the AC upgrades reduce electricity consumption by 5%. Within the households that account for the majority of the energy savings, the avoided consumption provides an average social benefit of $9.78/month. However, under the current increasing block pricing structure, the households save an average of $27.30/month on their electricity bills. These results highlight that, under the current retail pricing structure – i.e., low fixed fees with high, increasing variable charges – investments in residential energy efficiency are being dramatically oversubsidized.

Adrienne Ohler

Associate Professor of Economics, Illinois State University, Fall 2015 Adrienne Ohler
Adrienne Ohler’s research interests examine the interaction between natural resource use, environmental degradation, and public policy. Ohler’s work at Illinois State includes estimating the value of environmental characteristics, understanding the welfare implications of lottery allocation for natural resource access, examining the relationship between income and environmental quality, and analyzing policies that impact the use of renewable energy. Seminar Topic: Does Environmental Concern Change the Tragedy of the Commons? Factors Affecting Energy Saving Behaviors and Electricity Usage, Nov. 13, 2015 Seminar Abstract: Electricity consumption produces private goods, such as heat for homes, but fossil fuel consumption impacts the public goods of clean air and water.  While self-interests can increase usage, social interests, such as global climate change, can impact an individual’s attitude toward energy consumption. This paper examines the tragedy of the commons using household data, and compares the impact of self and social interests in predicting electricity consumption. Using both stated and observed behavioral data, the results show that self-interests have a greater impact on energy saving behaviors and electricity use. We extend the analysis to control for an individual’s environmental concern and perceived behavioral impact, finding similar results, and supporting the notion that the tragedy of the commons occurs regardless of a person’s perception or environmental concern. These findings may explain why pro-environmental attitudes do not necessarily lead to pro-environmental behaviors, and it contributes to our understanding of the motivating factors for energy savings and electricity use by examining both stated and observed behaviors.

Visiting Scholar Appointments

Appointments will generally be made for one semester, either Fall (September-December) or Spring (January-April), though other time frames will be considered. It is expected that the Visiting Scholar will generally spend the appointment term in residence at Mines. No teaching or Mines/Payne Institute service is required, however the Scholar is expected to give one research seminar and interact with Mines graduate students and faculty. Further, there may be an opportunity for the Scholar to give a public lecture on a topic of interest to the Payne Institute. The Scholar will be compensated for round-trip economy travel expenses to Mines and a fixed monthly stipend meant to cover local accommodations while at Mines.


The Colorado School of Mines, Payne Institute, and the Division of Economics and Business invite applications for a Visiting Scholar during the 2019-2020 academic year. The position allows the Visiting Scholar to pursue academic research in mineral, energy, and environmental economics and policy while on leave from their home institution. Preference is given to research topics that match the interests of Payne Institute researchers and faculty in the Division of Economics and Business at Mines.


Candidates are expected to have a PhD in economics or related field and currently possess a full-time faculty position at a university or an equivalent position at a research organization. Please submit a CV and cover letter describing the main research objective the candidate expects to undertake at Mines and, ideally, how this work fits with the mission and goals of the Payne Institute and the faculty in the Division of Economics and Business. Submissions should be sent to:

Strategy and Operations Manager
Engineering Hall 123

Research Scholars

Kehinde Abiodun

PhD candidate, Economics assistant teacher

Lucas Santana Furtado Soares 

Masters Candidate, Mineral and Energy Economics

Jusse Hirwa

PhD Candidate, Mineral and Energy Economics

Jordy Lee

BS in Petroleum Engineering, minors in Public Affairs and Economics

Chase McLean

BS Economics

Usman Umar Mohammed

Masters Candidate, Mineral and Energy Economics

Sayeh Shojaeinia 

Masters Candidate, Mineral and Energy Economics

Maria Urdaneta

Masters Candidate, Mineral and Energy Economics