My research interest lies at the intersection of environmental, resource, and health economics. Although these fields appear to be different, they are linked because each deals with problems involving externalities. Environmental economics is often concerned with countries’ incentives to pollute the global commons; the classic resource problem is one where fishermen overharvest common property fishing grounds; and in health economics, a key problem is convincing individuals to vaccinate their children to reduce infectious disease. In each case, narrow self-interest can produce an inferior outcome because the incentives faced by individual agents produces what is commonly known as free-riding.
My recent work focuses on the management of infectious diseases. This is a particularly interesting field, because effective childhood vaccines have been available for a long time, and yet the outbreak of various diseases continues to occur. Vaccination carries with it a personal cost (e.g., money, physical pain) but confers to all a public benefit (i.e., reducing the risk of infection). Consequently, some people would choose not to vaccinate and free ride on the “herd immunity” produced by others.
My ongoing research is considering the management of disease outbreaks across countries. It is difficult to know beforehand how the world should respond to infectious outbreaks, and how countries should share the burden of containing them once they occur.
2011 – Ph.D. in Economics, University of Calgary
Committee: M. Scott Taylor (Supervisor), Daniel V. Gordon,
Arvind Magesan, Expected Completion Date: May 2017
2010 M.S. in Global Agricultural Science, University of Tokyo
2008 B.S. in Regional Economics and Resources Science, University of Tokyo