• About Me

    Applied Microeconomics

    Energy Policy

    Resource Economics

    Development Economics

    I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, specializing in applied microeconomics, energy economics and development economics. My current projects focus on innovation and technology adoption, learning by doing, and shale gas production.

  • Innovation, Learning and Spill-overs in the Shale Revolution - Job Market Paper

    MR Davies

    The development of the technique that produces oil or gas from shale formations has transformed the energy landscape in the US. It arose with the innovative efforts of one firm and spread throughout the oil and gas industry. I am able to observe learning-by-doing from the first experimental shale wells through early commercialization to broad adoption. I find that at the advent of shale gas production as the techniques were being developed, social learning is on the same order of magnitude as a firm?s own learning in terms of production per well. Given the high level of spillovers, why would firms invest in innovation if they wouldn't be able to capture the rents from their innovation? I find that the innovators were also early movers in the mineral rights leasing market, paying lower prices for mineral rights than later entrants. Additionally, I use k-fold validation to find a functional form that fits the data better than the usual log-log specification for learning by doing often used in the literature.
     

    Corporate Social Responsibility and Crowd-Out of Health Clinics: Evidence from Indonesia

    MR Davies & Margaret Triyana

    Discrimination and Skill in Bargaining Outcomes: Evidence from Mineral Rights Leases

    MR Davies

    Technological advancements in oil and gas production over the past

    30 years have led to an increase in drilling in densely populated areas,

    as shale formations became more accessible. Using over 240,000 mineral

    rights leases this study shows that differences in royalty rates negoti-
    ated by land owners are largely explained by educational attainment.

    However, an examination of a second-order consideration, the length

    of the lease, shows that Black and Hispanic neighborhoods negotiate

    less advantageous terms that are not explained by lower average edu-
    cation levels. In addition, the implication of Becker’s 1957 model of

    discrimination that competition mitigates discrimination is borne out.

    The Tragedy of the Anticommons or Holdout: Evidence from Mineral Rights Leases

    MR Davies

    Texas regulations require some minimum acreage for oil and gas wells,

    and in areas with small parcels of land tens of leases must be pooled to

    meet that minimum. The tragedy of the anticommons postulates that

    the more parties have the right to exclude others from use the higher

    the price will need to be. On the other hand, the idea of holdout suggest

    that the last participant in a pool will try to extract rents. In examining

    mineral rights leases, find evidence for the tragedy of the anticommons,

    but suggests that a feature of the Texas regulatory environment prevents

    holdout.

  • Teaching

    Mathematical Methods for Public Policy: Algebra & Calculus

    TA for PPHA 30101 & 30102

    Instructor: John Boler & Masataka Harada

    Summer & Autumn 2010

    MPP level class

    Political Economy for Public Policy

    TA for 30800

    Instructor: Ethan Bueno de Mesquita

    Autumn 2011

    MPP level class

     

    Head TA

    Autumn 2012, 2013

    Coordinated work of 5 TAs and was first level of escalation for student issues

  • Selected Work experience

    Global experience in energy, environment and infrastructure

    Principal Consultant

    Superna Energy LLC

    • Chief Advisor to start-up $60MM waste-to-energy project in the Dominican Republic - laid out project road map, advised on land acquisition, fuel supply contracts, power purchase agreement, federal concession documents & project financing
    • Assessed 200+MW of wind projects in US for development and investment

    Energy Engineer

    Harza Engineering Company (now MWH Global)

    • Packaged hydropower projects to attract private investment resulting in project finance for 150 MW in China, Romania & Peru
  • Coordinates

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