Janet E. Kohlhase’s contributions to regional science include both cutting-edge contributions in her research specialty areas of urban, regional, and environmental economics and numerous, major service activities that have been instrumental in the institutionalization of regional science in North America and around the world.
Janet Kohlhase is Professor of Economics at the University of Houston, where she has served on the faculty since 1982. She began her faculty career at Michigan State University after receiving her doctorate in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. She holds an M.A. in regional science from Penn and a B.A. in economics (summa cum laude), from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor Kohlhase’s research spans a spectrum of topics in urban economics, including work on labor supply and housing demand in one- and two-earner households; land, labor and product markets under spatial monopoly and spatial completion; local government revenue and fiscal problems; the impact of toxic waste sites on housing values; and public perception and the valuation of environmental risk. Theoretically informed and econometrically sophisticated, her research has been published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Urban Economics, Papers in Regional Science, Environment and Planning, and the Journal of Regional Science.
Major service contributions to regional science have been a hallmark of Professor Kohlhase’s career. In the same year she received her Penn doctorate, she assumed the position of Treasurer of the Regional Science Association, a post ably performed from 1980 through 1987.
During the formative years of the North American Regional Council, Professor Kohlhase became the driving force in establishing protocols and best practices for administration. Among the group of initial activists who came together to found NARSC, Janet served as one of its first elected, at-large Councilors. In her subsequent role as a member and Chair of the Protocols Committee she made majors contributions to regularizing and improving the organization of North American Meetings.
Leading by example, Professor Kohlhase took on responsibility as principal organizer of the 1993 North American Meetings in Houston. For those 40th Meetings, she made the local arrangements as well as chairing the Program Committee. Participants at that conference, co-hosted by the University of Houston’s Department of Economics and the Western Regional Science Association, will likely long remember a number of aspects of Janet’s adept organization: the elegant venue (the Ritz Carlton), as well as the luncheon address by Paul Krugman. Attendance set a record for the period, especially notable given the site west of the Mississippi, where the North American Meetings had never previously drawn large numbers.
In 1993 Professor Kohlhase also began a term on the then still recently established Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Council. In 2000 she was elected again as a NARSC Councilor. In 2003 she served as NARSC Chair and played a leading role in the organization of the 50th anniversary North American Meetings in Philadelphia.
Currently co-editor of The Annals of Regional Science, Professor Kohlhase serves on the Council of the Western Regional Science Association and as a member of the Selection Committee for the Benjamin Stevens Fellowship Award. In recognition of her sustained, career-long, creative involvements in regional science, the North American Regional Science presents Janet E. Kohlhase with the 2011 David Boyce Award.