Warren L. Weidenbaum (1927-2014)

The North American Regional Science Council was saddened to hear of the death of economist Murray L. Weidenbaum. While not a regular attendee at NARSC meetings Professor Weidenbaum did deliver the luncheon address at the North American Regional Science meetings in the early 1970s.

Source: New York Times, March 21, 2014.

Full write-up in the New York Times can be found here.

Piet Rietveld (1952-2013)

In memoriam: Piet Rietveld, 1952 – 2013

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Piet Rietveld, Professor in Transport Economics and Head of the Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam. Piet passed away, after a short period of illness, on November 1, 2013.

Piet studied econometrics at Erasmus University, Rotterdam (cum laude degree) and received his PhD in economics at VU University Amsterdam. He worked at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) and was research co-ordinator at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana in Salatiga, Indonesia. Since 1990 he was professor in Transport Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, VU University Amsterdam. He was a fellow of the Tinbergen Institute, the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) and the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM). Furthermore, he was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Piet has been Head of the Department of Spatial Economics since 2002. Under his unique and inspiring leadership, the Department has flourished, and has gained and maintained its unique position worldwide in the fields of Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics. As a researcher, Piet has made ground-breaking contributions to these fields, on a wide variety of themes including transport and regional development, valuation, transport pricing, public transport, transport and environment, land-use modelling, and policy assessment. A good impression of his impressive scientific legacy, the scope of themes he was working on, his academic network, and the wide impact of his research, can be obtained from the overview of his work on Google Scholar (link: http://scholar.google.nl/citations?user=qVEsFisAAAAJ&hl=us).

But above all, Piet was dearly beloved by everyone who has had the privilege to work with him, for his wisdom, his warm personality, his gentleness, and his sense of humour. He will be deeply missed.

NARSC featured in International Innovation Magazine

NARSC was the focus of a recent article in the publication International Innovation. Follow link below for the full article.


Denis Maillat (1940-2013)

Sad news: our friend and good colleague Denis Maillat passed away on September 7th, in Neuchatel (CH), after a fight against leukemia. Denis was 73 years old.

After his Ph.D. from the University of Neuchatel and post-graduate studies in England and France, he became in 1969 one of the youngest professor in Neuchâtel. Later Denis was elected as “Rector” of his University from 1991 to 1995. He was also the Director of the Institute for Economic and Regional Research.

Co-founder of the GREMI in 1986 (Groupe de Recherche Européen sur les Milieux Innovateurs), Denis was one of the most respected researcher on industrial districts, territorial dynamics, innovative and learning regions. His books and papers in french and english are basic references in this field.

Past-President of ASRDLF (Associations de Science Régionale de Langue Française), he was also active in ERSA and WRSA. He was the organizer of many regional science workshops and meetings, includins the world RSAI one in Lugano.

Always open for discussion, friendly, Denis took always time to share a drink or a lunch, or join colleagues on field trips. Thank you, Denis, for your smile and your guidance. You will stay in our memories.

Tony Bailly


Professor Luc Anselin Announced as the recipient of The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) 2013 Research Award

NARSC would like to extend its congratulations to Professor Luc Anselin of Arizona State University in being awarded The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) 2013 Research Award.

The Research Award is given to the creator(s) of a particularly outstanding research contribution to geographic information science. The main criterion for choosing the awardee(s) is impact of the research achievement on the theory and/or practice of GIScience, or on research using GIS, or on geographic information technology.
Luc Anselin, the Walter Isard Chair and Director of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University (ASU), is one of the world’s leading scholars in spatial econometrics. Amongst a stream of influential articles, his book “Spatial Econometrics: Methods and Models” first published 20 years ago has been cited over 6,000 times. Almost single-handedly he has blazed the path of spatial econometrics through a succession of highly cited articles which deal with both theory and method and with relevant and timely applications to public policy such as crime, health care, pollution, economic development, and demography. Not only have his writings had made a major impact on the geographical sciences, the research groups which he has built up from his time at Santa Barbara to his current position in ASU have sustained this impact and have focused his research on the very best blend of theory and practice that exists in the social sciences. One of his principal academic achievements has been his contributions to moving the discipline of spatial econometrics which was marginal in 1988 to current acceptance in mainstream econometrics, thereby advancing the economic foundations of the geographic information sciences. The impact of his work is seen in his H index which is 64, the highest by far of any scholar in the geographical information sciences. He also founded and directs the GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation at ASU which develops, implements, applies, and disseminates spatial analysis methods.

George I Treyz (1936-2013)

NARSC was saddened to hear of the passing of George I Treyz. George died at his home in Amherst on Feb. 14, 2013. George, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachussets, was an active member of the North American regional science community. He was a pioneer in the field of computerized macroeconomic modeling, and in 1980 founded Regional Economic Models, Inc., with a vision of improving government policy through economic analysis. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sidney; his son Victor and daughter-in-law Susan of San Francisco; his son Frederick and daughter-in-law Enhua of Amherst; his brother Russell and sister-in-law Alice of New York; and six grandchildren, Claire, Henry, Peter, Eric, Justin and Athena.

Donations may be made to UMass Amherst Friends of the Libraries, For: George I Treyz Fund for Economic Reference Materials, Friends of the Libraries, UMass Amherst, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, 154 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9275.

A full obituary is available here

John Quigley – Leading Scholar of Housing Markets, Energy Efficient Buildings, Homelessness, and Racial Discrimination

John M. Quigley, a leading scholar of housing markets, local public finance, energy efficient buildings, homelessness, and racial discrimination in housing, passed away in Berkeley,California on May 12, 2012. Quigley, the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Business, and Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, was a campus leader, an inspirational mentor, and a leading figure in urban economics and housing policy. During his career he produced fourteen books and over 150 scholarly articles. Quigley excelled at finding clever ways to use empirical data about housing and urban areas to answer important public policy questions such as the macro-economic impact of rising housing prices on consumption behavior, the impact of segregation on African Americans’ opportunities to accumulate wealth through investment in housing, the effect of governmental and voluntary energy standards on energy efficiency and the value of buildings, and the relationship between housing markets and homelessness. He combined boundless energy with an infectious laugh, which he often followed with a sharp intellectual insight. When Quigley saw an issue that was important he immersed himself in research to figure it out.

In the 1970s, Quigley showed, with John F. Kain, that racial segregation not only ghettoized black families, it also reduced their chances of developing savings through home ownership. In later work, Quigley went on to show how segregation reduced job opportunities for minority youth. Kain and Quigley also pioneered the quantitative measurement of housing quality. Their work made it possible to study housing markets where the basic commodity, “housing,” is a bundle of structural and neighborhood characteristics that cannot be completely captured by one number such as the square footage of a home. In their 1975 book, Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination they demonstrated that statistical tools could be used effectively to value housing attributes and to control for differences in them across space and over time. Using these techniques, they showed that in many cities blacks paid substantially more than whites for comparable housing.

In the 1980s, Quigley began to study how government building regulations and voluntary energy standards affected energy efficiency in residential and commercial real estate. In recent work he showed that buildings complying with voluntary Energy Star or LEED standards receive higher rents and higher selling prices—partially because of their energy savings but also because of intangible effects of the label itself due to beliefs about improved worker productivity and improved corporate image from “green” buildings.

In the 1990s, Quigley turned to the study of homelessness. Most scholars focused on the personal characteristics, the mental and physical disabilities and substance abuse problems, of the chronically homeless, but with co-authors Steve Raphael and Gene Smolensky, Quigley showed how housing markets, especially those with limited supplies of low quality and inexpensive rental housing, were part of the problem. In these markets, even the lowest priced housing was often too expensive for those in extreme poverty, and small reductions in its supply due to higher government housing standards or demolition greatly elevated the risk of homelessness.

Quigley also made fundamental contributions to the study of housing markets. A highly influential and prescient 2001 article with Karl Case and Robert Shiller anticipated the 2001-2006 economic expansion by showing that increases in housing wealth, just like increases in stock market wealth, increased consumer spending and fueled macro-economic growth. In recent years when many questions arose about the efficacy of mortgage markets, Quigley wrote about how better government policy and mortgage products could protect homeowners.

Quigley also investigated the impact of regulations on housing prices, the economics of refuse collection, how university decentralization stimulated regional economies, the impact of rent control, public support for congestion pricing, the economics of rebuilding cities after disasters, and many other topics.

One other theme ran through Quigley’s life and research: his knowledge and love of Sweden. His first publication appeared in the Swedish Journal of Economics in 1966. He would go on to write many articles on all aspects of the Swedish economy. He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2006, and he received an honorary degree from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology in 2007.

Quigley’s wide-ranging and prolific scholarship was matched by his generous teaching and mentoring. He served as a committee member for over one hundred PhD dissertations during his career, chairing twenty-six since 1990. His was noted for his devotion to his students, his exceptionally high standards and expectations, his wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, his availability, his quick-turn-around of manuscripts and papers, his generosity and humor, and his ability to get graduate students to perform at levels beyond what they thought possible by treating them as peers and partners. His students have positions in universities, research institutes, and governmental agencies around the world.

Quigley was also a leader in service to the University and his profession. He was editor in chief of Regional Science and Urban Economics from 1986 to 2003, and he served on over two dozen editorial boards for scholarly journals during his career. He advised over twenty research and governmental agencies including the World Bank, General Accounting Office, Urban Institute, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and institutions inIndonesia,Hungary,Germany,Sweden, andChina. Quigley was Chair of the Department of Economics from 1992 to 1995, Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Senate of theUniversity ofCalifornia from 1996 to 1997, Director of the Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy since 1999, and Interim Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy in 2008. He was elected a fellow of the Homer Hoyt Institute in 1992 and the Regional Science Association in 2004. He was president of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association from 1996 to 1998, President of the Western Regional Science Association from 1998 to 2000, and President of the North American Regional Science Council from 2009 to 2010.

Quigley was born in New York,New Yorkin 1942. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with distinction in 1964, and he worked as an econometrician at the Pentagon from 1964 to 1968, leaving the Air Force with the rank of Captain and an Air Force Commendation Medal in 1968. He earned his doctorate fromHarvard University in 1971 and taught at Yale University from 1972 until he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1979.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mary Curran, and his four children, Sam of San Francisco, Jane-Claire of New York, and Johanna and Benjamin of Stockholm, Sweden.


Mark Henry


Our colleague, Mark Henry, recently passed away. He was professor emeritus at Clemson University, South Carolina, where he worked most of his career. He was a Research Fellow at the Rural Development Research Consortium, University of California-Berkeley, from 2003-2006. He was elected Fellow of the Southern Regional Science Association in 2004, and he received the David E. Boyce Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Regional Science in 2000. He served a a Councilor of the North American Regional Science Council. Other services include: President, Southern Regional Science Association, 1990-91, Executive Director and Secretary-Treasurer of Southern Regional Science Association, 1980-89, and Board of Editors of the Review of Regional Studies, 1992-current, Papers in Regional Science 2001- 2010; Growth and Change, 2005. Mark developed an extensive body of research in Regional Economics, particularly in economic impact analysis, economic development, rural-urban linkages and income distribution issues. Mark published extensive nationally and internationally and was a regular attendees of regional conferences.

Harmonized tract data to 2010 boundaries

For those working U.S. Census data over time, researchers at Brown University have developed the Longitudinal Tract Data Base: http://www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Reseacher/Bridging.htm

The system now includes two sets of files in which census data from 1970-2000 have been recalculated into 2010 tract boundaries. One set is full-count data (the 100% variables from Census 1970-2000 as well as Census 2010). The other set is sample data (the one-in-six variables, like socioeconomic status, from Census 1970-2000 and the variables from American Community Survey 2006-2010).

Comparable data will become commercially available in the spring. In addition, the system includes tools that you can use to translate any data — not only census data — that were collected for census tract areas for 1970-2000 into areas for 2010. For example, if you had tract-level crime data for 1990, you could convert it to 2010 tracts. This may be helpful in many applications.

The William H. Miernyk Research Excellence Medal

Upon its 40th anniversary, the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University initiated an award for scholarly excellence in honor of Dr. William H. Miernyk, founder and first Director of the Institute. The William H. Miernyk Research Excellence Medal (the Miernyk Medal) is awarded annually at the Southern Regional Science Meeting to the first author of the best SRSA conference paper written and presented by an assistant professor. A substantial monetary stipend accompanies the Miernyk Medal.

William H. Miernyk earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in economics from the University of Colorado, followed by Masters and Doctoral Degrees in economics from Harvard University. Dedicated to research, he also discovered a love of teaching that would stay with him throughout his entire professorial career. Miernyk taught economics at Harvard, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Colorado before being recruited to West Virginia University to establish the Regional Research Institute. He originally committed to only a temporary stay at WVU, but found the area and work so appealing that he abandoned his plans to return to Colorado.

Perhaps best known for his widely distributed and well-received The Elements of Input- Output Analysis (1965), his interests and contributions to knowledge have focused on a much broader set of topics within and beyond regional science. His research interests have included such topics as pollution abatement, energy prices, unemployment, labor force participation, and migration in the Appalachian states. He has served as a consultant for, among many others, US Senate committees, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and The World Bank. Known for his critical insight, rigor, and excellence in research, his writing is clear and concise. In addition to numerous contributions to the academic literature, Miernyk extended his sphere of influence to the general public through weekly columns in the Charleston Gazette.

To be eligible for the 2010 Miernyk Medal, authors must have registered for the 2012 SRSA conference in Charlotte, NC, and must submit their papers electronically for panel review to the Regional Research Institute (RRI) at rri@mail.wvu.edu WVU by Friday, February 10, 2012. Members of the panel will include and be selected by the Director of the RRI, whose decision will be final.

The Miernyk Medal may be awarded to any Ph.D. recipient at a rank no higher than Assistant Professor at the time of the award. The winning paper will report the diligent and systematic enquiry and discovery of facts or principles relating to a topic of interest to regional scientists. The winning author must be the consensus choice of the panel. The Miernyk Medal may not be awarded every year, at the discretion of the panel.

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