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:

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 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.

In Memoriam: Walter Isard 1919-2010

Walter Isard, 1919-2010

The founder of the field of Regional Science and its most prominent early scholar in industrial location theory, methods of regional analysis and general theory, Walter Isard established an interdisciplinary movement on regional and urban research in North America, Europe and Asia. Isard died on November 6, 2010, at Drexel Hill, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of natural causes. Through his determined leadership, Isard encouraged economists, geographers, sociologists and urban and regional planners to cross disciplinary boundaries, construct theories of urban and regional phenomena and apply methods of analysis to the emerging urban, regional and environmental policy issues of the mid and late 20th Century.

Isard was born on April 19, 1919 in Philadelphia to immigrant parents. By 1939, he graduated with distinction from Temple University, majoring in mathematics, and entered Harvard University as a graduate student in the Economics Department, then the leading economics department in the world. There, he developed a research interest in building construction, transportation development, the location of economic activities, and the ensuing cycles of growth and stagnation that characterized the 1920-1940 period. In 1941-42, he studied at the University of Chicago, where his interest in mathematics was rekindled. Subsequently, he was affiliated with the National Planning Resources Board, while quickly completing his Ph.D. Subsequently, he served in the Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector; during the night hours at the state mental hospital where he was assigned, he translated into English the works of the German location theorists, including the works of the leading German location theorists Weber, Lösch and Predöhl.

During the post-war years, Isard accelerated his studies of industrial location theory, while working at W. W. Leontief’s interindustry research project at Harvard, and honing his teaching skills at various part-time appointments including the first course on location theory and regional development ever taught at Harvard’s Economics Department. In 1948, at the age of 29, Isard initiated meetings of leading economists, geographers, sociologists and demographers on interdisciplinary regional research. These efforts found a welcome audience among participants of annual disciplinary conferences, and continued intensively throughout the next six years. In December 1954 at the meetings of the Allied Social Science Associations in Detroit, he organized a conference program of 25 papers; at the business meeting, 60 scholars endorsed the idea of forming a separate association named the Regional Science Association. Nearly sixty years later, the association has about 4,500 members worldwide.

After establishing the field of Regional Science, Isard was Associate Professor of Regional Economics and Director of the Section of Urban and Regional Studies at M.I.T. In 1956, he became a professor in the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and formed the Graduate Group in Regional Science. Two years later, he founded the Regional Science Department, as well as the Journal of Regional Science. In 1960, the first Ph.D. in Regional Science was awarded to William Alonso for his seminal study of urban location and land use.

Isard then expanded his horizons to Europe and Asia. In 1960, he visited many research centers in Europe where he organized sections of the Regional Science Association (RSA). The first European Congress was held in 1961. Sections of the RSA were subsequently established in many countries throughout Europe and Asia as well as North America. During the mid-1960s, Regional Science summer institutes were held at Berkeley, and in 1970 the first European Summer Institute took place in Karlsruhe, Germany. Subsequently, summer institutes were held in Europe every second year. International conferences are now held every year in North America and Europe and every second year in the Pacific region. In 1989, the Regional Science Association was reorganized and its name modified to the Regional Science Association International

In 1978, the Regional Science Association established its Founder’s Medal in honor of Walter Isard. The following year Isard moved to Cornell University as Professor of Economics, where he continued to teach until his recent retirement from active research. In 1985, he was elected to the (U. S.) National Academy of Sciences. Isard received several honorary degrees including those from Poznan Academy of Economics, Poland (1976), Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1978), the University of Karlsruhe, Germany (1979), Umeå University, Sweden (1980), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1982) State University of New York at Binghamton (1997) and University of Geneva (2002).

Walter Isard’s research contributions were large and diverse. His interests in regional and urban phenomena were formed during his graduate studies, leading to his first major book, Location and Space Economy (1956). Next, he initiated research on the economic and social consequences of atomic power and industrial complexes and intensified his research on methods of regional and urban analysis, including interregional interindustry models, interregional linear programming models, and migration and gravity models, resulting in his second major book, Methods of Regional Analysis (1960), thoroughly updated as Methods of Interregional and Regional Analysis (1998). During the 1960s, Isard turned to more theoretical pursuits related to individual behavior and decision making as well as general equilibrium theory for a system of regions as presented in his third major book, General Theory (1969). Concurrently, he and his students undertook a major interindustry study of the Philadelphia region, which led to a fourth major book, Regional Input-Output Study (1971) and other empirically-oriented research.

Throughout his career, Isard also pursued policy interests related to conflict management and resolution, disarmament and peace science. He founded the Peace Research Society, later renamed the Peace Science Society, and founded the Graduate Group in Peace Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Several of his books, which number over 25, as well as many of his 300 published papers, concern topics in peace science.

Isard’s accomplishments were more related to interregional constructs and relationships than intraurban ones. The general focus of his research concerned systems of cities and regions; even so, some of his thinking pertains to interactions among urban communities and neighborhoods. In fostering and developing the Regional Science Association, and various journals on regional science, he always welcomed contributions at any scale of region: neighborhood, city, economic regions, countries and the world. His orientation was generally theoretical and methodological. Policy issues, such as energy, environment and even conflict resolution, seemed to interest him more for their analytical challenges than their policy content.

David Boyce, Northwestern University


Isard, W. 1956. Location and Space-Economy, A General Theory Relating to Industrial

Location, Market Areas, Land Use, Trade, and Urban Structure, New York: The Technology        Press of M. I. T. and John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Isard, W., with D. F. Bramhall, G. A. P. Carrothers, J. H. Cumberland, L. N. Moses, D. O. Price,             E. W. Schooler. 1960. Methods of Regional Analysis: an Introduction to Regional Science,           New York: The Technology Press of M. I. T. and John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Isard, W., with T. E. Smith, and P. Isard, T. H. Tung, M. Dacey. 1969. General Theory, Social,    Political, Economic, and Regional with Particular Reference to Decision-Making Analysis,    Cambridge: The M. I. T. Press.

Isard, W., with T. W. Langford. 1971. Regional Input-Output Study, Cambridge: The M. I. T.       Press.

Isard, W., I. J. Azis, M. P. Drennan, R. E. Miller, S. Saltzman, E. Thorbecke. 1998. Methods of     Interregional and Regional Analysis, Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co.

Isard, W. 2003. History of Regional Science and the Regional Science Association International,   Beginnings and Early History, Berlin: Springer.

Boyce, D. 2004. A short history of the field of regional science, Papers in Regional Science, 83,   31-57.

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