June 2018 Issue of the NARSC Newsletter

We proudly present the June 2018 issue of the NARSCNews.

Any questions or comments concerning the newsletter can be directed to the editors, Liz Mack or Ran Wei.

NARSCNewsletter, June2015
NARSC Newsletter, December 2014
NARSC Newsletter, June 2014
NARSC Newsletter, December 2013
NARSC Newsletter, June 2013

Special Issue on Housing Unaffordability – Call for Papers

Housing has become increasingly expensive in many urban centres around the world, creating a global economic problem with no easy policy solutions. Housing unaffordability has a pervasive influence on many aspects of economic life. It impacts intergenerational equity, affects retirement decisions, labour mobility and immigration, and raises major policy challenges at both local and national government levels.

This Special Issue will be devoted to addressing these questions using evidence based economic analysis. We welcome research on all aspects of this global economic problem, including its causes, consequences, and policy responses, as well as methodological approaches to its study and empirical analysis.

For more detail and relevant deadlines, see http://explore.tandfonline.com/cfp/bes/rnzp-si-housing-unaffordability

Two-day International Conference on the Challenges of Governance in Mega Cities

Two-day International Conference on the Challenges of Governance in Mega Cities
October 25-26, 2018, ISEC, Bengaluru, INDIA
Concept Note and Call for Papers
Centre for Research in Urban Affairs and RK Hegde Chair, ISEC
The world attained its tipping point for urbanization in 2007, when half of its population became urban, even while half of the world is rural. Typically, urbanization is associated with rising economic growth and incomes, and there are very few countries in the world that have become high income without becoming urban. Urban areas are important for macro economic growth because while scale economies are the basis of new towns, agglomeration economies are the basis of benefits that explain the existence of large mega cities. Developing economies that ignore their cities, cannot grow fast or equitably.
As per the United Nations, cities with more than 10 million inhabitants are often termed “megacities”. In 2016, there were 31 megacities globally and their number is projected to rise to 41 by 2030, as per the UN. Further, in 2016, 45 cities globally had populations between 5 and 10 million inhabitants, but by 2030, 10 of these are projected to become megacities, as per UN estimates. Hence there is no way mega cities can be ignored in a country’s overall growth trajectory, in the same way that rural areas also cannot be ignored.
However, there are costs associated with urban and mega city growth in rapidly emerging economies, which takes its toll in the form of poor public services with limited finances, given the political problems with decentralization to local governments in developing countries. Further, urbanization and mega cities are blamed for climate change, food security, pollution, water and air quality, and traffic congestion, because of the need for mobility to access jobs. A lot of societal changes are also occurring with mega cities in the hitherto rural world. Some undesirable outcomes are the onset of poverty, crime, and terrorism which undermine the benefits from urbanization. Studies show that urban poverty is more challenging than rural poverty for a variety of reasons, such as inadequate food security, social exclusion, and housing vulnerability, hence there is need for more research into this hitherto ignored area, especially in the context of mega cities.
While both the natural growth rate of urban population and migration contribute to increased urbanization, and the growth of mega cities, migration has its own merits and disadvantages. Rural and semi-urban migrants to urban areas and mega cities provide the much needed services, at the lower end of the value chain such as driving, cooking, cleaning, construction, and retail services, which are not offered by the natives of the city for whatever reasons, but they also impose costs on the city in the form of increased burden of public services which they do not always compensate for.
Further, estimates are that close to 15 percent of the world’s population lives with a physical disability. India’s 2 percent of the population, and China’s 6 percent of the population, most of whom live in poverty as per some estimates, will constitute the world’s largest disabled population. In the context of emerging economics, the already poor infrastructure often means that access to basic services such as sanitation, water, health care, and transport is severely restricted not only in urban but also in rural areas. The specific needs of physically disadvantaged groups, including the elderly, need to be included in design and development of urban and rural services, and infrastructure so that they are able to contribute to society and the economy. It should be mentioned that physically disadvantaged groups are better off in the urban, when compared with their counterparts in rural areas. In this context, it is important to explore if there have been proactive policies for the physically disabled in mega cities. However, community cohesiveness may be more prominent in the aftermath of urbanization and economic growth, and social integration may also be occurring in mega cities which some recent research supports.
Further, as we are already observing, the changing face of the city and wider urban landscape will place new and extreme pressures on the environment, which will result in policy makers and citizens facing ecological dilemmas. These dilemmas will need to be considered from a socio-political-economic perspective to ensure questions regarding ecological governance, conflicts and possible trade-offs are probed and understood. Possible research questions could include considering how the urban ecosystem provides wider social benefits through exposing citizens to green spaces.
A large number of solutions are being proposed to tackle these problems, which range from integrated regional planning and policies, to information and communications technology (ICT), which is being increasingly resorted to. While research is being done on institutional coordination for better delivery of urban as well as rural public services, where relevant, the use of ICT is also pertinent as mobile phones and more recently, smart phones have become increasingly ubiquitous, and they have the potential to solve problems in a scientific manner. Nonetheless, a lot of urban poor in mega cities and towns in general, do not have access to basic public services, even while urban public services are sometimes better than those in rural areas, let alone ICT and smart phones. Hence there is a lot of debate regarding the digital divide created by ICT, and whether ICT divides more than it helps.
Taking into account the above context, we are inviting broad empirical papers that address these issues, in a developing/emerging economy context, to deliberate in this Conference:
i. Urban public services including those for the physically challenged.
ii. Urban finances in mega cities versus smaller towns
iii. Ecological dilemmas: Urban environment & pollution in mega cities.
iiii. Urban and regional planning & policies
v. Urban metropolitan governance
vi. Urban societal transformation
vii. Migration into mega cities and their associated benefits and problems.
viii. Urban poverty in mega cities
ix. ICT & mega cities
This two-day international conference on the challenges of governance in mega cities and peri-urban part of rural areas will debate the above mentioned crucial issues in depth, and will explore not only the nature of urbanization, but also its associated benefits and problems, in addition to examining the relevance of appropriate policies to target the problems. We solicit original unpublished papers in the above thematic areas, not necessarily limited to these topics.
Conference Scientific Committee
Siqi Zheng, Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Entrepreneurship, Center for Real Estate (CRE) and Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Guanghua Wan, Director, Institute for World Economy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
George Mavrotas, Senior Research Fellow, Development Strategy and Governance Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) & Head of IFPRI Nigeria Office, Abuja, Nigeria
M.P.Madhukar, Assistant Director, Incharge, International Collaboration and National & International
Seminar Division, Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi
Arup Mitra, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), and Director, National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development (NILERD), Delhi
Debolina Kundu, Associate Professor, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, India
Shyama Ramani, Professorial Fellow, UNU-MERIT (United Nations University) and Professor at Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Saikumar C. Bharamappanavara, DAAD Research Fellow, Humboldt University Berlin
Submission deadlines
July 1: An abstract of 500 words or less;
June 30th: Decisions regarding selection of abstracts;
August 15th: Deadline for submission of full paper for selected abstracts.
Please submit abstracts to megacitiesconference2018@gmail.com


Call for Book Chapters


Editors: Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler, Rhiannon Pugh

Preliminary approval received from Edward Elgar Publishers for an edited book

In a new edited book we seek to explore the similarities and differences between the Innovation Systems (IS) and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (EE) approaches in their treatment of common research topics. Our broader goals are (1) to advance the discourse by bridging the two research traditions through the lessons one perspective can learn from the other and (2) to expand the frontiers of current knowledge by encouraging research into previously unexplored areas.

To this end, we invite extended abstract submissions for empirical, theoretical and review chapters that try to bridge the literatures on innovation systems (IS) or entrepreneurial ecosystems (EE) within the blocks of topics listed below.

Block I – Bridging the IS and EE perspectives: papers that bridge the IS and EE perspectives:

  • theoretical contributions, which – by combining the two approaches – advance our current knowledge;
  • critical reviews of the literature that explore similarities, differences, limitations and areas of overlap;
  • any other types of contributions that fall within this area, e.g. explorations of various topics made explicitly from the two

Block II – Sustainable development and inclusive growth: empirical research which explores – from the IS or EE perspectives:

  • the ways entrepreneurship and innovation contribute and shape sustainable development and inclusive growth;
  • social innovation and social entrepreneurship;
  • responsible innovation and responsible entrepreneurship;
  • possible limitations of the EE or IS perspectives to adequately explain any topics listed above.

Block III – The informal economy: empirical contributions that adopt systems approach to the study of:

  • the informal sector in general;
  • frugal innovation;
  • informal entrepreneurship and informal innovation.

Submission, review and publication

Please submit extended chapter abstracts (800-1,000 words) together with a full list of contributors and a tentative title to Alexandra Tsvetkova (tsvetkova.1@osu.edu) no later than Sunday, August 19th, 2018.  The title, the list of authors, their affiliations and references (if any) are excluded from the word count.

The editors will screen all submissions for clarity, relevance and expected contribution to the book theme. Acceptance notifications will be sent out on September 3, 2018; chapter submission deadline is January 13th, 2019. We have discussed the book plan with an Edward Elgar editor and received a preliminary approval. We expect to sign a book contract in October 2018 with expected publication in Fall 2019 –Winter 2010.

A detailed call for chapter submissions can be found here:



The winner of the Eighteenth Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship

Daniel Crown of the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University, to Receive the Eighteenth Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science

Daniel Crown, a Ph.D. candidate in agricultural, environmental, and development economics at The Ohio State University has been selected as the winner of the Eighteenth Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science. The Fellowship will provide a 2018–19 Academic Year stipend of $30,000 to support Mr. Crown in his dissertation research entitled, “Foreign-Born Graduates and Innovation at Domestic Institutions: Evidence from an Australian Skilled Graduate Visa Program.”

The research will investigate the effect of a unique Australian skilled visa program on the innovative output of domestic research institutions. The visa program grants foreign-born graduates temporary residency, post-graduation, and is one potential pathway to permanent residency.  The results will be of interest to policymakers around the world as they consider implementing or refining skilled immigration policies.

Mr. Crown’s doctoral research is supervised by Professor Mark Partridge, Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy at Ohio State.

Chair of the Selection Committee, Mario Polèse, Emeritus Professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique-Urbanisation, Université du Québec, details why Daniel Crown’s proposal stood out among an extremely strong field of 36 candidates for the 2018 competition:

“Daniel’s proposal topic goes to the heart of one the main conceptual and empirical challenges in regional science: measuring knowledge spill-overs between skilled workers. Does the presence of skilled workers, foreign-born graduates in this instance, boost the productivity of other workers and, by the same token, their propensity to innovate? To answer the question, Daniel combines a unique dataset, drawn from Australian administrative files, for the full population of approved skilled visa applicants with institution-level data on innovation and start-ups. The use of micro-data allows Daniel to follow the mechanics by which the presence, after graduation, of foreign-born graduates in Australian universities influences the innovative output of domestic researchers.

The Selection Committee was equally impressed by the methodological rigor demonstrated by the proposal. Daniel’s empirical strategy overcomes the potential bias of high-skilled foreign-born students sorting into high-quality research institutions by the introduction of instrumental variables and the use of fixed effects regression models. His preliminary findings, reported in the proposal, show a positive impact on the productivity of domestic researchers.

Finally, the policy-relevance of Daniels’s research requires little comment in a period in which immigration and its presumed impacts are high on the political agenda, not only in North America but around the world.”

In addition to selecting the Fellowship recipient, the Selection Committee identified three applicants as meriting special recognition as Finalists in the 18th Annual Competition: Wanyang Hu, Department of Urban Planning, UCLA, supervised by Rui Wang; Luke Petach, Department of Economics, Colorado State University, supervised by Stephan Weiler; and Seva Rodnyansky, Urban Planning and Development Ph.D. Program, University of Southern California, supervised by Marlon Boarnet.

The Fellowship is awarded in memory of Dr. Benjamin H. Stevens, an intellectual leader whose selfless devotion to graduate students as teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend continues to have a profound impact on the field of regional science. Fundraising efforts to increase the Fellowship’s endowment are ongoing. Donations should be sent to: The Stevens Fellowship Fund, First Financial Bank, Attn. Trust Department, 1205 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820 USA. Checks should be drawn to The Stevens Fellowship Fund. Donations may also be made by credit card through the NARSC website at www.narsc.org/newsite/donations2.php.

This most recent Stevens Fellowship competition was judged by a Selection Committee composed of: Daoqin Tong, Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University; Elena Irwin, Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State University; Mario Polèse, Urban and Regional Economics, Université du Québec, Chair; Amanda Weinstein, Economics, The University of Akron; and Elizabeth Mack, Geography, Michigan State University. The Stevens Fellowship Committee administrates the Stevens Fellowship Fund on behalf of the North American Regional Science Council; its members are: Tony Smith, Chair; David Plane, Secretary; Michael Lahr, Treasurer; Janet Kohlhase; and Neil Reid, Executive Director of NARSC.

The Committee thanks the 36 students who entered the competition in 2018, as well as their dissertation supervisors. Faculty at all North American Ph.D. programs related to the interdisciplinary field of Regional Science are urged to encourage their best students to apply for the Nineteenth Annual Stevens Graduate Regional Science Fellowship. The winning student’s dissertation research in the field of Regional Science will be supported during the 2019–2020 year with a one-year stipend of $30,000. The application deadline is February 15, 2019. Full submission guidelines will be posted at www.narsc.org/newsite/awards-prizes/stevens-graduate-fellowship/.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for the position of Public Policy and Leadership Associate/Full /Professor, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

The School of Public Policy and Leadership seeks applications for a tenured innovative Associate/Full professor to help lead and develop curriculum and programs that raise our national visibility and contribute to the priorities in the College of Urban Affairs.  The appointment will begin in the Fall of 2018. The dynamic and cosmopolitan setting of Southern Nevada offers unique scholarly opportunities. We seek a colleague who can take advantage of these opportunities through internal and external research collaborations.

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated background in research and community-engaged scholarship. Experience in government or nonprofit sectors is highly desirable as is experience in community engagement. Our hire will be a person who thrives working across disciplines in a team and other collaborative efforts, and values teamwork, mentorship and management, and a fair degree of flexibility. In addition, we are looking for a candidate who is comfortable working at an extremely fast pace, with the ability to be adaptable and course correct and reprioritize in response to the changing needs of our community, our discipline, and  our programs.

The new hire will become part of a group of scholars who are developing and implementing innovative programs that seek to apply scholarship and actively engage community stakeholders. Faculty will have the opportunity to participate in policy relevant work through the Lincy Institute, Brookings Mountain West, the Nonprofit Community and Leadership Initiative and the newly formed MGM International Policy Institute (chaired by Senator Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner). At the School of Public Policy and Leadership, we are committed to creating research informed and data driven policies and programs that provide solutions to the challenges faced by metropolitan communities.

See attachment.

Fully-funded PhD position for Global Challenges PhD scholarships in University of Birmingham, UK

Project title:
The structure of migrant integration in Europe: Overview across time, groups, and geographies

Application Deadline: 23 March 2018

Funding Notes:

The Global Challenges Award comprises of:
Full payment of the tuition fee at Research Councils UK Fee Level for year of entry to be paid by the University
An annual maintenance grant at current UK Research Councils rates to be paid in monthly installments to the Global Challenges Scholar by the University.
Full Time students only.
Tenure of award can be for up to 3.5 years.

See the University of Birmingham website for further details:

Postdoctoral Extension Associate – Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service

Job Description -https://tamus.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/AgriLife_Extension_External/job/College-Station-AL-EXT/Postdoctoral-Extension-Associate_R-002961-1

Postdoctoral Research and Extension Associate to explore determinants of the location of business activities, with particular attention to rural areas of the United States. The associate will collaborate with a research team comprised of senior researchers and Extension professionals from Texas A&M University, Michigan State University, and Iowa State University on a research project conducted with the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers.

In the FSRDC, the associate will work with the Longitudinal Business Database (over 8M observations annually), the Integrated Longitudinal Business Database (over 20M observations annually), and county-level estimates derived from the Annual Retail Trade Survey (about 35,000 observations annually) and the Annual Survey of Manufacturers (about 70,000 observation annually). These databases will be merged with public data on other community characteristics.  Following initial data management activities, the associate will execute the following activities:

  • Model specification analysis and discussion in the FSRDC
  • Actively engage with the research team to develop Extension curriculum, programming, and training
  • Prepare numerous refereed journal articles related to one or more of the following broad areas:
    • Rural community industrial perceptions
    • Comparison of various thresholds measures
    • Community-opportunity matching program evaluation
    • Policy implications for thresholds and development
    • Various specific industry demand and supply thresholds
  • May participate in proposals to obtain external funding and other research

The position will involve travel to the TAMU FSRDC, located on campus in College Station, and to conferences related to the topics addressed by the associate. Travel in and out of state is necessary to fulfill job responsibilities.

This position is supported by the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Program Of The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Award number 2017-67023-26242.

Minimum Requirements:

ABD in Agricultural Economics, Economics, or related field, completed by the date of the first day of employment.

Demonstrated interest in topics addressed in project description.

Strong English written and verbal communications skills.

The associate will need to pass a background check and have spent three of the previous five years in the United States, as required to gain access to a Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC).

Working knowledge of Stata, SAS, or related statistical software available in the FSRDC environment.

Desired Qualifications:

PhD in Agricultural Economics, Economics, or related field, completed by the date of the first day of employment.

Academic record of publications related to the issues to be address in project description.

Demonstrated skills in quantitative analysis.

Demonstrated ability to synthesize academic inputs from a wide array of sources.

Understanding of the land grant university system.

Experience working in the FSRDC system or with other systems involving large datasets.

Comments to applicants:

All positions are security-sensitive. Applicants are subject to a criminal history investigation, and employment is contingent upon the agency’s verification of credentials and/or other information required by agency procedures, including the completion of the criminal history check.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer committed to diversity.

Mid-Continent Regional Science Association- 49th Annual Conference

Mid-Continent Regional Science Association

49th Annual Conference

IMPLAN National User’s Conference

12th Biennial Conference

~ June 6-8, 2018 ~ Kansas City, Missouri ~

Call for Papers

Please join us for the 49th annual conference of the Mid-Continent Regional Science and the 12th Biennial IMPLAN National User’s Conference to be held at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The program committee welcomes papers on a wide range of topics relating to applied economics, planning, geography, business, public administration, sociology, and political science.

The deadline for abstract submission is April 1, 2018.

Hotel Information: The InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza Hotel has just completed a $17 million renovation. The InterContinental is located in the Country Club Plaza, a lively shopping, dining and entertainment district. The conference-lodging rate is $159/night single and double. To receive this rate, reservations must be made by May 11, 2018.

IMPLAN Pre-Conference Workshops

IMPLAN will offer their Introductory Training Workshop Tuesday, June 5 and Wednesday June 6. IMPLAN also will offer a special four-hour Advanced IMPLAN Symposium during the morning, Wednesday, June 6. During the afternoon on Wednesday, June 6, IMPLAN will offer two consecutive 2-hour free demos of the new IMPLAN platform. Attendees will receive a free trial of the new platform. Registration and content information is found at the MCRSA Website.

2018 M. Jarvin Emerson Student Paper Competition

The deadline for submission is April 1, 2018

The Mid-Continent Regional Science Association announces the Student Paper Competition for our 2018 conference (June 6-8) in Kansas City, Missouri. All students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs as of January 1, 2018 are eligible. Student papers dealing with all aspects of regional development, including cultural, physical and economic processes, are welcome. The first place winner will receive $1,000 and the M. Jarvin Emerson Award. The winning entry will also be published in the Association’s journal, The Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy. Only papers authored solely by students (i.e., no faculty co-authored papers) will be eligible for the competition and resulting publication.

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

Graduate Student Travel Grants

to the MCRSA Conference

The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) at Michigan State University is partnering with the MCRSA to strengthen research capacity in the North Central Region. We’re doing so by offering a limited number of MCRSA conference travel grants to graduate students from NCRCRD member institutions. Students can request up to$500 to pay eligible travel-related expenses. Only M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students from NCRCRD-member institutions are eligible for these awards.

Information about the MCRSA/IMPLAN conference is at:


IMPLAN- two open positions

IMPLAN is looking to hire an Academic Technical Sales Consultant and an Applied Support Economist.  See attachment 1 and attachment 2 for more details.

10 Job Openings in Groningen

At the Departments of Economic Geography, Population Studies and Planning and Environment of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen are job openings for five Assistant Professors, four PhD’s and one Junior Researcher. For more information see:


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