Stevens Graduate Fellowship

The Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science was established in 1998 in memory of Dr. Benjamin H. Stevens (1929–1997), 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. Graduate students enrolled in Ph.D. programs in North America are eligible to compete for the Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in support of their dissertation research in Regional Science.

Faculty at all North American Ph.D. programs are asked to encourage their best students to apply for the 23rd Stevens Graduate Fellowship, which will support the winning student’s dissertation research in the field of Regional Science with a fellowship of $30,000 for the 2023–2024 academic year. The application deadline is February 15, 2023. Full submission guidelines may be found at

Xuequan Elsie Peng, a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, was selected as the winner of the 22nd Annual Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science. The Fellowship is providing a 2022–2023 academic year stipend of $30,000 to support Ms. Peng’s dissertation research on “Growing a Mega City.”

Ms. Peng has assembled spatially precise panel data on housing and zoning policies from housing assessments and digital archives to research the effect of zoning reform on housing supply. To quantify the regulatory cost associated with zoning and its welfare consequences, she proposes a dynamic spatial model that embeds lumpy investment in durable housing.  Her model seeks to predict the counterfactual growth path of the city in the absence of regulatory reform, providing a basis for assessing the reform’s aggregate and distributional impacts. The results of her research will be of interest to policy-makers, planners, and regional scientists. Ms. Peng’s research is supervised by Dr. Gilles Duranton, Professor in the Wharton Real Estate Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Committee thanks the 24 students who entered the competition in 2022, as well as their dissertation supervisors.

The 22nd competition winner will be recognized at the awards luncheon of the 69th North American Meetings of the RSAI in Montreal on November 12, 2022.

The 2022 Stevens Fellowship competition was overseen by a Selection Committee composed of: Nicholas Nagle, University of Tennessee (Chair); Daoqin Tong, Arizona State University; Steven Deller, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Shaoming Cheng, Florida International University; and Heather Stephens, West Virginia University. The NARSC Council expresses its gratitude to Daoqin Tong for completing in 2022 her five-year term of service on the Selection Committee.  The Council will appoint a new member for a term to begin with the 2023 competition.

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 Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science has been awarded to the following students:

2000  Michael J. Greenwald (University of California,Irvine; Marlon Boarnet, advisor)

2001  Rachel Franklin (University of Arizona; Brigitte Waldorf, advisor)

2002  Jung Won Son (University of California-Los Angeles; Leobardo Estrada, advisor)

2003  Alison Davis Reum (North Carolina State University; V. Kerry Smith, advisor)

2004  Nicholas Nagle (Univ. of California-Santa Barbara; Stuart H. Sweeney, advisor)

2005  Xiaokun Wang (University of Texas at Austin; Kara Kockelman, advisor)

2006  Joshua Drucker (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Harvey Goldstein and Edward Feser, advisors)

2007  Alvin Murphy (Duke University; Patrick Bayer, advisor)

2008  Paavo Monkkonen (University of California, Berkeley; David E. Dowall, advisor)

2009  Elizabeth Mack (Indiana University; Tony H. Grubesic, advisor)

2010  Adam Storeygard (Brown University; J. Vernon Henderson, advisor)

2011  Peter Richards (Michigan State University; Robert Walker, advisor)

2012  Ran Wei (Arizona State University; Alan Murray, advisor)

2013  Zhenhua Chen (George Mason University; Kingsley Haynes, advisor)

2014  No award made

2015  Ahmadreza Faghih Imani (McGill University; Naveen Eluru, advisor)

2016  Nick Tsivanidis (University of Chicago; Chang-Tai Hsieh, advisor)

2017  Lindsay E. Relihan (University of Pennsylvania; Gilles Duranton, advisor)

2018  Daniel Crown (The Ohio State University; Mark Partridge, advisor)

2019  Prottoy A. Akbar (University of Pittsburgh, Randall Walsh, advisor)

2020  Margaret Bock (West Virginia University, Joshua Hall, advisor)

2021  Melissa Haller (University of California, Los Angeles, David Rigby, advisor)

2022  Xuequan Elsie Peng (University of Pennsylvania, Gilles Duranton, advisor)