The University of New Mexico’s Department of Economics recently hosted its first-ever New Mexico Economics Research Day, highlighted by the presentation of four policy projects related to the well-being of the state’s economy. New Mexico.
The conference was made possible in part by the support of the New Mexico Legislature which allocated $125,000 last spring under 2022 SB 377, Junior Appropriations, to conduct economic research focused on New Mexico. From the appropriations, the Economics Department funded four policy projects which were presented as part of the research day.
“This New Mexico Economics Research Day is our attempt to disseminate this research more widely on campus and to New Mexico policy makers,” said Research Committee Chair and Professor Brady Horn, who coordinated the conference for the economics department.
The four policy projects designed to enable New Mexico-centric economic research from appropriations received from the New Mexico State Legislature include:
New Mexico’s preschool and its short-term effects on women’s employment and county-level child abuse
Associate Professor Kira Villa is leading this research effort, which is part of a larger project assessing the association between New Mexico’s early childhood programs and county-level economic, educational, and child well-being. Villa and his team, including Ph.D. candidates Abhradeep Karmakar and Kritika Sen, examine the short-term association between state support for pre-kindergarten and female labor force participation rates and poor county-level treatments. Their results suggest that the New Mexico preschool has a positive impact on other aspects of well-being.
Ozone pollution in New Mexico: an economic analysis of its impacts and damages on human health
Assistant Professor Andrew Goodkind and Associate Professor Benjamin A. Jones, as well as Ph.D. candidate Suraj Ghimire highlight in his research how ozone is a significant contributor to New Mexico’s air pollution problems. In their white paper, the researchers undertake a comprehensive three-phase study of ozone pollution in New Mexico, including a multi-sector analysis of ozone precursors to identify emission source locations and trends in time ; directly investigate ozone concentrations to study spatial and temporal trends in ozone in New Mexico and estimate human health impacts and associated damage dollars of ozone pollution by applying methods assessed by peer review and US Environmental Protection Agency and economic cost measures.
Effects of home cultivation of cannabis on residential water use in New Mexico
Associate Professor Sarah Stith and Professor Janie Chermak studied the effects of legalizing cannabis home cultivation and water use using data from Santa’s Water Division Fe from the Santa Fe Department of Utilities and a small field survey of home growing experience and preferences. . The data results indicate an average monthly increase in water use of 36 gallons per household or 1.27 million gallons in total following the legalization of home growing. Key takeaways included a preference for indoor cultivation, the use of utility water, and the fact that home-grown cannabis can easily compete with cannabis from a dispensary in terms of quality and convenience. cost. A policy recommendation includes educating growers on low-moisture cultivation methods.
The Economic Consequences of Liquor Laws and Regulations in New Mexico
Lecturer David Dixon and Professor Brady Horn studied alcohol regulation in New Mexico to provide historical context for alcohol regulation in the United States and discuss the effect that different types of policies on alcohol have had. In their research, they describe how market-based mechanisms can be used to influence alcohol consumption and provide the economic theory behind alcohol quotas and taxation. They also collected empirical data to study the impact that recent changes in alcohol excise tax rates have had on the craft beer industry in New Mexico. Among their findings were considerable growth over the past 10 years in the NM brewing industry; a higher annual growth rate of brewery production and a reduction in out-of-state beer importation after the excise tax changes; and a $165 million impact on New Mexico’s economy in 2019.
The importance of New Mexico-centric economic research was highlighted in a paper at the conference that demonstrated the scope of UNM-based economic research over the past 10 years. Over 89 different NM-centric entries were compiled involving 21 different current and former economics faculties. The research is generally highly collaborative and regularly involves UNM graduate students as co-authors.
“The goal of this research is to produce independent economic investigations of current and important issues related to New Mexico’s economy, with the overall goal of improving the lives of New Mexicans,” said Horn. “Furthermore, an exciting part of this project as it continues is that we will be able to generate the data and expertise needed to be able to study future economic issues as they arise in New Brunswick. Mexico.
UNM’s Faculty of Economics regularly publishes economic research on issues using data where the focus may be international, national, or regional. Research can be found in a variety of outlets and can usually be viewed on faculty web pages.
“Part of the department’s mission is to serve our community and we have a long-standing focus on nanometer-centric research. From energy, to water, to fire, to addictions, to welfare, the department has tackled many issues facing the state,” said chairholder Janie Chermak. of economics and professor. “The financial support of the Legislative Assembly has allowed us not only to continue this work, but also to broaden our scope. Our goal is to provide world-class analysis to provide decision makers with enhanced information with which to develop future policies for our state.