PhD Economics, University of Arizona, 2009
Current Position: Senior Sustainability Economist, Amazon
Joseph Cullen is an economist who studies the interaction between government regulation, business decisions, and the environment.
Joseph graduated with a BA in international studies from the University of Idaho in 2002. He then worked for two years as a GIS analyst with the GAP analysis project, a federal biodiversity initiative aimed at keeping common species common. He started in the economics program at the University Arizona in 2004, completing an MS in 2006 and a PhD in 2009, both in economics. For his doctoral dissertation, Joseph modeled the effect of wind power investments on outcomes in the Texas electricity grid. Using the inherent randomness of wind power production, he was able to quantify the pollution offset by wind farms on the Texas grid over a two-year period. He also built a dynamic, structural model of power plant operation to predict how fossil fuel generators would respond to even more wind power on the grid or to the government regulations that would tax carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas.
As a Morgan Blake Environmental Fellow, Joseph worked with Ariel Pakes in the Economics Department. He continued to study the relationship between firm behavior and environmental policy in an empirical setting. An immediate extension of his current research was to understand the long-run implications of wind power in generating capital on electricity grids using a dynamic model of investment. He also worked to understand the implications of pollution permit banking provisions in environmental regulations on environmental outcomes in the electricity sector.
Ariel Pakes, Economics