PhD Student Justin Kirkpatrick Awarded National Fellowship in Energy Economics

February 15, 2018

Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Justin Kirkpatrick, a doctoral student in environmental economics at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been awarded a prestigious Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Energy Economics from the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is one of only three doctoral students nationwide awarded the fellowships for 2018-19.

Justin Kirkpatrick

The highly competitive awards carry a $27,500 stipend and a $7,000 award for data acquisition and travel, in addition to covering up to $12,000 of the fellow’s tuition.

Kirkpatrick’s fellowship will support his dissertation research on estimating the impact of energy storage on electricity markets in California.

In addition to pursing a doctoral degree through Duke’s University Program in Environmental Policy (UPEP), which is administered by the Nicholas School and the Sanford School of Public Policy, Kirkpatrick is also a PhD Fellow at the Duke University Energy Initiative.

His current research centers on the economic analysis of environmental regulations, policies and markets. His areas of applied interest include the impact of non-price incentives and policies on household clean-energy decisions, and consumer perceptions of risk in the presence of fracking.

Kirkpatrick earned a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree from Duke’s Nicholas School in 2012, and a Master of Arts in economics from Duke in 2017. Lori Bennear, Juli Plant Grainger Associate Professor of Energy Economics and Policy, was his faculty advisor for both degrees. His work as an MEM student led to a peer-reviewed study on the effects of property tax assessments on residential clear-energy investments, which he published with Bennear in 2014 in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Prior to being accepted into Duke’s UPEP program, Kirkpatrick worked as an economist at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, where he led a team that modeled the economic impacts of offshore wind-energy development along the U.S. East Coast on Atlantic fisheries.

He was also a co-author on a widely cited peer-reviewed study, “Seafood Prices Reveal Impacts of a Major Ecological Disturbance,” that documents the effects the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had on Gulf of Mexico fisheries. That paper was published in 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Martin Smith, George M. Woodwell Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics, was lead author of that paper; Bennear was a co-author.