Member Login:
| Login Help
My Account Login


Friday, December 19, 2014

*New* Choices & The Exchange

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources
Lucija Muehlenbachs and Sheila Olmstead

One of the most contentious issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing is the potential for negative impacts on water resources. These include impacts on both available water quantities and water quality. There is quickly growing scientific literature investigating these impacts to guide communities and policy makers.

Other News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Member Blog: Rural America’s Pace of Recovery

Lorin Kusmin, Economic Research Service
Lorin Kusmin, Economic Research Service
Lorin Kusmin, Economic Research Service
Lorin Kusmin, Economic Research Service
Lorin Kusmin, Economic Research Service

Lorin Kusmin, Economic Research Service

In the aftermath of the 2007-09 recession, the economic picture in rural areas has been mixed, according to a recent Economic Research Service report. This post is part of the Science Tuesday,  feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. In the recession of 2007-09 and its aftermath, some areas of the United States fared better than others. In rural America as a whole, the pace of economic recovery has bee...

Read the entire Blog article 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Member Blog: The New, Lucrative Source of Startup Capital

JOHN GREATHOUSE: The broad implications of the sharing economy are only beginning to be felt. The ability for people to turn their time, residences, cars and other personal assets into viable income streams is revising the traditional definition of “employment.”

The sharing economy is also proving to be a significant source of bootstrap startup capital. In the past, a struggling entrepreneur’s options for paying the bills were limited. Part-time jobs typically generated minimal income while requiring the entrepreneur be at a specific place at a specific time, thus restricting their ability to work on their venture.

Sharing While Caring About Your Venture
In contrast, the sharing economy affords entrepreneurs the flexibility to work on their ventures during their peak hours of productivity while generating working capital from multiple sources.

Want to monetize your roommate’s parking space while they are at work? ParkAtMyHouse can help. Could you use some cash driving strangers around town during your downtime? Lyft and Uber will provide you with the necessary infrastructure and allow you to keep most of the money you earn. Have time on your lunch hour to run some errands? Entrepreneurs use TaskRabbit to pick up odd jobs.

The sharing economy is not only a good fit for entrepreneurs’ lifestyles’, it also offers them outsized financial rewards. One entrepreneur who is taking advantage of this new paradigm is Courtney Walker, founder of Callie + Caston. Courtney has been driving for Uber for nearly a year. When I asked her why, she noted that, “Uber allows me to work when I have free time and doesn’t impair my focus on my venture. I am in the early stages of launching my company, so there are often times when I have to wait on vendors, suppliers and other third parties before I can make additional progress on my clothing line. Thus, being able to episodically work, when I have the energy and the time, is a great relief.”

Sharing Leads to More Sharing
Tradesy, one of the fastest growing sharing economy companies, was initially funded by the sharing economy. Tradesy allows women to sell their clothing and accessories online, thereby recycling their wardrobes while generating incremental cash. (Note:Rincon Venture Partnersis an investor in Tradesy.)

Tracy DiNunzio, the company’s founder and CEO, was an early adopter of the sharing economy. Soon after Tracy launched Tradesy, her roommate departed with no notice, leaving her wondering how she was going to pay the rent, let alone bootstrap her business. According to Tracy, “There was this new website called Airbnb that had just come out. So I took stock and I said, ‘Well I have this nice place on the beach and there are two bedrooms. What if I slept on the couch, and rented both bedrooms out?’ I made a quick
spreadsheet, and I said, ‘At 80% occupancy, I’m making money here. Okay, I’m opening a hotel.’”

Tracy was initially tentative about allowing strangers into her home, saying, “The first two guys that inquired, I just got weirded out and I said, ‘Sorry, it’s occupied.’” Eventually, Tracy’s cashflow desperation fortified her resolve and she accepted the inquiry of a musician, after he sent her a song as his “reference.” In Tracy’s words, “I listened to the song and because the song was pretty good and I really needed the money, I said, ‘Okay fine’ and 17 hours later, my husband walked in.” Thus, Tracy not only funded her business to profitability by leveraging the sharing economy, she also met her lifemate.

As Tracy experienced first-hand, the sharing economy allows entrepreneurs to bootstrap their businesses more effectively while also affording them the time and flexibility to accelerate the growth of their ventures.
There is no doubt a small army of female entrepreneurs who are quietly funding their startups by driving for Uber, selling clothing on Tradesy and doing odd jobs on TaskRabbit, all of which beat the hell out of flipping burgers or waiting tables. This trend is not only good for entrepreneurs, but for society as a whole.

Read Blog on the WSJ Site 

*Be sure to join in a discussion in the comment section below.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research: Special Issue

Special Issue on Water Disaster Management Policy

The January 2015 issue of the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research on the topic, "Designing Water Disaster Management Policies: Theory and Empirics", edited by Chennat Gopalakrishnan, has just been published.  This issue features an introductory essay and six original papers, authored by prominent scholars in the water disaster management field.

Ossified governance structures, polycentric decision-making entities, entropy-ridden institutions, cascading conflict scenarios, deep-seated and wide-ranging internal feuds and precariously perched, top-heavy decision agencies significantly add to the complexity of policy domains in the water disasterscape. Such an intractable combination of essentially incompatible forces and features renders the design and implementation of effective and efficient disaster risk management policies an extraordinarily challenging proposition.  Against this bleak backdrop, well-intentioned policies stumble into a collision course, making the emergence of workable policies exceedingly difficult.  The purpose of this special issue is to help identify, examine, analyze and assess the complex world of disaster management, and design robust, effective, implementation-friendly, widely-accessible and affordable policies.

To view selected articles for FREE just go to Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research online.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Importance of Mineral Rights and Royalty Interests for Rural Residents and Landowners

Importance of Mineral Rights and Royalty Interests for Rural Residents and Landowners

Ownership of mineral rights determines much of the economic gains from oil and gas development. The gross royalty receipts were about $31 billion in 2012. How much of the value accrues to local residents, and the spatial pattern of royalty capture are important questions asked by policymakers and community leaders.

Timothy Fitzgerald
JEL Classifications: D23, K11, L71, Q40, R33
Keywords: Mineral Rights, Oil and Gas, Royalty Interest