Two Stellenbosch students awarded ESSA Founder's Medal Awards

Posted by Melt van Schoor on 2019-10-03

Two of the Department's students were each co-winners in their categories of the Economic Society of South Africa's Founder's Medal competition.

Timothy Köhler was the co-winner of the prize awarded for the best Honours research paper in South Africa completed in the 2018/2019 year. His research project was entitled "Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: Investigating the Existence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve for Local and Global Pollutants in South Africa" and was supervised by Martin de Wit. In this work, Köhler investigated the dominant claim in the environmental economic literature that continued economic growth will eventually be beneficial for the environment, with specific reference to global and local air pollutants. Using OLS and ARDL regression techniques he tested 24 different models and could not find any evidence for such a claim for any of the selected pollutants. The implication is that environmental problems cannot be dealt with by relying on an economic policy focussed on growth alone, but would need specific environmental policy interventions.

In the Master's category, the prize was awarded to Reid Falconer for his work, entitled "Using satellite data to predict food security: a case study of Malawi", which was supervised by Dieter von Fintel. Reid adopted an interdisciplinary approach, adapting techniques originally developed by computer scientists at Stanford University and utilising transfer learning (a type of machine learning) to produce small area maps of food security indicators in Malawi. His modelling also takes spatial dependence in the data into account – a problem which is rarely addressed in existing literature. The maps can be used to identify food insecurity hotspots in Malawi and to assist in targeting input subsidies to the areas where they are most necessary - Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and has implemented one of the largest agricultural input subsidy programmes in the world to support smallholder production. With further development of the paper and the methods, the tools can be implemented to provide “real time” alerts to food insecurity in Malawi and other countries.

Login

(for staff & registered students)



Need a password?
Forgot your password?

Upcoming Seminars

No seminars are currently listed. Please check back soon.
 
More...

BER Weekly

5 December 2022
Shock waves reverberated through SA last week after an independent panel report found that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office in handling a theft at his Limpopo farm. While the Phala Phala saga will drag on this week, there are also some important local data releases, including the 2022Q3 real GDP figures (tomorrow) and the...

Read the full issue
 

Upcoming Seminars

No seminars are currently listed. Please check back soon.
 
More...

BER Weekly

5 December 2022
Shock waves reverberated through SA last week after an independent panel report found that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have violated his oath of office in handling a theft at his Limpopo farm. While the Phala Phala saga will drag on this week, there are also some important local data releases, including the 2022Q3 real GDP figures (tomorrow) and the...

Read the full issue