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UCD Alum Brock Smith's work receives Outstanding Publication Award

UC Davis Alumn Brock Smith, now an Assistant Professor at Montana State University, received the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 2019 Outstanding Publication Award for his article, "Left in the Dark? Oil and Rural Poverty," joint with Samuel Wills of the University of Oxford and University of Sydney.

The work makes an important advance by examining the impact of local oil and gas booms on poverty and inequality. Previously, the topic had been difficult for researchers to tackle due to a lack of detailed data on incomes in oil-producing areas.

Smith and Wills resolved this problem by using the number of people living in darkness to measure rural poverty. They overlaid satellite imaging of lights on earth at night with geographical population data to construct the counts, which may have a wide range of future research applications.