Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kan. — Two Kansas State University doctoral students will visit with the world's best economists at the fifth Lindau Meeting of the Laureates of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, Aug. 19-24, in Lindau, Germany.
Melissa Lynes, doctoral student in agricultural economics, Manhattan, and Hedieh Shadmani, doctoral student in economics, Iran, have been invited to attend the Lindau Meeting, which is an open exchange of economic expertise and to inspire cross-cultural and intergenerational encounters among economists worldwide.
"Melissa and Hedieh will have the opportunity to attend lectures, discussions, master classes and panel discussions with nearly 20 Nobel laureates," said Carol Shanklin, dean of the university's Graduate School. "The unique atmosphere of the Lindau meeting is an exceptional opportunity to enrich their education and make connections with economists around the world. This professional development opportunity will be one of the highlights of these graduate students' academic experiences."
One of the laureates attending will be John Nash Jr., the mathematician who was the inspiration for the movie "A Beautiful Mind."
Lynes was selected as one of approximately 30 students in the U.S. delegation and is sponsored by Mars Inc. She will receive funding for travel and the cost of the meeting's registration.
Lynes is investigating renewable energy policies, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard, to determine if policies increase the price of electricity and if utility companies are operating efficiently. Her research provides information to policymakers to determine the feasibility of enacted or proposed policies, if the desired result is obtainable and if there are negative outcomes. Her advisers are Jeff Williams, professor of agricultural economics, and Jason Bergtold, associate professor of agricultural economics.
"Melissa Lynes is an excellent and enthusiastic researcher," Williams said. "She will be fully engaged in discussions with the Nobel laureates at the conference and apply what she learns from them to her research work at Kansas State University."
Lynes has published "Kansas Farmers' Characteristics and Willingness to grow Cellulosic Bioenergy Crops" in the Journal of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. In addition, she has presented at the International Oil Spill Conference 2014 in Savannah, Georgia; the 32nd annual United States Association of Energy Economics in 2013 at Anchorage, Alaska, and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in at Seattle, Washington.
Lynes is a National Needs Fellow and the president of Kansas State University's Graduate Students in Agricultural Economics. She received a bachelor's degree from High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, and a master's degree from Kansas State University.
Shadmani was selected by the review panel of the Council for the Nobel Laureate Meetings to participate as an at-large delegate. Her meeting registration is covered by the Lindau Meeting and her travel is sponsored by the university's College of Arts & Sciences, Graduate School, Graduate Student Council and the economics department.
By researching the asymmetric behavior of fiscal and monetary authorities, Shadmani's goal is to determine if policymakers take stronger action during stressful times than during ordinary times. One theory she is testing is the sustainability of debt policy during times of distress.
"Hedieh is a very strong student and is already familiar with many of the theories from the more recent macroeconomics Nobel Prize winners," said Steven Cassou, professor of economics and Shadmani's adviser. "Attending the conference will allow her to deepen her understanding of these ideas."
Shadmani published the article "Did Asymmetric monetary preferences for the output gap disappear during recent economic times" in the Applied Economic Letter. She presented at the Missouri Valley Economic Association conference in October 2013 and will present at the Western Economic Association conference in July.
She has received the E.C. Harwood Fellowship Award from the American Institute for Economic Research, and the Graduate Teaching Assistant Recognition of Achievement in Professional Development, the James Ragan Memorial Scholarship, Carroll B. Greene Award and John A. Nordin Memorial Scholarship, all from Kansas State University's economics department. Shadmani received an undergraduate degree in statistics from Allameh Tabataba'I University in Tehran, Iran, and a master's degree in economic development and planning from Alzahra University in Tehran.