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CCU’s Politics and Economics Lecture Series to present talk on resource misallocation in the energy sector

October 1, 2019
Economics professor Jody Lipford from Presbyterian College to speak at CCU on Oct. 3 about the energy sector in a talk that is free and open to the public.

Coastal Carolina University will host Jody W. Lipford, professor of economics at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., for a speaking event on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. in the Johnson Auditorium. The talk, titled “The Political Economy of Resource Misallocation in the Energy Sector: A Case Study of South Carolina’s V.C. Summer Nuclear Project”, is a part of the university’s Politics and Economics Lecture Series.

The event is sponsored by the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration's Department of Politics and the Department of Economics, as well as the Charles Koch Foundation. Attendance is free and open to the public.

“As part of our new research initiative combining faculty and students in and beyond the classroom, we are examining how private enterprise and public sector policy changes affect incentives and behavior,” said Robert Salvino, professor of economics at CCU.

This case study provides insight into the scale of resource misallocation that can occur when government influences private sector decisions and may be of interest to policymakers, business leaders, investors, consumers, and the general public.

“Dr. Lipford’s talk is an opportunity to examine how incentives affect economic outcomes, sometimes at a great loss to society, sometimes for tremendous gain. Our aim is to give our students the tools to identify these incentive dynamics and help policymakers in the private and public sectors make sound, long-run decisions,” Salvino said.

At the dawn of the 21st century, federal and state government policymakers attempted to bring about a “nuclear renaissance” that would provide abundant, clean, carbon dioxide-free electricity for decades. Nonetheless, the incentives these policies brought – and in some cases the reversals of these policies – combined with inadequate and asymmetric information in the private sector and changes in relative prices in energy markets to misallocate more than $9 billion of resources in South Carolina, when two of the state’s largest electric utilities, South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper, halted construction of two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear site nearly a decade after their initial application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Lipford’s research interests span from environmental economics to public finance to sports economics, and he has published in Public Finance Review, the Independent Review, the Journal of Sport, and Political Economy in the Carolinas. In 2008, he won the Templeton prize for Article of the Year in the Journal of Private Enterprise, and in 2012 he won Presbyterian College’s award for faculty scholarship. He served as visiting scholar at the Property and Environmental Research Center in 2003 and as visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise at Western Carolina University in 2018.

The Johnson Auditorium is in Room 116 of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration on CCU’s main Conway campus.

Additional information:

coastal.edu/business