> Newsletter online      
Kathy Baylis

Kathy Baylis, CES guest in June 2014

Spatially-Consistent Impact Evaluation of Conservation Programs

Rigorous impact evaluation has blossomed in recent years and is now a mandatory component of many funded interventions. International conservation efforts have lagged in the adoption of this toolkit, in part due to the difficulty in randomizing conservation interventions at an appropriate scale and substantial spatial heterogeneity of treatment. Further, impact evaluation is only recently incorporating spatial heterogeneity and spatial spillovers. Most conservation and development policies tend to be assigned at the geographic-level, not by households or individuals, and therefore spatial spillovers of treatment could bias program estimates. Second, the unit of analysis is not always apparent potentially biasing estimates. This research aims to provide results on the performance of impact evaluation estimators in the presence of spatial correlation, spatial heterogeneity and questions of appropriate spatial scale.

Kathy Baylis is an assistant professor in Agriculture and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois. She joined the department after several years as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia where she remains an adjunct faculty. She earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2003, where she specialized in agriculture, conservation and trade issues. Kathy has worked in agricultural policy in both Canada and the United States. In 2001/02, she was the staff economist in charge of agriculture for the Council of Economic Advisors in the White House, and in the mid-1990s, she worked as Executive Secretary of a national farm organization in Canada.

Professor Baylis has published a number of journal articles and book chapters on agricultural and environmental policy and agricultural trade, including an award-winning textbook. Much of her recent work evaluates policy interventions in the presence of spatial spillovers, and she teaches graduate spatial econometrics at the University of Illinois. A complete list of her publications and CV can be found here.