Postdoctoral Scholar and Lecturer, Energy and Resources Group
Director, California Renewable and Adaptive Energy (Cal_RAE)
DATE: Wednesday, March 2nd 2016
TIME: 4:00 – 5:30pm
LOCATION: 126 Barrows Hall
TITLE: Rig Counts and Recessions: The Oil Harvest Cycle
ABSTRACT: This talk addresses “the long-standing puzzle of the apparently disproportionate effect of oil price increases on the economy” (Bernanke et al., 1997, 94). I argue the answer to “Bernanke’s puzzle” lies in oil’s investment cycle. Using a historical and institutional Keynesian approach, I find the effect of oil price shocks on consumer and firm expenditure to be less important than their function as signals to shift investment toward oil and gas. The large amount of capital shifted into oil and gas production during shocks—and the very small amount of labor that follows—produces a net downward influence on employment, and thus effective demand.
BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Jalel Sager teaches courses on ecological economics and microgrids at the Energy and Resources Group (ERG). He also performs postdoctoral research on energy and development in a joint Berkeley project with Harvard University’s Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative. Dr. Sager’s work focuses on historical and institutional relationships between energy and political economic systems. In 2012 Dr. Sager co-founded what is now the California – Renewable and Adaptive Energy (CAL-RAE) network at Berkeley for microgrid research and implementation. In 2007 he founded the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC), now the nation’s leading green building organization, serving as its executive director until 2009, when he was profiled by FuturArc magazine as one of Asia’s top 20 positive influences in the building sector. Dr. Sager received his PhD from ERG in 2015. He earned an ERG Masters’ degree in 2011 and did his undergraduate work at New York University’s Gallatin School. He has received the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship; a US Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship; and a National Merit scholarship.