Bio and CV
Oscar Zapata is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Field Experiments and Public Engagement in the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP). Oscar completed a PhD degree and a master’s degree in economics at the University of Calgary, and a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University (MA, USA). His fields of specialization include environmental and resource economics, behavioral and experimental economics, and applied econometrics, with specific emphasis in the economics of water. His doctoral dissertation looks at individual economic behavior in the context of climate change, with an eye towards for how mitigation and adaptation to climate change are fundamental elements used to affect individual welfare and living conditions.
His passion for research stems from his interest in understanding human behavior and the decision-making process. Oscar studies the role of factors that consciously (i.e., prices or endowments) or unconsciously (i.e., identity, beliefs, scarcity, adversity or climate conditions) explain people’s behavior and thereby determine economic and social outcomes. Oscar’s research work goes from the study of global problems such as mitigation and adaptation to climate change, to the understanding of individual level problems, such as consumption decisions in the household. His research studies not only the effect of human decisions on the environment but also how the environment influences economic behavior in society. He utilizes economic theory to define research questions and employs both econometric techniques and experimental methods (lab and field) to answer them.
Oscar’s teaching experience includes four years of teaching economics in Canada and six years in Ecuador. He also has experience as an instructor of seminars and workshops for working adults and indigenous minorities in Ecuador. His objective as a teacher is to engage students in the learning process and promote critical thinking. He adopts experiential learning by conducting innovative and participatory activities in the classroom, such as experiments and games in market functioning, decision-making under risk and uncertainty, contributions to public goods and use of common resources, environmental externalities and resource governance.
Before starting my graduate studies at the University of Calgary, Oscar accumulated five years of professional experience in public engagement, consultation and participation in Latin America. He has been in charge of preparing, conducting and evaluating public consultation processes with the participation of government and industry representatives, development and environmental practitioners, and members of natural resource user associations and indigenous communities.
Zapata, Oscar. 2017. Industrial wastewater treatment and reuse in a developing country context: Evidence at the firm level from Ecuador. Water Economics and Policy, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S2382624X17500059.
Zapata, Oscar. 2015. More water please, it's getting hot! The effect of climate on residential water demand. Water Economics and Policy, 1(3): 1550007.
Godoy, Ricardo, Victoria Reyes-García, Tomás Huanca, William R Leonard, Ramona G Olvera, Jonathan Bauchet, Zhao Ma, Jonathan St John, Marisa Miodowski, Oscar Zapata Rios, Vincent Vadez, Craig Seyfreid. 2007. The role of community and individuals in the formation of social capital. Human Ecology, 35(6):709-721.
Oxoby, R., and O. Zapata. 2014. Coase Theorem, Property Rights and Endowment Effect. In: Real World Decision Making: An Encyclopedia of Behavioral Economics. Morris Altman, editor. Santa Barbara:Praeger.
Oxoby, R., and O. Zapata. 2014. Elinor Ostrom. In: Real World Decision Making: An Encyclopedia of Behavioral Economics. Morris Altman, editor. Santa Barbara:Praeger.
Martinez, R., D. Arancibia, C.E. Frigmann-Young and O. Zapata. 2010. Forestry. In: “Bovarnick, A., F. Alpízar and C. Schnell (editors). 2010. Importance of Biodiversity and Ecosystems in Economic Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Economic Valuation of Ecosystems. United National Development Programme.” In Spanish.
Aylward, B., R. Hartwell and O. Zapata. 2010. Sustainable Ecosystem Management of Water: The Benefits of Hydrological Services. In: “Bovarnick, A., F. Alpízar and C. Schnell (editors). 2010. Importance of Biodiversity and Ecosystems in Economic Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Economic Valuation of Ecosystems. United National Development Programme.” In Spanish.
Bustamante, Teodoro y Oscar Zapata. 2007. Características de los contratos petroleros (Characteristics of oil contracts in Ecuador). In: Bustamante, Teodoro, 2007, Detrás de la cortina de humo. Dinámicas sociales y petróleo en el Ecuador (Behind the smoke screen. Social dynamics and oil in Ecuador). Cuadernos de Trabajo, Flacso-Ecuador. Quito. In Spanish.