Building a Quality of Life Index
This chapter outlines how an index measuring quality of life should be developed and then applies that work at the county level in the United States. The index we create is a unique and data‐driven approach to calculating quality of life. In the chapter, we explain the process that leads us to selecting our five indicators: public safety, health, economic development, infrastructure, and education. Each indicator breaks apart into subindicators. This chapter theoretically and statistically verifies our chosen indicators. First, we develop theoretical arguments explaining the connections between quality of life and our indicators. Then, we perform confirmatory factor analyses on our index to empirically verify our theoretical arguments for why each component should be included in the index. Further, we finally verify our theory and index using survey results. We use only publicly available data to facilitate replication by others. The results of our confirmatory factor analysis provide statistical evidence for our choice of indicators in measuring quality of life. Our findings indicate that those measuring quality of life must account for the roles of: public safety, health, economic development, infrastructure, and education. Most importantly, our results indicate that our index is a valid measure of quality of life.
Part of the book: Quality of Life and Quality of Working Life
Collaborative Contagion: A Case Study in Curriculum Development, Distribution, and Adoption
The collaborative contagion model is the culmination of a three‐year project designed first to develop a curriculum in business ethics and entrepreneurship (BE&E), then to increase the adoption of that curriculum by leveraging professional educators’ established networks. The development of a new curriculum, the collaborative portion of the program, was accomplished through a series of four‐day, in‐person disruptive innovation workshops (DIWs), after which educators continued their working relationships in a specially developed online community. To distribute this curriculum, we developed the contagion portion of the model, through which we encouraged and incentivized not only adoption of the curriculum on the part of the participants themselves, but also on the part of people in their broader networks. After our first year of workshops, 18 K‐12 and 21 higher education participants helped formulate 10 modules and 60 grade‐specific K‐12 lesson plans. We have established pilot programs at 13 separate institutions, and built partnerships with seven organizations. These early results indicate that the collaborative contagion model is a viable, and potentially strong method by which curricular materials can be developed, and then disseminated to a broad audience.
Part of the book: Global Voices in Higher Education
Developing Together? Understanding the Interaction between, Amenity-Based Tourism, Agriculture, and Extractive Industries in the Northern Rockies
The factors that lead to economic growth at the county level are not always easy to identify or explain, though surely both energy and amenity resources can influence county growth. However, there are many other factors that can also influence growth, such as amenities in surrounding counties, the specifics of oil and gas development, and land-use policies. In examining the factors that affect county economic growth, several key findings emerge: this study examines how counties balance energy extraction and development of amenities on their lands. It is important to note, however, that a county possesses only limited authority with respect to development issues; many dimensions of development lie outside of the county domain at the state or national levels.
Part of the book: Perspectives on Economic Development
Assessing Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees in the United States
Conceived as an idea to push financing toward underdeveloped clean energy technology to improve the environment, promote economic growth, and produce a more secure energy supply, the Title XVII loan guarantee program has likely failed to meet these objectives. Instead, it has been used as a political tool, exposed taxpayers to unnecessary risk, diverted funding from alternative clean energy investments, and primarily benefitted large, politically connected corporations.
Part of the book: Sustainable Energy Investment
Regulatory Impediments to Micro-Wind GenerationView all chapters
Recent growth in the renewable energy industry has largely been driven by government support for alternative energy. Wind power in the United States is the second largest source of renewable energy, and has been heavily subsidized by state and federal government. There has also been an increasing interest in small scale environmental community projects, and this trend is expected to continue. Currently, there are 2 terawatt hours (TWh) of potential energy capacity through small- and micro-wind projects throughout the United States. Increased development of micro-wind energy could significantly impact America’s non-hydropower renewable energy generation. Micro-wind, the utilization of the flow of wind energy to produce electricity for a house, farm or other non-utility scale generation can be regulated at the federal level, as well as at the state and local/community level. We examine two cases of micro-wind energy production to explore the regulatory impediments these smaller projects face. We find that the level of complexity of the regulatory framework is discouraging for innovation and development, and that the benefits of installing energy-generation are often outweighed by the cost of implementation.
Part of the book: Microgrids and Local Energy Systems