Need to Know: Jennifer Winter
The economist and policy expert is peering into energy and environmental policies and regulations
by Steven Butterworth
DOB: April 10, 1982
Higher ed: Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD in Economics, University of Calgary
First job: “I actually worked at Calaway Park. I was a carny working the games area.”
A recipient of the Young Women in Energy Award in 2014, an economist and associate director of energy and environmental policy at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, Jennifer Winter has committed herself to working with policies and understanding the implications they bring. “It was during my master’s and then my PhD I realized that as much as I love economics, I really like policies and policy implications,” she says. “So one of the reasons that I went to the federal government was because I wanted to work on policy issues and help develop public policy.”
Prior to joining the School of Public Policy, Winter took up a few more summer jobs after her stint at Calaway Park, working for an energy company and a small airline, which, she says, allowed her to transition into the working world. Eventually, this path would lead her to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, researching Canadian labour markets.
As one of the school’s most prolific writers, her work with her team has been in a constant flow. “My team and I have been focusing recently on a project looking at markets for Canadian oil, the determinants of price differentials within North America and how pipeline infrastructure has responded to price differentials,” she says. She also says her projects include the assessment of Alberta’s specified gas emitters regulation and defining the term “social licence,” its uses and multiple meanings.
In addition to her ongoing research, Winter is exploring bidding behaviour in auctions for oil and gas leases in Alberta alongside her co-author, David Johnson. “We’re using a lab and essentially a little computer game to see what happens when brokers are available to the participants in the experiment and see what bidding behaviour is like when brokers are not available and compare the two.”