Sandy Dall’erba

Director, Regional Economics and Applications Laboratory


I direct the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory since 2016. After 27 years at the Head of REAL, Prof. Geoffrey Hewings decided to retire from this position.

I hold a Full Professor position in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics with affiliation in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. I received my doctorate in Economics from the University of Pau, France, in June 2004 after spending two years at REAL. REAL is also the place I went to for a one-year post-doctoral stay in 2004-2005 which was followed by another year at the Department of Spatial Economics of the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

I was an Assistant Professor and then an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Regional Development of the University of Arizona over 2006-2015. While in Arizona, I co-founded the Regional Economics And Spatial Modeling laboratory which was a small-scale version of REAL.

My research interests focus on regional science in general and economic growth, regional development policies, innovation and the economic impact of climate change in particular. In addition to the traditional estimation of the dynamics at work, I study each of these fields by modelling and measuring the spatial interactions that take place between regions. An example would be the presence of spillover effects when regional policies are implemented to correct economic imbalances. In that purpose, I use various tools of regional science but mostly spatial statistics, spatial econometrics and interregional input-output. I have published several articles on these topics and with those tools – some of them co-authored with my past and current graduate students – and I have been awarded various prizes and grants my work.

In 2010 and 2012 I received two grants from the National Science Foundation to work on US regional development policies and the economic geography of R&D investments respectively. My work on climate change and its impact on the US agricultural sector has been supported by grants from the University of Arizona and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A large grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration supports on-going work on the economic impact of extreme weather events (rainfall in this case).

While the list of my current students is available from the “Students” link, my former students are now employees of the Federal Bank of Mexico, South Korea’s Ministry of Labor, faculty members or hold positions in the private sector. In addition to actual students, I periodically host foreign scholars for a short-term research visit at the University of Illinois.