• Primary Program Policy and Decision Science
  • Research Interests Formals models of planning, negotiation, optimization, trade, finance

Biography

Ben Wise is a visiting research at KAPSARC. He supports the Policy Decision Sciences group as the main architect of the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavior Analysis (KTAB). His research interests focus on the development of formal models of negotiation and their practical application to policy analysis. He began working with KAPSARC in 2014, after spending 25 years in various positions in corporate R&D or nonprofit research. Dr. Wise led many projects for research, consulting, policy analysis, doctrine development, and distributed training.

Publications

See all Ben’s publications
  • Book/book chapter
  • Discussion papers
  • Methodology papers
  • KAPSARC journal articles
Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging economies is the policy trade-off between managing water resources and achieving food security objectives. This policy trade-off is very relevant in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which represent some of the most water scarce regions of the world and are also intent on achieving food security through domestic agriculture production. We offer a case study on the policy options for reducing water consumption while maintaining food security and farmer welfare in the GCC’s largest country, Saudi Arabia. Specifically, we explore how crop substitution can reduce aggregate water use without compromising the current level of food security or farmer welfare. Additionally, we assess the potential social implications of crop substitution options in order to better understand the political feasibility of various policy choices. The results suggest that if water usage is to be minimised while maintaining food production and farmer welfare, then the primary candidates for reduction are crops or livestock with large water intensity and low revenue and/or low production. Eliminating these types of crops would yield higher water savings than moderate reductions across a large portfolio of crops at the lowest political cost. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-6695-5_12

January 23, 2018
Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia relies almost exclusively on aquifers and desalination to provide its water. Roughly 87 percent of these water extractions are used for agriculture, and so any policy to improve the sustainability of water resources cannot ignore this agriculture dimension.

March 5, 2016
Multidimensional Bargaining Using KTAB

Multidimensional Bargaining Using KTAB

This paper (Multidimensional KTAB) is a technical discussion paper designed as a follow on to An Introduction to the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis using one-dimensional spatial models (Unidimensional KTAB). It extends the original framework of KTAB to explain the analysis described in the recently released KAPSARC discussion paper Reforming the Role of State-Owned Enterprise in China’s Energy Sector: An Analysis of Collective DecisionMaking Processes Using the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (Chinese SOE Reform).

December 24, 2015
Reforming the Role of State-Owned Enterprise in China’s Energy Sector: An Analysis of Collective Decision-Making Processes Using the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (KTAB)

Reforming the Role of State-Owned Enterprise in China’s Energy Sector: An Analysis of Collective Decision-Making Processes Using the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (KTAB)

What are the prospects for reform of the Chinese energy sector? This question is the subject of much debate both inside and outside China. Since coming to power in November 2012, China’s new government has issued a series of statements on reform, clearly an important part of the country’s continuing ‘great revival’. Despite this, some experts have been unconvinced by the pace of economic reform. What reform means for the energy sector is even less clear. There are competing views on how, and to what extent, the energy sector and energy policy will be reformed, but they all share various potential biases resulting from incomplete data and “not knowing what we don’t know”.

July 6, 2015
An Introduction to the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (KTAB)

An Introduction to the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (KTAB)

The KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis (KTAB) is freely available, state-of-the-art software that has been designed to enable the rigorous and systematic analysis of collective decision-making processes (CDMPs). KTAB is being designed with three types of users in mind. The program code is available directly for computer programmers. Power users will be able to construct their own specific models based on the existing structure, and applied users will be able to access pre-built models through a simple graphical user interface. Collective decision-making processes are those in which a group of individual actors interact to arrive at a single decision. Common examples include the deliberations of corporate boards. These processes have usually been studied in a purely qualitative fashion, but there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that computer models can deliver additional insights. KTAB is being designed to unlock these additional insights for a broader range of analysts, but its release is also hoped to extend the awareness of computer models as a route to the investigation of CDMPs, and to prompt a wider acceptance and uptake of a quantitative approach to such analyses.

May 7, 2015
Toward the Integration of Policymaking Models and Economic Models

Toward the Integration of Policymaking Models and Economic Models

The traditional economic approach to policy analysis is to utilize tools and methods developed within the field of economics and study the economic impact of one or more policies solely from an economic perspective. As a consequence, the “policies” are usually formulated and evaluated only by an assessment of the pure economic optimality of expected outcomes. Moreover, economic models typically treat policy choices as exogenously specified. Once policies are selected according to some exogenous process, then scenario analysis can be performed to simulate the economic impact of those policies.

May 31, 2017
Group Choice with Interdependent Sublinear Voting

Group Choice with Interdependent Sublinear Voting

Many important decisions of policy are made in a collective manner, so a great deal of formal and informal analysis has been devoted to collective decision-making processes (CDMPs). One common approach to analyzing CDMPs is first to model the participants as exercising their ‘votes’ independently, and secondly to solve the model and identify a range of feasible outcomes. A potential criticism of this approach is that the actors may strategically modify their behaviors based on the behaviors of others. If such interdependent voting behaviors led to different outcomes, it would undermine the validity of analysis based on independent voting.

March 5, 2016

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