Helena Cardenas is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with specialization on Economic Development. She received her M.Sc. degree on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Concepcion, Chile, and her MA in International Economics from Brandeis University, Massachusetts. Her research interests are on water and energy demand and welfare effects estimation under pricing and non-pricing policies.
Her current research looks at two aspects of economic policy on water and electricity residential demand: first, the distributional impacts of subsidies across income groups given current tariff structures, and second, the effects on demand and welfare from the interaction of pricing and technology adoption policies. Her current cases of study are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and San Jose, Costa Rica. Previous projects have looked at topics on biofuels in Latin America, interfuel substitution in manufacturing sectors in Chile, and agro-industries sustainable development in Ecuador. She applies techniques of choice behavior analysis, revealed and stated preferences, market and non-market valuation, and econometric modeling.