2013 TransWorld Snow Conference Speaker Bio: Dr. Peter Philips

Peter Phillips, University of Utah Professor of Economics

Peter Phillips, University of Utah Professor of Economics

Find more information on the 2013 TransWorld Snow Conference at snowconference.com

PETER PHILIPS, University Of Utah’s Professor Of Economics

What’s Next On The Economic Horizon & It’s Impact On Snowboarding

After a morning of shredding pow, we'll hear from the smartest guy in the room. If you made it to the conference for the past three years, you'll know this statement is legit. Dr. Philips, an esteemed academian who also serves as a park ranger at Grand Teton National Park in the summer, will provide a broad view of the economic landscape, where the snowboarding industry sits in it, and how we can best position ourselves to take advantage of macroeconomic trends.


Peter Philips is Professor of Economics and former Chair of the Economics Department. He received his BA from Pomona College and his MA and PhD from Stanford University. He began teaching at the University of Utah in 1978. Philips is a labor economist specializing on the construction labor market. He has ancillary interests in econometrics and American economic history focusing on the labor market. His current research interests include construction labor market regulations, construction safety, women and minority employment in construction, construction apprenticeship programs, project labor agreements, bidding procedures on construction projects, and health insurance for construction workers. Additionally, Philips does some sideline research on the racial composition of the National Basketball Association and the competition between white women and Chinese men in the Post Gold Rush California labor market. Philips has over 50 academic books and articles published on these and related topics.

Philips is an accomplished teacher having won many awards for his teaching and guidance of graduate students. These awards include the University of Utah, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Superior Teacher Award (1982), the University of Utah, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Dean’s Research Fellow (1985 and 1988), University of Utah, John R. Park Teacher’s Fellowship (1988), University of Utah, Lowell Bennion University Distinguished Service Professor (1992-93), University of Utah, Presidential Teaching Scholar (1993), Nominee, Student Choice Teaching Award, Academic Affairs Board of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, 2004 and the University of Utah, Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Scholar Distinguished Mentor, 2007.

Philips has testified numerous times before legislative bodies regarding various labor market regulations in the construction industry. Philips also was the only economist on the National Academies committee of experts evaluating the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) construction safety research program.

In the summer of 2011, Professor Peter Philips released a preliminary report, "Should Green Jobs Be Outsourced?," which analyzed a proposal by Sempra Energy to build a 1250MW electrical transmission line from Mexico to the Southern California electrical grid in order to import wind farm electricity from Mexico to the San Diego area. The alternative would be to build solar farms in Imperial Valley, the California county with the highest level of unemployment in the state. Philips concluded that the Sempra proposal would cost as much as 15,000 jobs in Imperial County and California plus surrounding states. This research received considerable public and political attention including resolutions in the California Senate and Assembly against the Sempra proposal. The final report was finished in August 2012, and in the Fall of 2012, the Department of Energy responding in part to the employment costs of the proposal, granted Sempra the right to build a scaled-back 400MW transmission line across the border.

Philips is married to Jean Reagan, a children’s book author, and has a grown daughter, Jane. Philips’ son, John, died of a heroin overdose in 2005. In the summertime, Philips and his wife are voluntary back-country rangers in the Grand Teton National Park.

Take a look at the highlights from last year’s conference to get a better feel for what to expect this time around: