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Research Centers

Center for Environmental Economics

The Center for Environmental Economics promotes research in environmental economics. In addition, the center provides a community for scholars (faculty, graduate students and others in the community) interested in environmental and natural resource economics. Current programs of the center are Water Economics, Ocean Resources and the Global Commons, Methodology and Valuation, Climate Change Policy, Strategic Studies and the Management of Natural Resources, Energy and Development and the Environment.

Labs, Projects, Programs and Collaborations

Climate Action Lab

Our mission is to reduce global heating by changing human behavior. We are social scientists—economists, psychologists, urban planners, political scientists, anthropologists, etc. First, we conduct applied research to test what leads people to change their minds about the climate and what leads them to change their actions. Then, we put these insights to work in partnership with communities and policymakers.

Deep Decarbonization Initiative

The mission of the UC San Diego Deep Decarbonization Initiative is to help understand and guide the global economy as it moves toward net-zero carbon emissions. The aim is to understand how policymakers and investors shift from existing to new energy systems in the real world and the pace at which such transitions occur. It also explores how such shifts could be accelerated so that global carbon emissions tumble even as energy systems meet the needs of humanity.

Featured Researchers and Professors

Judson Boomhower

Assistant Professor, Economics

Judd Boomhower's research interests include environmental economics, energy markets, electricity, oil and gas, climate change, environmental protection and natural resources.

Richard T. Carson

Professor, Economics

Richard Carson's research Interests include environmental valuation, climate change, environment and development and fisheries. His recent work on forecasting Chinese carbon dioxide emissions received international attention. His econometric research has focused on experimental and sampling designs, computer-intensive and robust statistical techniques, discrete choice models and forecasting.

Mark Jacobsen

Professor, Economics

Mark Jacobsen's research interests include energy and environmental policy, fuel economy regulation and transportation. His work on automobile transportation includes the impact of regulations to reduce gasoline use, including the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, the role of scrappage and used vehicles in pollution and the incidence of gasoline taxes. In addition, Jacobsen has studied both the efficiency and distributional effects of transportation policy, empirically examining consumer purchase behavior, automobile manufacturers' response to regulations, vehicle safety and the used vehicle market. A second key strand of Jacobsen’s research examines optimal environmental policy more broadly, showing how factors like Ricardian rents, untaxed activity in the informal sector and green preferences can act to change the type of environmental policy that is most efficient.

Joshua Graff Zivin

Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Joshua Graff Zivin is an internationally renowned economist whose broad research interests include the environment, health, development and innovation economics. He has published numerous articles on various topics in top economic, policy and science journals. Much of his current work is in three distinct areas of research: the relationship between the environment, health and human capital; the economics of innovation with a particular eye toward the role of institutions, social networks and financial incentives; and the design of health interventions and their economic impacts.


Featured Courses

ECON 131. Economics of the Environment

Environmental issues from an economic perspective. Relation of the environment to economic growth. Management of natural resources, such as forest and fresh water. Policies on air, water, and toxic waste pollution. International issues such as ozone depletion and sustainable development.

ECON 132. Energy Economics

Energy from an economic perspective. Fuel cycles for coal, hydro, nuclear, oil, and solar energy. Emphasis on efficiency and control of pollution. Comparison of energy use across sectors and across countries. Global warming. Role of energy in the international economy.