Latest News

Cynthia Lin Lawell

Cynthia Lin Lawell to Join Faculty at Cornell University

May 26, 2017

Former HEEP Pre-Doctoral Fellow C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell will be joining the faculty at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University on July 1, 2017 as the Rob Dyson Sesquicentennial Chair of Resource Economics.

Professor Lin Lawell received her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 2006. Her undergraduate thesis was awarded the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, and her… Read more about Cynthia Lin Lawell to Join Faculty at Cornell University

Karl Aspelund, Shauna Theel, and Andreas Westgaard

HEEP Awards Student Prizes for 2016-2017 Academic Year

May 18, 2017

CAMBRIDGE, MA – The Harvard Environmental Economics Program has, for the eighth consecutive year, awarded three prizes to Harvard University students for the best research papers addressing a topic in environmental, energy, or natural-resource economics—one prize each for an undergraduate paper or senior thesis, master’s student paper, and doctoral student paper. … Read more about HEEP Awards Student Prizes for 2016-2017 Academic Year


Learn about HEEP

HEEP is a university-wide initiative addressing today's complex environmental challenges and is based in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Learn more by reading director Robert Stavins' welcome message.

Recent Publications

Park, Jisung. “Will We Adapt? Labor Productivity and Adaptation to Climate Change.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Environmental Economics Program, 2017.Abstract

This study explores the for labor-related production impacts of temperature stress both for its own interest and to understand the scope for adaptation to climate change. Focusing on non-agricultural output, I find that hot temperature exerts a significant causal impact on local labor product, with substantially larger effects in highly ex-posed industries such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation. Places that experience more extreme heat exposure in expectation (e.g. Houston, Orlando) exhibit lower impacts per hot day than cooler regions (e.g. Boston, San Francisco). A year with 10 additional 90°F days would reduce output per capita in highly exposed sectors by -3.5% in counties in the coldest quintile and -1.3%, roughly a third, in the warmest quintile. County-level air-conditioning penetration explains a large proportion of these differences. While these estimates suggest adaptation to heat stress in the long-run, they also imply realistic limits, at least given current technologies.

Weitzman, Martin L.On a World Climate Assembly and the Social Cost of Carbon.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Environmental Economics Program, 2016.Abstract

This paper postulates the conceptually useful allegory of a futuristic "World Climate Assembly" (WCA) that votes for a single worldwide price on carbon emissions via the basic democratic principle of one-person one-vote majority rule. If this WCA framework can be accepted in the first place, then voting on a single internationally-binding minimum carbon price (the proceeds from which are domestically retained) tends to counter self-interest by incentivizing countries or agents to internalize the externality. I attempt to sketch out the sense in which each WCA-agent's extra cost from a higher emissions price is counter-balanced by that agent's extra benefit from inducing all other WCA-agents to simultaneously lower their emissions in response to the higher price. The first proposition of this paper derives a relatively simple formula relating each emitter's single-peaked most-preferred world price of carbon emissions to the world "Social Cost of Carbon" (SCC). The second and third propositions relate the WCA-voted world price of carbon to the world SCC. I argue that the WCA-voted price and the SCC are unlikely to differ sharply. Some implications are discussed. The overall methodology of the paper is a mixture of mostly classical with some behavioral economics.


News from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Tweets from Robert Stavins