Working paper in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
This study examines how banks respond to earthquakes that convey seismic risk salience but do not cause damage, i.e., noticeable non-damaging earthquakes (NNDEs). Using evidence from California, we find loans more likely to be denied or sold after increased NNDEs. Banks with fewer assets, more diversified branching markets, or stronger sales capability relied more on securitization to transfer the perceived seismic risk. We show evidence that banks likely learned about the NNDEs through personal experience and local news. The effects of NNDEs persisted up to three years. Meanwhile, the NNDEs only caused moderate and temporary collateral devaluation but did not increase the observable default risk. Thus, banks' responses most likely resulted from the increased risk salience of future damaging earthquakes during the mortgage term. Our findings call for reevaluations of the heuristics in banks' risk-perception updating and have implications for designing more efficient disaster risk-sharing mechanisms in the financial market.
Published in Applied Energy
This paper proposes a decision-making framework to optimize electricity tariffs and remuneration policy for renewable energy sources operating in transmission- and distribution-level (T&D) marketplaces. The authors develop perfect and imperfect foresight models with a multi-level structure to investigate the effects of the inability of actors to correctly predict future remuneration on the efficiency of the decisions made by policymakers.
Yale Journal on Regulation
Recently, some prominent public policy experts and scholars have proposed that a “marginal abatement cost” (MAC) could be used as an alternative to the social cost of carbon (SCC). This article provides conceptual clarity about these metrics, focusing on how a MAC-based threshold could sensibly be used in climate policy, and explaining why it is not a substitute for the SCC.
Yale Journal on Regulation
This article explores the legal and economic considerations for updating discount rates and details the compelling economic evidence for lowering the current default rates for regulatory analyses. It argues that a declining discount rate framework can consistently harmonize agency practices and so put agencies on sound legal footing in their approach to valuing the future.
A “Reasoned Consistency” Response to the Trump Administration’s Regulatory Shell Game
Published in the NYU Environmental Law Journal, the article analyzes the inconsistent manner in which the Trump administration dealt with cost-benefit analysis, federalism, and the treatment of dirty, old sources of pollution in the design of environmental policy. The article finds that though inconsistencies across different regulations— as opposed to inconsistencies within a single regulation—have not been a core concern of the Administrative Procedure Act, its prohibition on “arbitrary and capricious” agency action is sufficiently capacious to embrace egregious inconsistencies.
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