Economics serving society

Program content

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This PSE summer school introduces participants to cutting-edge research on the topic and familiarizes them with the relevant methods to analyze the problem (econometric analysis, theoretic modelling). The objective of the course is to equip the participants with the background and tools that are needed to contribute to this dynamic field in terms of research and policy design and evaluation.

The main questions we cover are the following. How do we measure the impacts of climate change on human health and on economic outcomes? What are best practices in using geocoded data in environmental analyses? What are the relevant economic instruments to combat climate change in a globalized world? How can trade help countries mitigate the impacts of climate change and/or disasters? How do lobbying and information acquisition influence actual climate policies?


  • Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Adaptation - Olivier Deschênes
  • Measuring the Impacts of Climate Change on Economic Outcomes - Katrin Millock
  • Geocoded data for Environmental Economists - François Libois
  • The Effects of Trade, the EU ETS, and Natural Disasters on Manufacturing Firms - Hélène Ollivier
  • The Political Economy of Climate Change - Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline

Workshop: present your paper

Participants will have the opportunity to submit a paper to be presented within this programme. Selected papers will be presented in front of participants and faculty in slots reserved for such presentations.

Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Adaptation – Olivier Deschênes


This short course will focus on measuring the varied ways in which climate change will affect human health, and the possible adaptation responses that can mitigate those impacts.

We will begin by developing a conceptual framework to interpret the now standard regressions of health outcomes on weather variation in the context of climate change. The second component of the course will review recent advances in quasi-experimental empirical methods relevant to the climate change impact literature. Finally, the course will conclude with a review of recent papers documenting the impacts of climate change on health outcomes and adaptation measures.


  • Analytical framework for estimating climate change impacts using weather data
  • Empirical Methods to Estimate Climate Change Impacts
  • Empirical Studies of Climate Change Impacts on Health
  • Estimating the Costs of Climate Change Adaptation

Selected key references

- Deschenes, O., and K. Meng, (2018), “Quasi-Experimental Methods in Environmental Economics: Opportunities and Challenges”, Handbook of Environmental Economics, Volume 4, pp. 285-332.

- Hsiang, S, (2016), “Climate Econometrics.” Annual Review of Resource Economics, 8: pp. 43–75.

- Barreca, A., K. Clay, O. Deschenes, M. Greenstone, and J. Shapiro, (2016), “Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship Over the 20th Century.” Journal of Political Economy 124(1): pp. 105-159.

- Deschenes, O., and M. Greenstone, (2011), “Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather in the U.S.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3(4): pp. 152-185.

- Carleton, T., and Climate Impact Lab, (2022), “Valuing the Global Mortality Consequences of Climate Change Accounting for Adaptation Costs and Benefits.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 137(4): pp. 2037–2105.

- Deschenes, O, (2022), “The Impact of Climate Change on Mortality in the United States: Benefits and Costs of adaptation,” Canadian Journal of Economics, 55(3): pp. 1227-1249.

Measuring the Impacts of Climate Change on Economic Outcomes – Katrin Millock

This module is devoted to the measurement of the economic impacts of climate change. Participants will learn how to use weather data to measure climate change impacts, and separate the effects of long-term trends in climate from effects of sudden onset events such as natural disasters. The course intends to give participants a thorough understanding of the econometric methods used to assess economic climate change damages, their assumptions and the outstanding challenges. Special attention will be devoted to measuring the effects of natural disasters.


  • Measuring the effects of climate extreme events on income and growth
  • Accounting for risk of climate extreme events

Selected key references

- Boustan, L. P., M. Kahn, P. Rhode and M. Yanguas, (2020), “The effect of natural disasters on economic activity in U.S. counties: A century of data”, Journal of Urban Economics 118 (C).

- Burke, M., S. Hsiang and E. Miguel, (2015), “Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production”, Nature, DOI: 101038/nature/15725.

- Hsiang, S. and A. Jina, (2014). “The causal effects of environmental catastrophe on economic growth: Evidence from 6,700 tropical cyclones”, NBER Working Paper 20352.

- Kocornik-Mina, A., T. McDermott, G. Michaels and F. Rauch, (2020), “Flooded cities”, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 12(2), 35-66.
- Kolstad, C. and F. Moore (2020). “Estimating the economic impacts of climate change using weather observations”, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 14(1), 1-24.

Geocoded data for Environmental Economists - François Libois

This course will focus on the basic and intermediate requirements that researchers in Environmental Economics have to master when using geocoded data in their work. Data sources include remote sensing information as well as data originating from paper maps of geocoded records.
We will essentially focus on measurement issues and see how choices made in the early steps of the research projects impact the whole research process. The course is very much constructed as a “tricks and tools” to reduce the entry cost in geocoded data and introduce students to Geographical Information System software, namely QGIS, in interaction with statistical software (STATA) and programming language (PYTHON). The course includes many examples from recently published papers, especially on drivers of deforestation, recent trends in agriculture, and tracking of pollution. Participants will get some exercise material to practice around the lectures.


  • Why Geocoded data?
  • Issues related to the choice of projection systems
  • Measurement issues: pro and cons of (some) remote sensing data, aggregation issues
  • Combining geocoded data with socio-economic data

Selected key references

- Masaoki Kudamatsu, (2018), “GIS for Credible Identification Strategies in Economics Research”, CESifo Economic Studies, 64(2), pp. 327-338.

- Dave Donaldson & Adam Storeygard, (2016), “The View from Above: Applications of Satellite Data in Economics”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 171-198, Fall.

- Melissa Dell, (2009), GIS analysis for applied economists- Unpublished manuscript, MIT Department of Economics.

The effects of trade, the EU ETS, and Natural Disasters on manufacturing firms - Hélène Ollivier

This course will cover the latest research on trade and the environment, as well as on the effects of the EU ETS and natural disasters on manufacturing firms. We will focus on ex post analysis of trade and policy impacts on firm-level economic and environmental outcomes. We will study how manufacturing firms respond to trade opportunities or competition from abroad, with an emphasis on their decisions that have consequences in terms of CO2 emissions or other pollutants. We will also study the effects of the EU ETS on heterogeneous firms, taking into consideration the facts that the environmental regulation does not cover all manufacturing facilities within the EU countries and that very few countries outside of the EU implemented a similar carbon regulation. Finally, we will study the propagation of the effects of natural disasters through firms’ networks.


  • Trade and firm-level emissions
  • The impacts of the EU ETS on manufacturing firms
  • The disruptive power of natural disasters on trade networks

Selected key references
- Cherniwchan J., B. Copeland and S. Taylor, (2017), “Trade and the Environment: New Methods, Measurements, and Results”, Annual Review of Economics, vol. 9, 59-85.

- Barrows, G. and H. Ollivier, (2021), “Foreign demand, developing country exports, and CO2 emissions: Firm-level evidence from India”, Journal of Development Economics, in press.

- Barrows, G. and H. Ollivier, (2018), “Cleaner Firms or Cleaner Products? How Product Mix Shapes Emission Intensity from Manufacturing”, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 88, 134-158.

- Shapiro, J. and R. Walker, (2018), “Why is Pollution from US Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Environmental Regulation, Productivity, and Trade”, American Economic Review, vol. 108(12), 3814-54.

- Martin, R., M. Muûls, and U.J. Wagner, (2015), “The impact of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme on regulated firms: What is the evidence after ten years?”, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, vol. 10(1), 1-21.

- Carvalho, V., M. Nirei, Y. U. Saito, and A. Tahbaz-Salehi, (2021), “Supply Chain Disruptions: Evidence from the Great East Japan Earthquake”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 136(2), 1255-1321.

The political economy of climate change – Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline

The objective of this course is to analyse the political economy constraints related to the adoption and implementation of climate change mitigation policies. It will focus on the competition between companies and green NGOs to influence individuals and public decision-makers by providing them with information, whether science-based or biased, and by using activist pressure or lobbying.


  • Inside versus outside lobbying
  • Information warfare: manufacturing doubt
  • Lobbying by interest groups and environmental regulation

Selected key references

- Bonneuil, C., Choquet, P. L., & Franta, B, (2021), Early warnings and emerging accountability: Total’s responses to global warming, 1971–2021. Global Environmental Change, 71, 102386.

- Chiroleu-Assouline, M., Lyon, T. P, (2020), Merchants of Doubt: Corporate Political Action when NGO Credibility is Uncertain. Journal of Economics, Management and Strategy, 29(2), 439-461.

- Delmas, M., Lim, J., & Nairn-Birch, N, (2016), Corporate environmental performance and lobbying. Academy of Management Discoveries, 2(2), 175-197.

- Kennard, A, (2020), The Enemy of My Enemy: When Firms Support Climate Change Regulation. International Organization, 74(2), 187-221.

- Meng, K. and Rode, A, (2019), The social cost of lobbying over climate policy. Nature Climate Change 9, p. 472-476.

- Yu, Z, (2005), Environmental protection: A theory of direct and indirect competition for political influence. The Review of Economic Studies, 72(1), 269-286.

Contents - Climate Change