Catherine Wolfram
University of California, Berkeley

September 6, 2016 - Catherine Wolfram, a leader in energy and environmental economics and a faculty director of The E2e Project, was recently appointed to be the next director of the Environmental and Energy Economics (EEE) program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The organization provides economists a unique environment in which to present new and evolving research through conferences and a distinguished working papers series. NBER is also known for defining recessions in the U.S. economy.

In addition to serving as a faculty director for The E2e Project, Wolfram is a faculty director of the Energy Institute at Haas, a professor at the Haas School of Business, and an affiliated faculty member in both the Agriculture and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.

Wolfram has published extensively on topics ranging from energy efficiency and electricity markets to climate policy, U.S. air pollution regulations, and energy demand in the developing world. Her research seeks to rigorously quantify the impacts of energy and environmental policies both domestically and internationally. Wolfram’s research influences policy-makers’ debates and decisions on energy programs and investments.

Intuitively, we all know that energy is quite literally an engine of economic growth, yet it’s also a major contributor to climate change and other environmental problems. Around the world, the industry is subject to a myriad of policies and regulations, and getting those right is essential to maintaining well-functioning economies and a healthy planet,” says Wolfram.

As an advocate of rigorous, data-driven analyses to isolate the impact of environmental regulations, climate change mitigation policies, and energy efficiency investments, Wolfram is leading several randomized controlled trials in the U.S., Kenya, and India. These studies are expected to produce new insights on what drives energy demand in the world.

In support of this research, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) recently appointed Wolfram and Berkeley-Haas professor, Paul Gertler, to oversee a $19M, five-year global research award. ┬áThe Energy for Economic Growth (EEG) will be aimed at studying energy investments in South Asia and Sub-Saharan African. EEG will operate in partnership with the Oxford Policy Management (OPM), an international development consulting firm based in the UK. EEG will bring together economists, engineers, and political scientists from around the world to support a global network of academic researchers and policymakers whose work will inform high-level decisions affecting the energy sector in the developing world and beyond.

Wolfram, the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School at Berkeley, received a PhD in economics from MIT in 1996 and an AB from Harvard in 1989. She began her teaching career as an assistant professor of economics at Harvard before moving to Berkeley in 2000.