September 24, 2020 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

Understanding the Economic and Environmental Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Event Description:

This webinar brings together the authors of two CEEPR working papers evaluating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through use of empirical data. The first paper correlates county-level COVID-19 death rates with key variables – such as socio-economic variables, county-level health variables, modes of commuting, and pollution patterns – to reveal a number of significant correlations. The second paper juxtaposes the short- and long-run effects of the pandemic on energy and the environment, showing that the positive effects of short-run emission reductions can be outweighed by the negative long-run effect of a slowdown in clean energy innovation and investment. Both papers will be presented by one of their authors, followed by a moderated discussion with the audience.


Christopher Knittel

Christopher Knittel is the George P Shultz Professor of Energy Economics and a Professor of Applied Economics in the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He directs the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) at MIT. CEEPR, established in 1977 is the hub for social science work related to energy and the environment. Knittel is also the Deputy Director for Policy of the MIT Energy Initiative, the hub for energy research at MIT. Finally, along with Meredith Fowlie at UC Berkeley, he co-directs the Environmental and Energy Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Formerly, Knittel was on the faculty at UC Davis and Boston University. He is the former co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, and an associate editor of the Journal of Transportation Economics and Policy, and Journal of Energy Markets, having previously served as an associate editor of The American Economic Journal — Economic Policy and The Journal of Industrial Economics.
Jing Li

Jing holds the William Barton Rogers Career Development Chair of Energy Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. From 2017-2018, Jing Li was a Postdoctoral Associate of the MIT Energy Initiative. Jing’s research interests lie in energy economics and industrial organization, focusing on development and adoption of new technologies. Her most recent work examines compatibility and investment in electric vehicle recharging networks in the United States, and cost pass-through in the E85 retail market. Jing received her B.Sc. in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Economics from MIT in 2011, and her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard in 2017.
John Parsons

John Parsons is a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Associate Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR). His research focuses on the valuation and financing of investments in energy markets, as well as the problems of risk in energy and environment markets. Recent publications have touched on the value of changing the utilization of transmission to maximize the value of hydro assets and expanded penetration of renewables, the value of investments in life extensions of nuclear power plants, the economics of new microreactors, and the impact of decarbonization on generation assets in the U.S. midcontinent.