Obama cites GPL climate economics research by Solomon Hsiang

In his recent Science article The Irreversible Momentum of Clean Energy,  President Obama jumped into the "growth vs. levels" debate among empirical economists studying the effects of climate change, writing 

[E]vidence is mounting that any economic strategy that ignores carbon pollution will impose tremendous costs to the global economy and will result in fewer jobs and less economic growth over the long term. Estimates of the economic damages from warming of 4°C over preindustrial levels range from 1% to 5% of global GDP each year by 2100 ... In addition, these estimates factor in economic damages but do not address the critical question of whether the underlying rate of economic growth (rather than just the level of GDP) is affected by climate change, so these studies could substantially understate the potential damage of climate change on the global macroeconomy (8, 9).

and citing the recent GPL paper on the global effects of temperature on growth

Talk about a president who gets into the nuts and bolts...

Coolest author affiliation... ever

Paper: Understanding farmer crop choice in response to climate change by Solomon Hsiang

James Rising has a new working paper Weather-driven adaptation in perennial crop systems:An integrated study of Brazilian coffee yields, demonstrating how farmers in Brazil cope with changing environmental conditions by altering the portfolio of coffee crops they maintain. The analysis develops a novel structural Bayesian modeling approach that embeds reduced form modeling estimates, allowing James to solve (for the first time) the well-known "problem with perennials", i.e. the fact that analysts and policy-makes cannot generally observe the number of long-live plants (perennials) that farmers maintain on a farm. The analysis is important because it demonstrates how farmers cope with a changing climate by changing their investment decisions, sometimes amplifying the economic impact of changes in climate. 

James Rising Coffee

Paper: Non-linear network behavior of protesters during escalating social movements by Solomon Hsiang

Felipe Gonzalez has a new working paper Collective Action in Networks: Evidence from the Chilean Student Movement, demonstrating how millions of students across schools in Chile influence one another to participate in a growing social movement.  Felipe demonstrates how the number of individuals in each student's social network, in addition to each student's physical neighborhood, increases the likelihood that specific students will participate in the 2011 student movement. He finds strong evidence of a "tipping point" where if 40% of a student's class is participating, then the entire class "tips" and begins attending the protest.  This is important because it is the first empirical evidence testing classical models of social network dynamics in revolutionary environments.

Locations of over 50,000 student protesters in Santiago, Chile during the 2011 student movement

Locations of over 50,000 student protesters in Santiago, Chile during the 2011 student movement