The effects of emissions mitigation policies often differ from expectations, and understanding how to design effective policies under political and economic uncertainty is essential to meeting policy goals. In the first part of this talk, I will describe projects exploring (1) the causes of price volatility in the Renewable Fuel Standard compliance certificate market and (2) how unanticipated market changes affected the profitability and retirement of coal-fired power plants and the costs of environmental regulations. I will then transition to discussing new evidence of the effects of climate change on inequality in childhood experiences. In this project, I find that hotter temperatures lead to more school disciplinary incidents, but only among students attending schools without air conditioning. Results suggest that warming conditions and unequal access to air conditioning may exacerbate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in school.
Kristen McCormack is Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy from Harvard University specializing in energy and environmental economics. Her research focuses on the effective design of environmental policies and how economic tools can be used to identify and address inequities in environmental harm. Before graduate school, Kristen worked as a research assistant at Resources for the Future. She graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College, with a B.A. in Economics. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, RAND Journal of Economics, Energy Policy, Environmental Law Reporter, and the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.