My Research Interests

I am an environmental economist interested in the socioeconomic impacts and human dimensions of climate change. My work involves using data at multiple spatial scales (sub-national, gridded, and household) to understand the multi-dimensional impacts of climate change on society. I am an author of the 2020 Report of the Lancet Countdown.

 

Some of my current research topics are;

  • socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic: COVID-19 is affecting many sectors across countries and regions, and many aspects of people's health and livelihoods. The health crisis itself is putting pressure on health services across the globe, and worsening health outcomes not directly related to the pandemic. Using unique micro-surveys from multiple countries, we are investigating the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns to contain it on inequality and food security.​​

  • food security: Professor Elizabeth Robinson and I are analysing impacts of climate change and COVID-19 pandemic on global and local food security and nutrition and the repercussions on human health. ​

    • ​​Climate change impacts on child health through harvest shocks: Climate change threatens human health through increased food insecurity in com-plex ways, but to date there have been few attempts to make any quantifiable attribution. This paper makes an important and novel contribution, combining country-level crop yield data with a large sub-national child health dataset from 130 countries and gridded reanalysed climate data to investigate the climate-crops-health nexus. Using an instrumental variable approach, we find evidence that climate change measured by anomaly in growing-degree days and droughts is already affecting the health of children, particularly through harvest shocks, while inter-annual change in temperature also worsens child health. Our analysis shows that although both education and economic growth reduce stunting and wasting among children, this impact is outweighed by climate related yield shocks.​

    • Socioeconomic determinants of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic: We provide a snapshot of the social dimensions of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic using unique micro-surveys form nine developing countries. Our econometric analysis shows that female-headed households, the poor, and the less-formally educated, appear to suffer more in terms of food insecurity during a global pandemic. Our findings emphasise that the distributional consequences of the pandemic are disproportionately higher for lower income households. Not only are the impacts country-specific, but there is also considerable spatial heterogeneity in within country food insecurity, suggesting that tailored policies will be required.​

  • impacts on labour: we are working to improve the temperature-labour supply exposure-response functions by combining hundreds of micro surveys across the world! In the second step, we combine these response functions with ISIMIP climate data to estimate the impacts of future climate change on labour. We are also collaborating with economic modelers to update damage functions in Integrated Assessment Models and shocks in CGE models. I co-lead the ISIMIP labour impacts sub-sector with Professor Simon Gosling and Dr. Franziska Piontek

  • inequality and poverty: climate change undoubtedly exacerbates inequality and poverty situations across and within countries. Along with Dr. Johannes Emmerling and Dr. Soheil Shayegh, our ongoing work investigates the impact of climatic stressors on inequality in various countries. I am also working on constructing a global sub-national level dataset on inequality and poverty indices.   

  • human health: climate impacts on health are the most tangible of all impacts. My work investigates climate change impacts on incidence and mortality of malaria and influenza; along with stunting, wasting, and mortality among children in low and middle-income countries.

  

I also work on the impacts of energy supply (hydro and wind power) and migration/displacement

 

The goal is to link biophysical climate impacts to socioeconomic ones!