University of Southern California USC

October 6 — Antonio Bento

Professor of Public Policy & Economics
Director, Graduate Program in Public Policy
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

“Climate Penalty on Local Air Pollution: Is it Possible to Adapt?”

Seminar Description: The harmful health effects of ground-level ozone pollution are well documented, and include the exacerbation of lung diseases, more time spent in hospital emergency abento-webrooms, and even premature death. Recently, there is increasing concerns that climate change will further increase ozone pollution – and its heath and economic burdens – across large parts of the United States.

In his lecture, Professor Bento will provide an overview of this recent literature on a “climate penalty’ on local air pollution, by combining projections of future climate-induced temperature increases with estimates of the relationship between ozone concentrations and temperature. The lecture will also provide some of the first preliminary estimates of the dollar amount of this penalty, and discuss opportunities for climate adaptation, including regulation induced-adaptation such as the shift of economic activity across the hours of the day or space, migration, and technological change.

Speaker Biography: Antonio M. Bento is a professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics of the University of Southern California. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and a research fellow of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Currently, he serves as the Director of the Graduate Programs in Public Policy at the Sol Price School.

Bento received a BA in Economics from the Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal) in 1996, and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics (jointly with Economics) from the University of Maryland in 2000. He previously taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2000-2004), the University of Maryland (2004-2007), Cornell University (2007-2015), and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, and a regular consultant to the World Bank.

Professor Bento is an applied microeconomist with a research program in the areas of environmental, energy, urban, and public economics. Most of his work consists of theoretical and empirical assessments of major public policy issues, and his scholarly interests range widely both in topics and methods. For the past few years, Professor Bento has written on topics related to the design of climate change mitigation policies and the interactions of (new) environmental policies with the broader tax system; the effectiveness of policies that promote the expansion of biofuels, renewable energy, and the diffusion of cleaner technologies; causes and remedies of urban sprawl and urban environmental challenges in developed and developing countries; the benefits of major environmental regulations, such as the Clean Air Act and its Amendments; individual responses to real-time pricing; and the distributional impacts of various environmental policies, including federal gasoline taxes. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Journal of Urban Economics, the Energy Journal and other scholarly journals and books.

Professor Bento contributed to the New York State Climate Change Action Plan, the New York State Biofuels Roadmap, the U.N. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) Assessment Report on Biofuels, served as a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, and was recently appointed as a lead author to the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP).

Discussant: Lisa Schweitzer, Associate Professor, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

Full-length Recordings: Recordings are available on YouTube and iTunesU.

Seminar Photos: Photos from the seminar are available on the USC Price Flickr Page.

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