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Building an Evidence Base for Climate Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries | Centennial Lecture Series

Talk by:

Kelsey Jack

Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara

followed by an informal conversation with:

Anna Harvey

SSRC President

Event Recording


About the Lecture

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating adaptation to climate change requires effective public investments, yet many policies and programs lack crucial evidence of their effectiveness. In low and middle income countries, the cost of putting resources toward ineffective policies is particularly high. This talk discusses two recent randomized controlled trials aimed at filling the evidence gap. The first tests novel approaches to reduce agricultural emissions in India. The second improves smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate shocks in Niger. Findings highlight the need for piloting before scaling up policy — in both projects, cost effectiveness was improved through innovative policy design.

About Kelsey Jack

Kelsey Jack is an Associate Professor at the Bren School and in the Department of Economics at UC Santa Barbara. Her research is at the intersection of environmental and development economics, with a focus on how individuals, households, and communities affect and are affected by their natural environment. Much of her research uses field experiments to test theory and new policy innovations. She has done research in numerous countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Kelsey co-chairs the Environment and Energy sector at J-PAL and is an associate editor at the American Economic Review and Econometrica. Prior to joining UCSB, Professor Jack was on the faculty at Tufts University and was a post doc at MIT. She has a bachelors degree from Princeton University and a PhD from Harvard University. Before graduate school, she spent two years in Lao PDR working for IUCN.