This work looks at the opportunities and challenges in moving from today's systems of industrial production towards systems with less negative impact on the environment and society. My research centers around the interactions between political and economic institutions (laws, policies, programs, norms, int'l agreements), changing technologies and industries' historical paths. I look at these with tools drawn from several disciplines, but generally from a perspective that is evolutionary and complex rather than tending towards equilibrium or mechanics. I am developing a comparative study, looking at several sectors/technological spaces within the energy, chemicals, and food domains utilizing both a bottom-up narrative approach and top-down formal modeling.
In particular, I'm interested in developing a better understanding of how institutional designs can evolve in order to meet both short-term economic and strategic needs as well as long-term aims of equity and sustainability.
Information and Consumer Behavior
There is great potential in the power of consumers to exercise their influence in the marketplace by purchasing goods that match their ethical values, particularly around health, environmental, and social impacts. Unfortunately, product-level information is often hard to come by and, even when found, is difficult to reliably trust or verify. We are analysing the impact of expert-driven product-specific information on consumers' online purchasing behavior, exploring the interaction of different types of people, different types of products and different types of information. In future work, we will be incorporating this with non-information cues, such as advocacy, peer influence, personal attitudes and values, and human-computer interaction, aiming to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of pro-social consumer decisionmaking.
Mailing addressDepartment of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720