Karen B. Clay
Professor of Economics and Public Policy (Joint appointment with the Tepper School of Business)
Karen Clay is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.
She holds courtesy appointments at the Tepper School of Business and in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, is a Senior Fellow at the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon, is an affiliated faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law, and is a research associate at the NBER.
Professor Clay's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Sloan Foundation. Her work has been published in the Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economics and Statistics, and American Economic Review, Papers
- 95-710 - Economic Analysis
In The Media
- Air Quality News - Increase in PM2.5 led to thousands of additional deaths in the U.S - Air Quality News (01-15-2021)
- Morning Star - Another warning from the 1918 flu for COVID-19: 'Survival does not mean that individuals fully recovered' (09-07-2020)
- Marginal Revolution - How bad was the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918? (08-25-2020)
- MarketWatch - Another warning from the 1918 flu for COVID-19: ‘Survival does not mean that individuals fully recovered’ (08-25-2020)
- MarketWatch - Here's one depressing thing COVID-19 and the 1918 Spanish flu have in common (08-17-2020)
- Boston Globe - Social Studies: Pandemic insurance, ride-share bias, and blue-collar eyes (05-29-2020)
- Forbes - America’s Air Is Getting Worse: Here’s Why (05-24-2020)
- The Rising - The Head Of The EPA Said ‘Our Air, Water, And Land Is Cleaner’ Under Trump. He’s Completely Wrong. (05-23-2020)
- Salon - As millions lose insurance, states cut Medicaid in response to the coronavirus crisis (05-16-2020)
- Tribune Review - Air quality in region showed slight improvement in pandemic shutdown (05-11-2020)
- Meinbezirk.at - Coronavirus: Covid-19 Todesursache Luftverschmutzung (04-27-2020)
- wissenslogs - Lungenentzündung: Warum Luftverschmutzung Covid-19 tödlicher macht (04-23-2020)
- Newstrotteur - COVID-19 pourrait frapper le plus durement dans les endroits les plus pollués (04-18-2020)
- Discover - COVID-19 Could Hit Hardest in Places With the Most Air Pollution (04-06-2020)
- NPR - Can air pollution make coronavirus worse? Scientists say yes - possibly in both cases and severity | StateImpact Pennsylvania (04-03-2020)
- High Country News - Air pollution and COVID-19 could be a dangerous cocktail (04-03-2020)
- Forbes - A Cruel April Fools' Day Prank On The Economy And The Environment (04-01-2020)
- Huffington Post - How Air Pollution Makes The Coronavirus So Much More Dangerous (03-31-2020)
- Mother Jones - Your City's Air Pollution Could Make COVID-19 Even More Dangerous (03-27-2020)
- WOL IZA - Pandemics and the labor market—Then and now (03-25-2020)
- Bloomberg - Recession Panel Could Make Official U.S. Call Prior to Election (03-16-2020)
- Medium - Why the 1918 flu hit some cities harder than others (03-12-2020)
- Inside Climate News - Congressional Democrats Join the Debate Over Plastics’ Booming Future (02-21-2020)
- CBC News - Trains vs. pipelines: 2 Sask. crashes respark debate over risks of moving oil (02-14-2020)
- Yahoo Canada - 2 Sask. crashes respark debate over risks of moving oil (02-14-2020)
- Popular Science - Decades of U.S. air quality improvements may be slowing, and these areas have it the worst (02-04-2020)
- Next Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh’s air was unsafe to breathe for three months in 2018, report says (01-30-2020)
- Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh's air was unsafe to breathe for 3 months in 2018 (01-28-2020)
- AP - AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fusillade of misfires on fateful week (01-25-2020)
- New York Times - Trump and the Teenager: A Climate Showdown at Davos (01-21-2020)
- New York Times - AP FACT CHECK: Trump's Davos Remarks Rife With Distortion (01-21-2020)
- Earth Justice - Three Years Battling the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Our Health and Environment (01-17-2020)
- New York Times - AP FACT CHECK: Trump's Distortions Are Across the Board (01-11-2020)
- Bloomberg Law - EPA Lead Proposal, Derided as Weak, May Be Sneakily Strong (12-17-2019)
- VICE - I Bought an Air-Quality Monitor and My Life Will Never Be the Same (12-16-2019)
- WESA-FM - Pennsylvania's Air Was A Little Fresher In 2018, State Data Shows (12-12-2019)
- ENN - Environmental News Network - Harder To Breathe: Air Quality has Worsened Since 2016 (12-05-2019)
- Now This - Deadly Air Pollution Is Getting Worse, While Trump Brags About “The Cleanest Air” (12-04-2019)
- Vox - What Trump has actually done in his first 3 years (12-02-2019)
- Daily Stock Dish - Study: 9,700 Deaths in 2018 Caused by Worsening Air Pollution (11-29-2019)
- PA Environmental Daily - CMU Study Finds Recent Increase In Fine Particulate Matter Pollution Associated With More Premature Deaths In U.S. (11-27-2019)
- Mirage News - Harder To Breathe: Air Quality has Worsened Since 2016 (11-26-2019)
- NPR - Pittsburgh mayor's comments set off controversy over petrochemical industry's impact to Western Pa. | StateImpact Pennsylvania (11-25-2019)
- Bloomberg - That Junk in the Air Is Really Bad for Us (11-22-2019)
- AARP - Health Effects of Air Pollution on Older Adults (11-21-2019)
- PennLive - Health impacts of the natural gas industry are hurting Pennsylvania residents | Opinion (11-21-2019)
- B-schools.org - Business Schools & Departments with Excellent Economics Faculty (11-18-2019)
- Group Against Smog and Pollution - Snapshot: GASP Hosts Chat with CMU Professor, Author of New Air Pollution Study (11-18-2019)
- New York Times - Trump and His Party of Pollution (11-14-2019)
- Internal Medicine News - Worse air quality linked to premature deaths (11-12-2019)
- Energy Industry Report - Deteriorating air quality in US likely to lead to 10000 premature deaths (11-08-2019)
- Neoliberal Podcast - Pollution Problems ft. Dr Karen Clay (11-08-2019)
- KUNC-FM Online - https://www.kunc.org/post/wildfire-smoke-contributes-air-quality-plummeting-west (11-07-2019)
- Boston Globe - Air pollution is getting worse (11-07-2019)
- Azocleantech.com - After Years of Improvement US Air Quality Declines (11-04-2019)
- Truthout - More Renewables Will Mean Less Asthma and Heart Disease in the Midwest (11-04-2019)
- High County News - Smog and smoke: The West's air is the dirtiest it's been since 2009 (11-04-2019)
- Paper Blog - New Study Shows Air Pollution is Deteriorating in The U.S. Under The Trump Administration (10-31-2019)
- Mother Jones - Wildfires Are Making California's Bad Air Quality Even Worse-And It's Killing People (10-31-2019)
- Connecticut Post Online - Air quality is getting worse in the U.S. (10-30-2019)
- Clean Power Professionals - More renewables will mean less asthma and heart disease in the Midwest (10-30-2019)
- Azocleantech.com - After Years of Improvement US Air Quality Declines (10-30-2019)
- Energy News Network - More renewables will mean less asthma and heart disease in the Midwest (10-29-2019)
- Down to Earth - Air pollution killing more Americans under Trump than Obama: Study (10-29-2019)
- NBC - California fires, from the Getty Center to Kincade, unleash another danger: Air pollution (10-28-2019)
- ABC - US air quality declines after years of improvement (10-28-2019)
- Bloomberg - Air Pollution Has Spiked. Is Trump to Blame? (10-28-2019)
- electrek - Climate Crisis Weekly: Attribution science - fossil-fuel smoking gun, Trump policy deaths, more (10-26-2019)
- NPR - Spike In Air Pollution In U.S. (10-26-2019)
- AP - The president said a lot of things this week that aren't true. Here are some of them. (10-26-2019)
- Citizen Truth - Reversing Downward Trend, US Air Pollution Creeps Back Up (10-26-2019)
- NationofChange - Under Trump air pollution has increased for the first time in nearly a decade - NationofChange (10-26-2019)
- Undark - With Air Pollution On the Rise, Researchers Sound Alarms (10-25-2019)
- Vox - Study: US air pollution deaths increased by 9,700 a year from 2016 to 2018 (10-24-2019)
- Democratic Underground - Another "gift" from the Trump administration (10-24-2019)
- New York Times - America’s Air Quality Worsens, Ending Years of Gains, Study Says (10-24-2019)
- AP - Trump's foggy claims on climate policy (10-24-2019)
- Atlanta Journal Constitution - Uptick in US air pollution led to thousands of deaths last year, study finds (10-24-2019)
- Daily Kos - Open thread for night owls. Study: Trump's pollution-boosting caused 9,700 premature deaths in 2018 (10-24-2019)
- People's World - Trump air quality deregulation translates into more deaths (10-24-2019)
- CNN - Air quality in the US is getting worse and could be killing thousands, study finds (10-23-2019)
- Daily Kos - Study: After improving, U.S. air quality has deteriorated since 2016 (10-23-2019)
- The Hill - US Air pollution rose from 2016-2018, resulting in premature deaths (10-23-2019)
- EcoWatch - U.S. Air Pollution Is Getting Worse Under Trump, New Study Finds (10-23-2019)
- Newsmax - Study: 9,700 Deaths in 2018 Caused by Worsening Air Pollution (10-23-2019)
- YouWillAnyway Blog - MAGA (10-23-2019)
- Washington Post - Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying (10-23-2019)
- Gizmodo - Air Pollution Is Increasing In The U.S. For The First Time In A Decade Under Trump (10-23-2019)
- London Economic - Should We Still Be Keeping Our Salaries Secret? (10-22-2019)
- CBS - U.S. air pollution is worsening after improving for years (10-22-2019)
- The Guardian - Scientists fired by Trump warn particle pollution standards don’t protect people (10-22-2019)
- Bloomberg - U.S. Air Quality Was Improving. Now It's Getting Worse (10-22-2019)
- Washington Post - Analysis | The Energy 202: ExxonMobil goes on trial over accusations it misled investors about climate change costs (10-22-2019)
- Scienmag - Recent increase in fine particulate matter associated with more premature deaths in US (10-21-2019)
- Marginal Revolution - Monday assorted links (10-21-2019)
- Engineering.com - By Pipe or by Rail, Which Is Less Likely to Fail? (10-14-2019)
- Axios - Stalled gas pipelines could push power grids back to oil and coal (09-20-2019)
- ENN - Environmental News Network - A Toxic Truth: Lead Exposure Problems Linger In Soil, Air (08-26-2019)
- Bioengineer - Study questions success of health intervention currently used in developing countries (06-26-2019)
- Wall Street Journal - Pollution That Discriminates by Gender (05-02-2019)
- MedIndia - Effect of Lead Exposure on Children’s Cognitive Development Studied (04-22-2019)
- Science Daily - Higher lead in topsoil boosts probability of cognitive difficulties in 5-year-old boys (04-10-2019)
- News Medical - 5-year-old boys more likely to have cognitive difficulties due to higher lead exposure (04-10-2019)
- Psych Central - Lead in Topsoil Tied to Greater Risk of Cognitive Problems in Young Boys (04-10-2019)
- Axios - Converting coal-fired plants can save jobs and provide cleaner energy (03-29-2019)
- American Progress - Get the Lead Out (01-17-2019)
- E&E News - Film lets Pittsburgh talk back to Trump (12-06-2018)
- Newsweek - What Happens if Trump Rolls Back Environmental Protections? These Are the Health Consequences (09-05-2018)
- Chicago Booth Review - Why transporting oil by rail is popular, despite the cost (08-14-2018)
- WTAE - Pennsylvania energy jobs: The economics vs. the science (07-30-2018)
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Pittsburgh: Think twice about allowing more rail traffic to roll through the city (07-29-2018)
- Hindustan Times - Fertility diet, best foods and lifestyle habits to boost fertility and sperm count (07-28-2018)
- CityLab - Lead's Other Toxic Toll: Fertility (07-05-2018)
- PUNCH - Effects of lead on reproductive functions (06-27-2018)
- Med India - Exposure to Lead can Impact Fertility Rates (05-23-2018)
- Hindustan Times - Lead exposure is leading to infertility among both men and women (05-23-2018)
- MarketWatch - There’s something in America’s soil and water — and it’s hurting fertility rates (05-23-2018)
- Deccan Chronicle - Lead exposure lowers general fertility rate: Study (05-23-2018)
- WESA-FM1 - Do Regulations Kill Jobs? Or Save Lives? (02-22-2018)
- Trumponearth.org - Ep. 35: Do Regulations Kill Jobs? Or Save Lives? (02-14-2018)
- Hellenic Shipping News - When Shipping Petroleum, Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Costs More Than Accidents (11-22-2017)
- Energy Collective - The Keystone Pipeline’s XL-ish Spill (11-20-2017)
- Prairie Public Radio - Study: Oil Transportation Emissions Costlier Than Spills (10-16-2017)
- Gears of Biz - The costs of transporting petroleum products by pipelines and rail (10-13-2017)
- Midwest Energy News - Crude oil by rail or pipeline? New studies explore the question (09-28-2017)
- Vox - I’m a climate change researcher in Pittsburgh. What is Trump talking about? (06-03-2017)
The Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Resources on Economic Outcomes: Evidence From the United States 1936-2015 (with Margarita Portnykh) NBER Working Paper #24695.
Toxic Truth: Lead and Fertility (with Margarita Portnykh and Edson
Severnini) NBER Working Paper #24607 and IZA Working Paper #11541.
Canary in a Coal Mine: Impact of Mid-20th Century Air Pollution on Infant Mortality and Property Values (with Joshua Lewis and Edson
Severnini) NBER Working Paper #22155 and IZA Working Paper #9484.
Laws, Educational Outcomes, and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from the Full Count 1940 Census NBER Working Paper #22855 (with Jeff Lingwall and Mel Stephens). Featured in VoxEU.
Controlling Tuberculosis? Evidence from the Mother of all Community-Wide Health Experiments (with Peter Juul Egedeso, Casper Worm Hansen, and Peter Sandholt Jensen). University of Copenhagen Working Paper, No. 18-03.
Coal, Smoke, and Death: Bituminous Coal and American Home Heating (with Alan Barreca and Joel Tarr) NBER Working Paper #19881 and IZA Working Paper #7987.
The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American
States2011 (with Daniel Berkowitz) Princeton University Press. It is available for order through Amazon.
The External Costs of Transporting Petroleum Products by Pipelines and Rail: Evidence From Shipments of Crude Oil from North Dakota. (with Akshaya Jha, Nick Muller, Randy Walsh). NBER Working Paper #23852. Abstract. Forthcoming, Energy Journal.
"Pollution, Infectious Disease, and Infant Mortality: Evidence from the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza Pandemic"(with Joshua Lewis and Edson
Severnini) NBER Working Paper #21635 and IZA Working Paper #9399. Forthcoming, Journal of Economic History.
"The Rise and Fall of Pellagra in the American South" (with Ethan Schmick and Werner Troesken). NBER Working Paper #23730. Forthcoming, Journal of Economic History.
"Adapting to Climate Change: Evidence from Long-Run Changes in the Temperature-Mortality Relationship in the 20th Century United States." (with Alan Barreca, Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone, and Joseph Shapiro) Journal of Political Economy 124(1) (2016):105-159.
"Convergence in Adaptation to Climate Change: Evidence from High Temperatures and Mortality, 1900-2004"(with Alan Barreca, Olivier Deschenes, Michael Greenstone, and Joseph Shapiro) American Economic Review, Paper and Proceedings 105(5) (May 2015): 247-251.
"Boom and Bust in Pittsburgh Natural Gas History: Development, Policy, and Environmental Effects, 1878–1920" (with Joel Tarr) Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 139(3) (2015):323-342.
"Lead and Mortality." (with Werner Troesken and Michael Haines) Review of Economics and Statistics 96(3) (July 2014): 458-470.
"Tariff Choice with Consumer Learning and Switching Costs" (with Ron Goettler), Journal of Marketing Research 48 (August 2011 ): 633-652. Lead article.
"Pittsburgh as an Energy Capital: A Life-Cycle Perspective on Coal and the Transition to Natural Gas" (with Joel Tarr), in Energy Capitals: Local Impact, Global Influence Edited by Martin Melosi and Joseph Pratt. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.
"Gold Rush Legacy: American Minerals and the Knowledge Economy" (with Gavin Wright), in The Evolution of Property Rights Related to Land and Natural Resources. Edited by Daniel Cole and Elinor Ostrom. Cambridge: Lincoln Land Institute Press, 2011.
"Did Frederick Brodie Discover the World's First Environmental Kuznets Curve? Coal Smoke and the Rise and Fall of the London Fog" (with Werner Troesken), in The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present. Edited by Gary Libecap and Richard H. Steckel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
"Natural Resources and Economic Outcomes," in Economic Evolution and Revolution in Historical Time. Edited by Paul Rhode, Joshua Rosenbloom
andDavid Weiman. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. Adaptedversion published as "Are Natural Resources a Curse for Growth?" in World Financial Review, September/October 2011.
"Migrating to Riches? Evidence from the California Gold Rush" (with Randy Jones). Journal of Economic History, 68 (December 2008):997-1027.
"The Effect of Judicial Independence on Courts: Evidence from the American States" (with Dan Berkowitz), Journal of Legal Studies, 35(2) (June 2006): 399-440.
"Ranchos and the Politics of Land Claims" with Werner Troesken. Land of Sunshine: Toward an Environmental History of Los Angeles. Edited by Bill Deverell and Greg Hise. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.
"American Civil Law Origins: Implications for State Constitutions "(with Dan Berkowitz), American Law and Economics Review, 7(1) (Spring 2005): 62-84.
"Order Without Law? Property Rights During the California Gold Rush" (with Gavin Wright) Explorations in Economic History, 42(2) (April 2005): 155-183.
"An Empirical Analysis of Optimal Membership Rules in Peer to Peer Networks" (with Atip Asvunund, Ramayya Krishnan, and Michael Smith) Information Systems Research, 15(2) (2004): 155-174.
"Designing a Better Shopbot" (with Alan Montgomery, Kartik Hosanager, and Ramayya Krishnan), Management Science, 50(2) (February 2004): 189-206.
"Further Tests of Static Oligopoly Models: Whiskey, 1882-1898" with Werner Troesken, Journal of Industrial Economics, 51(2) (June 2003): 151-166.
"Strategic Behavior in Whiskey Distilling, 1887-1895" with Werner Troesken, Journal of Economic History, 62(4) (December 2002): 999-1023.
"Institutional Barriers to Electronic Commerce: An Historical Perspective" with Robert Strauss, Advances in Strategic Management, 19 (2002):247-273.
"Retail Strategies on the Web: Price and Non-Price Competition in the Online Book Industry" with Ramayya Krishnan, Eric Wolff, and Danny
Fernnades, Journal of Industrial Economics, 50(3) (September 2002): 351-67.
"The Great Experiment: Pricing on the Internet" with Ramayya Krishnan and Michael D. Smith. The E-Business Handbook. Edited by Paul B. Lowry, J. Owen Cherrington, and Ronald R. Watson, New York: CRC Press, 2002.
"Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry" with Ramayya Krishnan and Eric Wolff, Journal of Industrial Economics, 49(4) (December 2001): 521-39.
"Trust, Risk and Electronic Commerce:
Nineteenth CenturyLessons for the Twenty-First Century " with Robert Strauss, State Tax Notes (Reprinted from the Proceedings of the National Tax Association), December 25, 2000.
"The Choice-Within-Constraints New Institutionalism and Implications for Sociology", with Paul Ingram, Annual Review of Sociology, 26 (2000): 525-546.
"Squatting and the Settlement of the United States: New Evidence from Post-Gold Rush California", with Werner Troesken, Advances in Agricultural Economic History, 1 (2000): 207-33.
"Property Rights and Institutions: Congress and the California Land Act of 1851". Journal of Economic History, 59(1) (March 1999): 122-42.
"Trade, Institutions, and Law: The Experience of Mexican California". Studies in the Economic History of the Pacific Rim. Edited by Sally M. Miller, A. J. H. Latham, and Dennis O. Flynn. New York: Routledge, 1998.
"Trade, Institutions, and Credit: Contract Enforcement on the California Coast, 1830-1846". Explorations in Economic History, 34(4) (October 1997): 495-521.
"Trade Without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California". Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 13(1) (April 1997): 202-31.
"A Coasean General Equilibrium Model of Regulation". Journal of Public Economics, 53(3) (March 1994): 459-75.
"Ex Post vs. Ex Ante Pricing: Optional Calling Plans and Tapered Tariffs", with David Sibley and Padmanabhan Srinagesh, Journal of Regulatory Economics, 4(2) (June 1992): 115-38. Reprinted in The Economics of Public Utilities, edited by Ray Rees, Edward Elgar.
B.A., Economics and Mathematics, University of Virginia
Ph.D., Economics, Stanford University