Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Business and Engineering
Behavioral economics, causal inference, evidence-based public policy
Paul Ferraro is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and the Carey Business School. He is known for his research on human behavior and on the design and estimation of impacts of environmental programs.
His research focuses on building credible evidence about the environmental and social impacts of public and private programs. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of his research, Ferraro collaborates with scientists and engineers from a variety of social, natural, and physical science disciplines. He uses a combination of naturally occurring data and randomized controlled trials to identify the causal links between policy actions and their effects.
Ferraro’s work has led to the development of evidence-based programs that tackle some of society’s most pressing problems. His research has helped determine how societies can best address clean water scarcity, quantified the impacts of environmental regulations on the poor, and improved the effectiveness of conservation programs. He is currently collaborating with natural and physical scientists to elucidate causal relationships in ecological and hydrological systems.
More than 85 of Ferraro’s research papers have been published in scholarly journals. He is the director of the Environmental Program Innovations Collaborative (EPIC), co-director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR), and an affiliate of the Ideas42 Behavioral Science Lab. He’s also a current or former board member of the Conservation Strategy Fund, RFF’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth, and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. A former science advisor to the Global Environment Facility, he serves on scientific advisory committees for Blue Water Baltimore, the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, and the Forests and Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) network.
His awards include an EPA STAR fellowship, Bellagio Fellowship, Provost’s Faculty Fellow Award, Fulbright Scholarship, and a Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences. He also served as a Distinguished Scholar-Lecturer for the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and the University of Cambridge’s Humanitas Visiting Professor in Sustainability Studies.
Ferraro earned an undergraduate and master’s degree from Duke University in 1990 and 1994, respectively. He graduated from Cornell University with a PhD in 2001. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2015, he was a Regents’ Professor in the Economics department at Georgia State University.