Research conducted by Derek Lemoine, associate professor of economics in the Eller College of Management, was recently featured in articles on The Conversation, NPR and The Los Angeles Times discussing the heatwave that is going around the nation and how economics ties into it.
The articles discuss the importance of weather forecasting and especially the importance of their accuracy particularly during heatwaves.
“Even a one-degree difference in a forecast’s accuracy can be the difference between life and death,” states Lemoine.
In his research, Lemoine used federal cost-benefit estimates of how people value improvements in their chances of survival to estimate their willingness to pay for better forecasts. The results showed that 50 percent more accurate forecasts are worth at least $2.1 billion per year—with the 2022 budget of the National Weather Service being less than $1.3 billion.
Lemoine joined the Eller College of Management in 2011 after earning his PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to teaching at Eller, he is also a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate fellow for the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in the Climate Change Research and Policy Network. His research investigates the dynamics of optimal environmental policy and energy systems, the economic consequences of climate change, how uncertainty affects the value of avoiding climate change, how to design policies to control climate change, and the value of short- and long-run weather forecasts, among other topics.