Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics and Spatial Statistics
Department of Economics
University of Southern California

Fields of interest

Environmental economics
Urban economics

Recent publications


Introduction to Empirical Microeconomics, Amazon Kindle Books, January 2017. ASIN: B01N2YQ4S6.

Blue Skies Over Beijing: Economic Growth and the Environment in China (with Siqi Zheng), Princeton University Press, May 2016. ISBN 9780691169361.

Fundamentals of Environmental and Urban Economics, first published as an e-book by Amazon’s Kindle Books in July 2013, updated January 2016. ASIN: B00E1U992U.

Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in Our Hotter Future, Basic Books, September 2010. ISBN 978-0465019267.

Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War (with Dora L. Costa), Princeton University Press, NBER Development of the American Economy Book Series, January 2009. ISBN 978-0-691-13704-9.

Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment, Brookings Institution Press, September 1, 2006, ISBN 978-0-8157-4816-8.



Optimal Real Estate Capital Durability and Localized Climate Change Disaster Risk (with Bunten), Journal of Housing Economics.

The Private and Social Consequences of Purchasing an Electric Vehicle and Solar Panels: Evidence from California (with Delmas and Locke), Research in Economics.

Protecting Urban Places and Populations from Rising Climate Risk (prepared for the Hamilton Project at Brookings).

A New Era of Sustainable Growth in Urban China? (with Siqi Zheng), Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Death and the Media: Infectious Disease Reporting During the Health Transition (with Costa) Economica.

Self-Protection Investment Exacerbates Air Pollution Exposure Inequality in Urban China (with Zheng and Sun), Ecological Economics,  January 2017.

Reflections – The Climate Change Adaptation Literature, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2016, vol. 10(1), pp. 166-178.

The Bus-Choice Menu: Promising Policy Ideas to Improve Urban Mobility, Chapter Two of the Next Urban Renaissance, Ingrid Ellen and Edward Glaeser (eds.), Manhattan Institute.

Investor Confidence as a Determinant of China’s Urban Housing Market Dynamics (with Zheng and Sun), Real Estate Economics, October 2015.

Utilizing “Big Data” to Improve the Hotel Sector’s Energy Efficiency: Lessons from Recent Economics Research (with Liu) Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 2015.

Climate Change Adaptation Will Offer a Sharp Test of the Claims of Behavioral Economics, Economist’s Voice, June 2015.

Household Carbon Emissions from Transportation and Center City Quality of Life (with Matthew Holian), Ecological Economics, August 2015, Volume 116, pp. 362–368.

A Review of The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey Sachs, Journal of Economic Literature, 2015, 53(3), pp. 654-66.

Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons from Urban Economics, Strategic Behavior and the Environment, June 2015.

Declining Mortality Inequality within Cities During the Health Transition (with Dora Costa), May 2015, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings. (not refereed)

Household Demand for Low Carbon Public Policies: Evidence from California (with Holian), Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, June 2015.

Public Transit Bus Procurement: The Role of Energy Prices, Regulation and Federal Subsidies (with Shanjun Li and Jerry Nickelsburg), Journal of Urban Economics, May 2015.

Congressional Influence as a Determinant of Subprime Lending (with Gabriel and Vaughn), Journal of Housing Economics, June 2015, Volume 28, pp. 91–102.

Water Pollution Progress at Borders: The Role of Changes in China’s Political Promotion Incentives, (with Li and Zhao), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, November 2015, 7(4), pp. 223-42.

Cities and the Environment, (with Randy Walsh), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Volume 5A (ed. by Gilles Duranton), Vernon Henderson and William Strange, 2015, pp. 405-458, North-Holland.

Sustainable and Smart Cities, in: The Urban Imperative: Towards Competitive Cities, Oxford University Press. Also released as World Bank Working Paper #6878, May 2014.

Carbon Emissions from the Commercial Building Sector: The Role of Climate, Quality, and Incentives, (with Kok and Quigley), Journal of Public Economics, May 2014, pp. 1-12, lead article.

Urban adaptation to low-probability shocks: contrasting terrorism and natural disaster risk, in: Benefit-Cost Analyses for Security Policies, edited by Kerry Smith and Carol Mansfield, Edgar Elgar.

The Evolving Geography of China’s Industrial Production: Implications for Pollution Dynamics and Urban Quality of Life (with Sun, Qi and Zheng), Journal of Economic Surveys, September 2014, Vol. 28, Issue 4, pp. 709-724.

Comment on “Incentives and Outcomes: China’s Environmental Policy” in: Capitalism and Society (edited by Wu et. al.).

Incentives for China’s Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism, (with Zheng, Luo, Sun), Regional Science and Urban Economics, July 2014, pp. 61-71.

The Geopolitics of Climate Change: An Economist’s Perspective, Political Geography, November 2013.

The Capitalization of Green Labels in the California Residential Housing Market, (with Kok), Regional Science and Urban Economics, July 2014, vol. 47, pp. 24-34.

Local Non-Market Quality of Life Dynamics in New Wind Farms Communities, Energy Policy, August 2013, vol. 59, pp. 800–807.

Do Local Energy Prices and Regulation Affect the Geographic Concentration of Employment? (with Erin Mansur), Journal of Public Economics, May 2013, vol. 101, pp. 105–114.

China’s Bullet Trains Mitigate the Cost of Mega City Growth (with Zheng), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS Plus, March 2013, 110(14), pp. E1248-E1253.

China’s Urban Pollution Dynamics: Evidence and Implications, (with Siqi Zheng), Journal of Economic Literature, September 2013, 51(3), pp. 731-72.

Do Liberal Home Owners Consume Less Electricity? A Test of the Voluntary Restraint Hypothesis (with Dora Costa), Economics Letters, May 2013, 119(2), pp. 210-212.

The Greenness of China’s Cities: Air Pollution and Household Greenhouse Gas Emissions, in: China’s Environmental Policy and Urban Development (edited by Joyce Yanyun Man), 2013, Lincoln Institute Press.

2012 Key Indicators Theme Chapter titled Green Urbanization in Asia, Asian Development Bank (with Guanghua Wan), in: Urbanization in Asia, Springer Press.

Energy Conservation “Nudges” and Environmentalist Ideology: Evidence from a Randomized Residential Electricity Field Experiment, (with Costa), Journal of the European Economic Association, June 2013, Volume 11, Issue 3.

Real Estate Valuation and Cross-Boundary Air Pollution Externalities: Evidence from Chinese Cities (with Cao, Zheng and Sun), Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, April 2013.

Understanding Cross-National Trends in High Tech Renewable Power Generation Equipment Exports to the United States, (with Aparna Sawnhey), Energy Policy, 2012, 46, pp. 308-318.

Moving to Higher Ground: Migration Response to Natural Disasters in the Early Twentieth Century (with Boustan and Rhode), American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, May 2012. Republished in an Edgar Elgar volume. (not refereed)

Does Government Investment in Local Public Goods Spur Gentrification and New Residential Real Estate Investment? Evidence from Beijing (with Siqi Zheng), Real Estate Economics, 2013, 41(1), pp. 1-28 (lead article).

The Nascent Market for “Green” Real Estate in China (with Deng, Zheng and Wu), European Economic Review, July 2012.

Understanding the Solar Home Price Premium: Electricity Generation and “Green” Social Status, (with Samuel Dastrup, Joshua Graff Zivin, Dora L. Costa), European Economic Review, July 2012.

Concern About Climate Change and the Business Cycle: The Chilling Effects of Recessions (with Matthew Kotchen), Climate Change Economics, 2011.

Cities, Economic Development and the Role of Place Based Policies: Prospects for Appalachia, book edited by James Ziliak, Brookings Institution Press 2012.

Carbon Geography: The Political Economy of Congressional Support for Legislation Intended to Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production, (with Cragg, Zhou, and Gurney), Economic Inquiry, April 2013, Vol. 51, Issue 2, pp. 1640–1650.

Urban Policy Effects on Carbon Mitigation, NBER Volume titled The Design and Implementation of U.S Climate Policy, edited by Don Fullerton and Catherine Wolfram, 2012, pp. 259-267.