Economist Paul Ferraro has been named a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor with appointments in the Carey Business School and the Whiting School of Engineering‘s Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering.
Ferraro’s research focuses on building a credible evidence base about the environmental and social impacts of public and private programs. Combining the approaches of epidemiologists, with their naturally occurring data, and clinical trial health scientists, with their randomized controlled trials, Ferraro seeks to identify the causal links between the actions we take to improve our world and the impacts of those actions. For example, he has tried to quantify both the impacts of environmental regulations on the poor and the impacts of anti-poverty programs on the environment.
At Johns Hopkins, Ferraro aims to work across divisions to clarify how societies can best address the increasing scarcity of clean water. As part of that effort, Ferraro has brought to Johns Hopkins the USDA Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research, which he co-directs with Kent Messer, a professor at the University of Delaware. By running randomized controlled trials within USDA programs, CBEAR seeks to improve the effectiveness of conservation programs intended to help both farmers and the environment.
“I came to Johns Hopkins because of the opportunity to work with world-class scientists from a range of fields, many working to put their science to good use in solving social problems,” says Ferraro. “New ideas, new challenges, new resources. It’s why others have come and stayed at Hopkins. I’m looking forward to my future here.”