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Karen Clay - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Karen Clay Karen Clay

Professor | Carnegie Mellon University



Karen Clay's research interests include environmental economics, energy economics, economic history, health economics, climate change, oil and natural gas pipelines. Her work examines the growth of the U.S. economy over the 19th and 20th centuries, including energy issues, air pollution, the resource curse and the impact of climate change. In particular, she has studied the effects of pandemics on the labor market in the past and in the time of COVID-19, evaluated whether the presence of air pollution could make pandemics worse and looked at the cause of increases in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air.

Areas of Expertise (3)


Public Policy


Education (2)

Stanford University: Ph.D., Economics

University of Virginia: B.A., Economics and Mathematics

Media Appearances (1)

U.S. Air Pollution Has Increased Death Rate

Giving Compass  

Air pollution was responsible for 9,700 more deaths in 2018 than it was in 2016, according to a new paper by economists at Carnegie Mellon. The researchers, Karen Clay and Nicholas Muller, argue that some of the increase is due to non-regulatory factors, like an increase in wildfires and economic growth. But they note a decline in Clean Air Act enforcement under Donald Trump that could be responsible as well.

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