Areas of Expertise (3)
Energy and Environmental Economics
Lucas Davis is the Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor at Berkeley Haas. His research focuses on energy and environmental markets, and, in particular, on electricity and natural gas regulation, pricing in competitive and non-competitive markets, and the economic and business impacts of environmental policy. He serves as co-editor of the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to moving to UC Berkeley in 2009, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan.
University of Wisconsin: PhD, Economics
Amherst College: BA
Selected External Service & Affiliations (2)
- Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Co-Editor, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Positions Held (1)
At Haas since 2009
2016 – present, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor, Haas School of Business 2009 - present, Faculty Affiliate, Energy Institute at Haas 2012 – 2016, Associate Professor, Haas School of Business 2009 – 2012, Assistant Professor, Haas School of Business 2008 – 2009, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, MIT 2005 – 2009, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Michigan
Media Appearances (15)
Billionaire bonuses: It's time to revisit the CEO compensation system
La Nacion online
CEO compensation has leaped far beyond the sensible, according to experts. A recent paper co-authored by Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor, finds "strong evidence" that CEOs of energy companies get clear increases in their pay when the valuation of their companies' shares rises as a result of a jump in the price of oil, something they don't influence at all.
How CEO pay in America got out of whack
The Economist online
A recent paper co-authored by Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor, finds "strong evidence" that CEOs of energy firms see clear pay gains when stock valuations rise as a result of an oil-price spike, which they have no way to influence.
Buses Take on New Importance in a Subway City
Next City online
In NYC, subway ridership always trumped the bus until Covid. With bus fares up, Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor, argues that making subways free to ride would help the economy and put money back into the pockets of poorer residents.
Lawmakers explore ways to fuel the Nevada’s highway fund
Las Vegas Sun online
One solution for funding road work would be to shift taxation from the gas station pump to a per-mile tax on vehicle travel, which works for both gas and electric. Research by Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor and the faculty director of the Energy Institute at Haas, and Faculty Affiliate James Sallee, found that people with higher incomes are more likely to be able to afford electric cars—which means they aren't contributing to the gas taxes that fund road work.
Predicting global air conditioning demand, by nation
Energy Post online
Predicting future energy demand is difficult, more so when you must account for the choices made by individual households spread all across the globe. Air conditioning is a case in point. To tackle this, Lucas Davis led a team at the Haas School of Business to quantify each nation’s need for air conditioning, and rank them (219 countries and 1,692 cities).
Americans Are No Longer Gluttons for Electricity—Thank the LED Bulb
Wall Street journal online
After increasing tenfold between 1950 and 2010, average residential consumption of electricity in the U.S. has dipped since 2008. Today’s appliances and electronics are more efficient, new homes are tighter and better insulated, and most importantly, LEDs have replaced traditional incandescent lightbulbs. “Any decrease is staggering,” said Prof. Lucas Davis, the Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor. “Like so many things in life, electricity consumption has gone up and up and up. Any time it doesn’t go up, it’s news.”
Energy efficiency cannot be a partisan issue for Washington
The Hill online
Lucas Davis, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, found that energy consumption in the United States has dropped by 6 percent since 2010 after increasing by 4 percent each year between 1950 and 2010.
White House to relax energy efficiency rules for light bulbs
New York Times online
The Trump administration plans to significantly weaken federal rules that would have forced Americans to use much more energy-efficient light bulbs, reversing one of the the decade's success stories in the fight to reduce energy use. And although the issue is being politicized, it's not just blue states that are involved: “LEDs are being sold in large volumes in all 50 states,” said Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor and Faculty Director of the Energy Institute at Haas.
Is selling nuclear plants for decommissioning a safety issue?
Energy Post online
Selling a nuclear plant to a firm that will decomission it might be a textbook case of moral hazard, argues Prof. Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor and Faculty Director of the Energy Institute at Haas. He says that when economic incentives alone do not ensure safe and thorough decommissioning, regulation should play a larger role.
As consumers, millennials might not be so different after all (even in the way they use cars)
Corriere Della Serra online
It's commonly believed that millennials are more likely to use car shares and are less likely to own cars. But Assoc. Prof. Lucas Davis said that cheaper gas and a better economy may have driven millennials to the same consumption behaviors as previous generations.
Steve Forbes: Rich people don't need your money to buy electric cars -- Let's get real about EV tax credits
Fox News online
According to research by Prof. Severin Borenstein, E.T. Grether Chair in Business Administration and Public Policy, and Prof. Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor in Business and Technology, for the Energy Institute at Haas, it's Americans in the top 20 percent of income earners that receive on average 90 percent of the federal tax credits for electric vehicles.
Less is more as domestic energy consumption falls
Financial Times online
The scope for further reductions in consumption from more energy-efficient appliances is limited, said Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor in Business and Technology. “For major appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners, we’ve already tightened standards considerably, so there is less room for additional gains,”
“Pay-for-luck”: Oil and gas execs out-earn their peers
Paying these CEOs more when oil prices rise means they’re rewarded for having good luck—not for management talent, writes Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor in Business and Technology.
Proof of climate change: How do we cool a heating world?
Power Technology online
“As the world grows warmer, people are buying air conditioners at an alarming rate,” said Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor in Business and Technology. “Air conditioners use lots of electricity, so these purchases have big implications for electricity demand.”
California aims for 100 percent clean energy by 2045
Weather Network online
Some experts, like Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor in Business and Technology, say phasing out fossil fuels completely would be a massive change in the energy grid. Utilities rely on natural gas plants to meet demand when renewables fall short, especially in the evening hours when people get home from work and turn on their AC, heaters, or other devices.
Selected Papers & Publications (10)
An Empirical Test of Hypercongestion in Highway BottlenecksJournal of Public Economics
Michael Anderson and Lucas Davis
How Effective is Energy-Efficient Housing? Evidence from a Field Trial in MexicoJournal of Development Economics
Lucas Davis, Sebastian Martinez, and Bibiana Taboada
Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver at the Right Time?American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Judson Boomhower and Lucas Davis
Are Fuel Economy Standards Regressive?Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Lucas Davis and Chris Knittel
Anticipation, Tax Avoidance, and the Price Elasticity of Demand for GasolineJournal of Applied Econometrics
John Coglianese, Lucas Davis, Lutz Kilian, and James Stock
Does Better Information Lead to Better Choices? Evidence from Energy-Efficiency LabelsJournal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Lucas W. Davis and Gilbert E. Metcalf
The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax CreditsNBER Tax Policy and the Economy
Severin Borenstein and Lucas W. Davis
Market Impacts of a Nuclear Power Plant ClosureAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Lucas Davis and Catherine Hausman
Contribution of Air Conditioning Adoption to Future Energy Use under Global WarmingProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Lucas W. Davis and Paul J. Gertler
Environmental Health Risks and Housing Values: Evidence from 1,600 Toxic Plant Openings and ClosingsAmerican Economic Review
Janet Currie, Lucas Davis, Michael Greenstone, and Reed Walker
Data and Decisions
Full-time MBA Program
Data Analysis for Management
Executive MBA Program
Energy and Environmental Markets
Energy and Environmental Markets
Full-Time MBA Program