Areas of Expertise (3)
Energy and Environmental Economics
Lucas Davis is the Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor at Berkeley Haas and Faculty Director of the Energy Institute at 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 (3)
- Faculty Director, Energy Institute at Haas
- 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
2014 – present, Faculty Director, 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)
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.
Meet (Elon Musk) the new boss, same as the old
American Prospect online
While governments back Tesla’s manufacturing in the name of going green, the subsidies for electric-car purchasers flow disproportionately to the affluent, according to work by Prof. Severin Borenstein, E.T. Grether Chair in Business Administration and Public Policy, and Lucas Davis, Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor. They found that found that 90 percent of EV tax credits went to the top 20 percent of income-earners in the United States.
Equitable electrification: Renters need access to charging stations, too
Green Biz online
Homeowners are more likely than renters to own EVs, even when they have similar income levels, writes Lucas Davis. Renting makes parking harder and renter are less likely to invest in pricey chargers, he said.
Renewables won't keep Californians cool during heat waves
Orange County Register online
San Onofre nuclear plant’s closure was supposed to boost renewables, but Lucas Davis found an increased use of natural gas-fired electricity.
Heat waves and how to cope with them
As incomes rise in developing countries, millions of people are buying air conditioners. Lucas Davis predicts that nearly 100 percent of Mexicans will have air conditioning within a few decades.
It’s wildfire season in California, and utilities want to tamp down their liability
PG&E’s stock price fell dramatically when the wine country fires began. Assoc. Prof. Lucas Davis said policymakers should try to spread risk across all entities that are able to prevent fires, including utilities, homeowners, and local governments.
Economics 101: Is energy-efficient housing a waste of money?
The National online
A study by Lucas Davis suggests that the electricity usage in houses with energy-efficient upgrades may be indistinguishable from that of regular houses. Their findings came as a shock to many observers, since the engineering estimates predicted a 26 per cent decrease.
Is ditching fossil fuels entirely a reasonable goal?
Christian Science Monitor online
As some states map a low-carbon future, an important debate is taking shaping on the future of energy. "I believe you can reach any carbon goal using market-based policies," said Assoc. Prof. Lucas Davis. But "it would require the political will of maintaining higher prices on carbon than we currently have."
Selected Papers & Publications (6)
Lucas W. Davis and Gilbert E. Metcalf
Severin Borenstein and Lucas W. Davis
Lucas Davis and Catherine Hausman
Lucas W. Davis and Paul J. Gertler
Janet Currie, Lucas Davis, Michael Greenstone, and Reed Walker
Lucas W. Davis
Data and Decisions
Full-time MBA Program
Data Analysis for Management
Executive MBA Program
Energy and Environmental Markets