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Joshua S. Graff Zivin

Professor of Economics; Research Director, International Environmental and Health Studies, IGCC; Associate Director, UCSD Global Health Initiative


(858) 822-6438
Fax: (858) 534-3939

9500 Gilman Dr. 0519
La Jolla, CA 92093

Office: #1313

Personal Website


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1998
M.S., University of California, Berkeley, 1994
B.A., Rutgers College, Rutgers University, 1993

Programs and Centers

UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation
UC San Diego Center for Environmental Economics
UC San Diego Global Health Initiative



Professor Graff Zivin is professor of economics at UC San Diego, where he holds faculty positions in the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the Department of Economics. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and Research Director for International Environmental and Health Studies at the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC). In 2004-2005, he served as Senior Economist for Health and the Environment on the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  Prior to joining UCSD in 2008, he was an Associate Professor of Economics in the Mailman School of Public Health and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he served as the Director of the PhD Program in Sustainable Development.

Professor Graff Zivin has published numerous articles on a wide range of topics in top economic, policy, and medical journals. His research interests are broad and include the areas of environmental, health, development, and innovation economics.  Policy relevance serves as a guiding force behind all of this work.  Much of his current work is focused on three distinct areas of research.  His work on the impacts of poor environmental quality examines the relationship between the environment, health, and human capital formation, with a particular eye towards behavioral responses to mitigate adverse consequences. His work on the economics of innovation explores the role of institutions, social networks, and financial incentives in the production of new scientific knowledge within the life sciences.  His research in developing countries is focused on the design of health interventions and their economic impacts.

Research Interests

In Progress

Chang T, J Graff Zivin, T Gross, and M Neidell, “Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers.” NBER WP #19944.

Bharadwaj, P, M Gibson, J Graff Zivin, and C Neilson, “Gray Matters: Fetal Pollution Exposure and Human Capital Formation.” NBER WP #20662.

Azoulay, P, J Graff Zivin, D Li, and B Sampat, “Public R&D Investments and Private-sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules." NBER WP

Graff Zivin, J, S Hsiang, and M Neidell, “Temperature and Human Capital in the Short- and Long-Run." NBER WP #21157.

Joshua Graff Zivin: Open-Source Software

Recent Publications


Graff Zivin, J, M Kotchen, and E Mansur, “Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity of Marginal Emissions: Implications for Electric Cars and Other Electricity-Shifting Policies.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 107(2014): 248-268.

Graff Zivin, J and M Neidell, “Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change.” Journal of Labor Economics, 32(2014): 1-26.

Graff Zivin, J and M Neidell, “Environment, Health, and Human Capital.” Journal of Economic Literature, 51(2013): 689-730.

Goldstein, M, J Graff Zivin, J Habyarimana, C Pop-Eleches, and H Thirumurthy, “The Effect of Absenteeism and Clinic Protocol on Health Outcomes: The Case of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Kenya." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(2013): 58–85.

Graff Zivin, J and M Neidell, “The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity.” American Economic Review, 102(2012): 3652–3673.

Dastrup, Samuel R., Joshua Graff Zivin, Dora L. Costa, and Matthew E. Kahn, "Understanding the Solar Home Price Premium: Electricity Generation and ‘Green’ Social Status." European Economic Review 56.5 (2012): 961-73. 

Azoulay, Pierre, Joshua Graff Zivin, and Gustavo Manso, "Incentives and Creativity: Evidence from the Academic Life Sciences." The RAND Journal of Economics 42.3 (2011): 527-54. 

Graff Zivin, Joshua, Matthew Neidell, and Wolfram Schlenker, "Water Quality Violations and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from Bottled Water Consumption." American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings 101.3 (2011): 448-53.

Azoulay, Pierre, Joshua Graff Zivin, and Jialan Wang, "Superstar Extinction." Quarterly Journal of Economics 125.2 (2010): 549-89.

More publications can be found here