Robert StavinsRobert N. Stavins is the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program in Public Policy and the Doctoral Program in Political Economy and Government, Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School-Kennedy School Joint Degree Programs, and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

Tel: 617-495-1820
Office: Littauer 306
Assistant: Jason Chapman
Tel: 617-496-8054
Mailing Address:
Robert N. Stavins
Harvard Kennedy School, Mailbox #11
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138


Stavins, R. N., Robin Cross, and Andrew J. Plantinga. “Terroir in the New World Hedonic Estimation of Vineyard Sale Prices in California.” Journal of Wine Economics 12, no. 3 (2017): 282–301. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In the Old-World vineyards of Europe, a key concept that plays an important role in the production and appreciation of wines is terroir, which refers to the special characteristics of a place that impart unique qualities to the wine produced. We examine whether terroir matters in the New-World wines produced in California’s Napa and Sonoma Counties by conducting a hedonic price analysis of vineyard sales over the period 1991 to 2007 to determine the relative effects on vineyard sales prices of designated appellations versus biophysical site attributes commonly associated with terroir, such as slope, aspect, elevation, and climate. Because vineyards that are sold are not necessarily representative of the universe of vineyards, we employ Heckman’s two-stage econometric approach to control for possible sample-selection bias. We find that intrinsic site attributes and designated appellations influence vineyard prices, although our results are stronger and more consistent with regard to the influence of appellations. This finding indicates that terroir matters economically, even if the designated appellations have relatively less connection in reality with terroir. (JEL Classifications: C2, Q11)
Gerarden, Todd D., R.G. Newell, and R. Stavins. “Assessing the Energy-Efficiency Gap.” Journal of Economic Literature 55, no. 4 (2017): 1486–1525.Abstract
Energy-efficient technologies offer considerable promise for reducing the financial costs and environmental damages associated with energy use, but it has long been observed that these technologies may not be adopted by individuals and firms to the degree that might be justified, even on a purely financial basis. We survey the relevant literature on this "energy-efficiency gap" by presenting two complementary frameworks. First, we divide potential explanations for the energy-efficiency gap into three categories: market failures, behavioral explanations, and model and measurement errors. Second, we organize previous research in terms of the fundamental elements of cost-minimizing energy-efficiency decisions. This provides a decomposition that organizes thinking around four questions. First, are product offerings and pricing economically efficient? Second, are energy operating costs inefficiently priced and/or understood? Third, are product choices cost minimizing in present value terms? Fourth, do other costs inhibit more energy-efficient decisions? We synthesize academic research on these questions, with an emphasis on recent empirical findings, and offer suggestions for future research.

My Blog: An Economic View of the Environment


Roles and Responsibilities

Albert Pratt Professor of Business & Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Director of Graduate Studies for Ph.D. in Public Policy, and Political Economy & Government

Co-Chair, HKS/HBS Joint Degree Program

Faculty Chair, Exec Ed Course Climate Change & Energy: Policy Making for the Long Term

University Fellow, Resources for the Future

Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research

Co-Editor, The Journal of Wine Economics