Associate Professor of Environment and Development Economics
Department of Geography and Environment
Tel: [+44] (0)20 7852 3778
Room: KGS 2.03, King's Chambers, Portugal Street, LSE
Ben joined the Department in 2012 from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he was a Senior Lecturer in Economics. He studied Economics at Sheffield University, Environmental and Resource Economics at UCL, and completed his PhD in Economics at UCL in 2005 on empirical and theoretical aspects of social discounting for distant time horizons.
Ben has served as a Consultant for numerous international organisations, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the WWF. He has also advised government in the UK, USA, China and Pakistan on various aspects of environmental policy.
Environmental and development economics, in particular social discounting
The microeconomics of deforestation
Agricultural technology adoption in West Africa
Selected recent publications:
Arrow, K. J., Maureen L. Cropper, Christian Gollier, Ben Groom, Geoffrey M. Heal, Richard G. Newell, William D. Nordhaus, Robert S. Pindyck, William A. Pizer, Paul R. Portney, Thomas Sterner, Richard S. J. Tol and Martin L. Weitzman (2014). Should Governments use a Declining Discount Rate in Project Analysis? Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 8 (2), pp. 145-163
Cropper M.L., Freeman M.C., Groom B. and Pizer W (2014). Declining Discount Rates. American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 104(5): pp. 538-43.
Freeman M.C. and Groom B. (2014). ‘Positively Gamma Discounting: Combining the Opinions of Experts on the Social Discount Rate’. The Economic Journal. DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12129.
Freeman M.C. and Groom B. (2014). ‘Using Equity Premium Survey Data to Estimate Future Wealth’. Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, DOI 10.1007/s11156-014-0451-7
Groom B. (2013). Book review of ‘Pricing our Planet’s Future’ by Christian Gollier. Journal of Economic Literature, 51(3), pp 894-97, DOI:10.1257/jel.51.3.883.r7
Arrow, K., Cropper, M., Gollier, C., Groom, B., Heal, G., Newell, R., Nordhaus, W., Pindyck, R., Pizer, W., Portney, P., Sterner, T., Tol, R. S. J. and Weitzman, M. (2013) Determining benefits and costs for future generations. Science, 341 (6144). pp. 349-350. ISSN 0036-8075
Gothenburg gathering of world’s leading climate researchers
Dr Ben Groom joined some of the world’s most prominent climate researchers at a conference entitled “Beyond IPCC - Future Paths for Climate Research”, held at the University of Gothenburg in October. Dr Groom presented a paper entitled “Discounting Disentangled” which documented the results of a recent survey of experts on their opinions on the appropriate social discount rate for long-term public projects such as climate change.
Responding to Climate Change: The challenge of policy-making when expert opinion is divided
Disagreement among social scientists means that many policy initiatives to tackle climate change threats remain economically contentious despite the consensus highlighted by President Obama when he tweeted ‘Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous’. New research reveals why it is so difficult for governments to combine conflicting views in a way that will allow for effective decision-making. Read more.
LSE academic co-hosts annual BioEcon conference
Dr Ben Groom (LSE) and Dr Andreas Kontoleon (Cambridge Land Economy) co-hosted the 16th annual BioEcon conference on the economics of biodiversity conservation (22-23 September 2014). The conference, held at King's College Cambridge and attended by over 140 delegates from academia and the policy world, provided the opportunity to exchange information on the latest developments on the economics of biodiversity and conservation. Read more.
LSE academic invited to speak at ITEA Annual Conference in Toulouse
Dr Ben Groom of the Department of Geography and Environment travelled to France in June as part of the International Transport Economics Association’s annual conference. Dr Groom, whose expertise includes social discounting for long-run public projects, discussed ‘Cost-benefit analysis of long-term transportation infrastructure investments’. Read more.
LSE academic in Lahore as part of project on climate change and food security
Dr Ben Groom was part of an expert panel in Pakistan recently as part of an on-going project on determinants, impact and cost effectiveness of climate change adaptation in the Indus eco-region. Dr Groom presented work entitled Food Security: Autonomous adaptation among farming households in Lahore, before leading a discussion on the microeconometrics of the work, supported by the International Development Research Centre. Read more.
LSE academics provide input to the technical review of the Treasury’s ‘Green Book’
A workshop entitled “Social Discounting in the UK” has brought together a diverse range of academic opinion and representatives from HM Treasury. Dr Ben Groom of LSE was one of the event's organisers.
The workshop will feed into a review of the Treasury’s ‘Green Book’, which is designed to ensure that public funds are spent on activities that provide the greatest benefits to society, and that they are spent in the most efficient way. Read more.