Ben Groom

Associate Professor of Environment and Development Economics; Director of MSc Environmental Economics & Climate Change

Department of Geography and Environment 


Tel: [+44] (0)20 7852 3778

RoomKGS 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
  • The economics of water

Selected recent publications:  

  • Freeman M C, Groom B, Panipoulou K and Pantelides T (2015). ‘Declining Discount Rates and the Fisher Effect: Inflated Past, Discounted Future’. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 73, pp. 32-49
  • 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). ‘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

17th annual BioEcon conference takes place in Cambridge

Dr Ben Groom (LSE) and Dr Andreas Kontoleon (Cambridge Land Economy) co-hosted the 17th annual BIOECON conference on the economics of biodiversity conservation (13th - 15th September 2015). The conference was held at the majestic buildings of King's College Cambridge and was attended by over 120 delegates from academia and the policy world. This year's conference theme was “Experimental and Behavioural Economics and the Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”. Read more.

LSE Library

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. Read more.


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.

© Sam Colegate

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.

palm leaf

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.




Ben Groom
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