University of Southern California The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering

Economics and Policy Research

There are a number of areas of researh activities across economic and policy impacts of energy and the environment. One key area includes assessing the impacts of climate change policies. Professor Adam Rose has developed a cap and trade model for estimating implications of reducing emissions in terms of minimizing costs, projecting permit price, estimating the size of the market and identifying sellers and buyers. Work includes refining a mathematical programming emissions permit trading model and applying it to a variety of contexts, including the Western States Initiative, of which California is the lead; and expanding the range of trading partners, including the European Union and developing countries in the Pacific Rim. Advising Mid-Western and Southeastern States on designing and implementing cap and trade initiatives.

Other ares include analyzing policy alternatives and providing solutions to policy makers with an emphasis on infrastructure, energy and environmental policies. We investigate issues in alternative fuels policies and impacts on energy markets, as well as associated agricultural and environmental concerns. We assess renewable and energy efficiency policies, including portfolio standards, addressing questions of the impacts of different policies on utilities and consumers. Related to this is understanding consumer behavior in terms of their use of energy and reaction to environmental problems.

Energy Institute activities include research, outreach, and education activities to further understanding and awareness of infrastructure challenges facing the state and country. This includes compiling, evaluating, and disseminating data and research pertaining to infrastructure trends, mechanisms and implications of investment spending, linkages between infrastructure investment and state and local economic activity, and related infrastructure issues.

We are also engaged in understanding the public debate in complex policy conflicts, especially environmental conflicts.



  • Impacts of climate legislation on the economy
  • Assessments of alternative energy policies on the economy and society
  • Informing policy makers on critical energy issues.