Nicholas Snashall-Woodhams

I am a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Yale University.

My research interests are in Industrial Organization, and Energy and Environmental Economics. I develop empirical methods to understand better the design of policies that aim to mitigate climate change.

I am on the job market and will be available to interview at the ASSA meetings in San Diego, January 2020.


[Job Market Paper]

Over the past decade, programs promoting the adoption of green technologies have become increasingly common and politically popular. In the midst of this rapid growth, existing policy instruments have frequently drawn two criticisms: that they pay a large share of program costs to inframarginal participants and that they do not adequately account for the heterogeneity of potential externalities across consumers. I study how policymakers can simultaneously address these concerns in the context of subsidies for rooftop solar. I assemble a novel dataset that links administrative billing data from California electric utilities with measures of rooftop solar energy potential from Google Project Sunroof. I develop and estimate a dynamic model of rooftop solar investment that incorporates several features that are necessary to capture the tradeoffs a policymaker faces in this setting. I use the model to assess modifications to the California Solar Initiative and Federal Investment Tax Credit and find that a better targeted design would achieve the same environmental benefits while reducing program costs by about 25%, a saving of $500 million.