Paul Ferraro

Paul J. Ferraro, PhD

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Academic AreaEconomics
Academic AreaReal Estate
Areas of InterestCausal Inference, Behavioral Science, Environmental Policy, Field Experiment

Paul J. Ferraro is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Human Behavior and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ferraro has a joint faculty appointment in the Carey Business School and the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, a joint department of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Whiting School of Engineering. Ferraro’s research focuses on building a credible evidence base about the environmental and social impacts of public and private programs. Combining the approaches of epidemiologists, with their naturally occurring data, and clinical trial health scientists, with their randomized controlled trials, Ferraro seeks to identify the causal links between the actions we take to improve our world and the impacts of those actions. He also has broad interests in behavioral science and causal inference. Because these research areas are multi-disciplinary and applied, he collaborates with scientists and engineers from a variety of social, natural and physical science disciplines, as well as practitioners in the field.


  • PhD, Applied Economics, Cornell University, 2001
  • MS, Environmental Economics, Duke University, 1994
  • BA, Biology and History, Duke University, 1990


Selected publications

Working papers

  • Feldman, P, PJ Ferraro. A certainty effect for preference reversals under risk: Experiment and theory.
  • Brandon, A., Ferraro, PJ, J. List, R. Metcalfe. M Price, F Rundhammer. Do the Effects of Social Nudges Persist? Theory and evidence from 38 natural field experiments. [link:]
  • Alpízar, F, M Bernedo, PJ Ferraro, B Meiselman. Exposure-enhanced Goods and Technology Disadoption..



  • Designing Experiments

Honors and distinctions

  • National Association of Conservation Districts 2021 Friend of Conservation Award (Honorable Mention for CBEAR)
  • Web of Knowledge Highly Cited Researcher, 2018, 2019 (top 1% of scholars by citations in field)
  • National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center Distinguished Scholar-Lecturer, 2017 
  • Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow, 2016 
  • Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Sustainability Studies, University of Cambridge, 2015-2016
  • Provost’s Faculty Fellow Award, 2013
  • National Academy of Sciences Cozzarelli Prize, 2012
  • Fulbright Scholar, 2011-2012 
  • Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award, 2010
  • World Wildlife Fund Senior Science Fellow and Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund Visiting Scientist, 2007-2010

Impact and engagement



  •  Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, Bluewater Baltimore, 2017-present
  •  Advisory Board, Conservation Strategy Fund, 2009 – present

In the media