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
- Ferraro, PJ, Agrawal, A. Synthesizing Evidence in Sustainability Science Through Harmonized Experiments: Community monitoring in common pool resources. 2021. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Ferraro, PJ, R Simorangkir. Conditional Cash Transfers to Alleviate Poverty also Reduced Deforestation in Indonesia. 2020. Science Advances 6 Infographic
- Ferraro, PJ, J Sanchirico, M Smith. 2019. Causal Inference in Coupled Natural Human Systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Alpizar, F, M Bernedo, PJ Ferraro, B Meiselman. 2019. The Impacts of Climate Science and Capacity Building in a Randomized Adaptation Project. Nature Climate Change
- Ferraro, PJ, M Hanauer, D Miteva, J Nelson, S Pattanayak, C Nolte, K Sims. 2015. Estimating the Impacts of Conservation on Ecosystem Services by Integrating Modeling and Evaluation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Ferraro, PJ, M Hanauer. 2014. Quantifying Causal Mechanisms to Determine How Protected Areas Affect Poverty through Changes in Ecosystem Services and Infrastructure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Bolsen, T, PJ Ferraro, JJ Miranda. 2014. Are Voters More Likely to Contribute to Other Public Goods? Evidence from a Large-Scale Randomized Policy Experiment. The American Journal of Political Science
- Ferraro, PJ, M Price. 2013. Using Non-pecuniary Strategies to Influence Behavior: evidence from a large-scale field experiment. The Review of Economics and Statistics
- Ferraro, PJ, M Hanauer and KE Sims. 2011. Conditions Associated with Protected Area Success in Conservation and Poverty Reduction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 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: https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w23277/w23277.pdf]
- Alpízar, F, M Bernedo, PJ Ferraro, B Meiselman. Exposure-enhanced Goods and Technology Disadoption.
- Ferraro, PJ, K Messer, P Shukla, C Weigel. Behavioral Biases among Producers: Experimental evidence of anchoring in procurement auctions. Forthcoming. Review of Economics and Statistics.
- 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
- Commissioner, State Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council to Maryland’s General Assembly, 2021- 2024
- Director, Environmental Program Innovations Collaborative
- Co-Director, Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-environmental Research
- US Department of Agriculture Visiting Scholar, 2019-2020
- Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, Bluewater Baltimore, 2017-present
- Advisory Board, Conservation Strategy Fund, 2009 – present
In the media
- Test and Adapt: speeding up climate change adaptation is a tall order. 2019. Nature Research
- A Better Way to Fight Climate Change. 2019. Op-Ed, Bloomberg View
- Start Preparing for the Next Hurricane Harvey. 2017. Op-Ed, Bloomberg View
- America isn’t that Divided on the Environment. 2017. Op-Ed, Bloomberg View
- The Free Market Case for Climate Science. 2016. Op-Ed, Bloomberg View
- When conservation efforts end up using more water. 2016. Op-Ed, Bloomberg View