Darin Christensen

AREAS OF INTEREST

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Mandatory Information Disclosure Policies: Evidence from the Electricity Industry

 A "third wave" of environmental policy has recently emerged that emphasizes information provision as an integral part of the risk mitigation strategy. While theory suggests that information programs may correct market failures and improve welfare, the empirical effectiveness of these programs remains largely undetermined. We show that mandatory information disclosure programs in the electricity industry achieve stated policy goals. We find that the average proportion of fossil fuels decreases and the average proportion of clean fuels increases in response to disclosure programs. However, the programs also produce unintended consequences. Customer composition and pre-existing fuel mix significantly affect program response, suggesting that effective information disclosure policies may not be efficient.

http://www.ioe.ucla.edu/media/files/Delmas-Shimshack-Montes-2008.pdf

Why A Prevention-based Approach to Managing the Risk of Engineered Nanomaterials Makes Sense and How to Get There

The existing toxicology literature on ultrafine particles and engineered nanomaterials suggest that nanomaterials may pose a threat to human health and the environment. A major challenge for the companies that produce and use these materials and for regulatory agencies is the issue of how to manage the risks of these materials while simultaneously leveraging the technological advantages that they offer over conventional materials. A major source of uncertainty in this field is created by the substantial gaps in our understanding about how the chemical, physical, and materials properties of nanomaterials correlate with their fate and transport in the environment and their biological activity. A major goal of the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology is to engage in highly interdisciplinary research to minimize these gaps and the corresponding uncertainty. In this talk, unique opportunities for synergism between developing environmentally-safe design principles and driving medical and environmental applications of nanotechnology will be discussed. In addition, steps that can be taken at both the state and national level to minimize risk while the field of “predictive nanotoxicology” is being developed will be presented. By way of example, a review of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s mandatory call in for information from manufacturers of carbon nanotubes will be presented and placed in the context of how we as a country might move forward in the near term to effectively regulation of nanomaterials.

http://eprints.internano.org/499/

Leaders, Followers, and Laggards: Committing to Local Climate Actions in California

Very limited amount of research has been devoted to climate actions at the local level in comparison to those at federal and state levels. It is unclear why some cities acted as leaders in the fight against climate change, some acted as followers, while others remained laggards. This study critically examines the major hypotheses about voluntary local climate actions so that we can better understand factors affecting local political will to commit to climate actions. Understanding these factors will increase our ability to design policies and strategies that enable more local voluntary participation in climate actions. Applying a survival analysis to the participation of California cities in the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, this paper explains the temporal and spatial diffusion of local political will to take climate actions. The analysis examines whether the timing of cities’ participation in the Mayors’ Agreement is associated with a broad range of characteristics, such as: local demographics; government form and size; political preference and environmentalism; local air quality and congestion level; and behavior of neighboring jurisdictions. Results support the importance of income level, political preference and environmentalism of the local communities, as well as a city’s administrative capacity and autonomy. Congestion relief seems to be an important co-benefit motivating cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, average education level does not seem to affect local political will to act on climate change, nor does per capita number of planning professionals. The importance of individual political leadership also does not seem to be supported by our analysis.

http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/Documents/areas/ctr/ziman/2010-02.pdf

Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford
(310) 825-7196

Darin Christensen is an assistant professor of Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in political science and M.A. in economics from Stanford University.

He studies the political economy of conflict and development, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. One strand of research focuses on the logic of protest and repression: what motivates people to protest, what technologies enable this collective action, and when do governments repress demonstrations? A second strand considers the political determinants and consequences of investments in mining and agribusiness in developing states.

He has consulted on evaluations of USAID and World Bank projects. B.A. political science and German, Duke University.

His publications and ongoing research can be found at darinchristensen.org.

 

Darin Christensen

Headshot: 
First Name: 
Darin
Last Name: 
Christensen
Position: 
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Degrees: 
Ph.D., Political Science, Stanford
Bio: 

Darin Christensen is an assistant professor of Public Policy. He received his Ph.D. in political science and M.A. in economics from Stanford University.

He studies the political economy of conflict and development, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. One strand of research focuses on the logic of protest and repression: what motivates people to protest, what technologies enable this collective action, and when do governments repress demonstrations? A second strand considers the political determinants and consequences of investments in mining and agribusiness in developing states.

He has consulted on evaluations of USAID and World Bank projects. B.A. political science and German, Duke University.

His publications and ongoing research can be found at darinchristensen.org.

 

PDF of CV: 
Phone Number: 
(310) 825-7196
Email Address: 
For Admins Only