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Justin Gallagher

Assistant Professor, Economics

Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

My Primary research field is environmental economics, with a broad interest in household finance, labor economics, and public economics. The central theme of my research is investigating how individuals evaluate and respond to environmental risks.

Work in progress includes a project that provides detailed estimates of the causal impact of flooding on household finances, and a second project that uses a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the impact that post-disaster government assistance has on rates of self insurance.

In a recently published paper, I examine the learning process that economic agents use to update their belief of an uncertain and infrequently observed event. I use data on the purchase of flood insurance in the US to test whether homeowners incorporate all available flooding information when updating their expectation of a future flood. I conclude that a homeowner learning model that allows homeowners to discount past information, possibly due to “forgetting,” is most consistent with observed insurance take-up. I also provide evidence that local television news is an important source of information for homeowners not directly affected by a flood. Non-academic summaries of the paper's main findings can be found on the American Economics Association website and the London School of Economics American Politics and Policy blog.