Catherine Wolfram

Catherine Wolfram is the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
She is also Faculty Director of the Energy Institute at Haas and of The E2e Project, a research organization focused on energy efficiency. She is the Program Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research‘s Environment and Energy Economics Program and an affiliated faculty member in the Agriculture and Resource Economics department and the Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley.

Wolfram has published extensively on the economics of energy markets. Her research analyzes the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets and the effects of electricity industry privatization and restructuring around the world. She is currently implementing several randomized controlled trials to evaluate energy programs in the U.S., Kenya and India.

She received a PhD in economics from MIT in 1996 and an AB from Harvard in 1989. Before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of economics at Harvard.

Content by Catherine Wolfram
  • Project

    Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access

    As COVID-19 spreads across the developing world, access to electricity will be critical in allowing households and firms to continue productive activities. At the same time, government restrictions that are needed to slow down the infection rate will cause severe economic impacts, which will be highest in the world’s poorest communities. In Kenya, where millions of poor...

    1 May 2020 | Catherine Wolfram, Edward Miguel, Kenneth Lee, Susanna Berkouwer

  • Publication - Project Report

    Solar microgrids and remote energy access: How weak incentives can undermine smart technology

    26 Jun 2018 | Meredith Fowlie, Catherine Wolfram

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    The economics of rural electrification: Evidence from Kenya

    12 Jan 2018 | Ken Lee, Edward Miguel, Catherine Wolfram

  • Project

    The social and economic impacts of electrification: Evidence from Kenya

    In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 600 million people live without electricity. This study analyses the economics of rural electrification through a randomised field experiment that connected hundreds of rural households to the national electrical grid in Kenya.  The experiment reveals low demand for grid connections, high costs of construction, and limited economic...

    25 Jan 2017 | Edward Miguel, Catherine Wolfram, Ken Lee

  • Project

    Smart meters for promoting energy efficiency in rural India

    This project brings experimental and quasi-experimental research methods to bear on important issues confronting rural electrification initiatives. The overarching objective is to investigate how modular smart grid technology can be used to improve both supply and demand-side efficiency in rural settings. Specifically, we will investigate: (1) the extent to which the...

    27 Oct 2016 | Meredith Fowlie, Catherine Wolfram

  • Blog post

    What the heck is happening in the developing world?

    Projecting global energy consumption patterns have historically been difficult. Much of the recent growth in demand for energy has come from developing countries. Addressing security challenges in the future will require researchers to have a better understanding of the drivers of energy consumption in developing countries. One of the most important energy graphs...

    15 Aug 2016 | Catherine Wolfram

  • Blog post

    Are we too fixated on rural electrification?

    How should energy and electrification demands be prioritised by policymakers? Today's blog asks if rural electrification is over-prioritised in development and donor circles. Would industrial, educational, and health sector electrification be better than rural electrification for improving people's lives? “Rural electrification” and “energy access” are...

    12 Nov 2015 | Catherine Wolfram