Faculty – Justin Gallagher

Justin Gallagher - Assistant Professor, Economics
Assistant Professor, Economics

Peter B. Lewis Building 276
Office Hours: By Appointment Only

Justin Gallagher, PhD, received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, his master’s degree in public policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago, and his doctorate in economics from the University of California-Berkeley. His research interests are in environmental economics and applied microeconomics. Recently, Dr. Gallagher and co-author studied the local welfare impact of the cleanup of large hazardous waste land sites in the U.S., using the housing market in neighboring communities to measure housing price changes before and after Superfund-sponsored cleanups. The study looks at waste sites of comparable severity, some of which have been slated for cleanup as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program, and some of which have not. Gallagher and co-author discovered that Superfund-sponsored cleanups are associated with small changes in housing prices and demographics in the surrounding area, and suggests that the local economic benefits of Superfund cleanups are substantially lower than the cost of the cleanups.

In his current research, Gallagher examines the learning process that individuals use to update their expectation of an uncertain and infrequently observed event, specifically, in this case, flooding. Gallagher has found that after a large regional flood, a sharp spike in the number of homeowners who purchase flood insurance occurs, but that this persists only for a short time. In fact, 10 years after a flood, there is no longer evidence that the earlier flood is associated with a higher number of flood insurance policies. The study concludes that a model of individual learning about risk that allows for homeowners to forget is consistent with observed flood-insurance purchasing behavior.

Personal Website

PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
MA, University of Chicago, 2003
BA, Middlebury College, 1999

Initially Appointed: 2011

Interests and Courses

Recent Courses and Syllabi

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  • Gallagher, J. Univ. Washington, "Underwater? Household Finance and Migration Decisions after a Flood: The Case of Hurricane Katrina", Economics Department, Univ. Washington, Seattle, WA. (2014).
  • Gallagher, J. Economics LESS Talk, "Underwater? Household Finance and Migration Decisions after a Flood: The Case of Hurricane Katrina", Economics Department, CWRU. (2014).
  • Gallagher, J. American Economic Association Annual Meetings, "Invited Discussant: How Do Housing Prices Adjust After an Environmental Shock?; Invited Discussant: Redistribution, Delegation, and Regulators' Incentives Evidence from teh Clean Air Act ", American Economic Association, Philadelphia, PA. (2014).

Academic and Professional Activities

  • Committee Member, Faculty Recruiting, 2014
  • Committee Chair, Seminar Series Co-Organizer, 2013 - Present