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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

The Political Economic Determinants of Nuclear Power: Evidence from Chernobyl

Alexey Makarin (MIT Sloan School of Management), joint with Nancy Qian and Shaoda Wang

Tuesday 28 February 2023 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

This paper investigates the political-economic determinants of nuclear energy investment using the Chernobyl accident as a natural experiment. We document several facts. First, the accident sharply reduced worldwide growth in the number of operating nuclear reactors. Second, the reduction is driven by increased construction delays in democracies, leading to prolonged use of older and less safe plants. Third, the nuclear growth slowdown in democracies is more pronounced when large fossil fuel reserves are present. Fourth, the opening of a new nuclear power plant reduces air pollution in nearby cities. Finally, micro-level evidence from the UK Parliament and US Congress provides strong indication that political capture by energy groups played a role in reducing nuclear energy investment in democracies, which may have hindered efforts to improve nuclear safety and moderate climate change.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room SAL 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Mathilde Emeriau

Contact to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.

For further information please contact Maddie Giles: