Leanne Cass

Leanne Cass

Postdoctoral Research Officer

Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics

Hello and thank you for visiting my website!

I am an applied environmental economist, currently based at the Grantham Research Institute at LSE. My research interests lie at the intersection of environmental economics with international trade, labour economics, and food consumption.

The aim of my research is to provide robust, data-driven insights that can contribute to delivering an effective and fair low-carbon transition.

  • Environmental Economics
  • International Trade
  • Labour Economics
  • PhD in Environmental Economics, 2022

    London School of Economics

  • MSc in Economics, 2015

    University of Warwick

  • Honours Bachelor of Arts, 2013

    University of Ottawa


Job market paper

The impact of weather shocks on exports

[Available here] [Ergs and Equilbrium Podcast Episode]

  • Abstract: Previous research suggests that weather shocks negatively impact exports; however, we know relatively little about the extent to which these impacts are capturing a particularly sensitivity of exports or simply the impact on economic productivity through the lens of trade data. This paper brings together recent developments from the international trade and climate econometrics to investigate whether exports are particularly sensitive to weather shocks compared to sales in the domestic market. In contrast to previous empirical papers that study the impact of weather shocks on international trade, I use an empirical approach that includes domestic trade flows and controls robustly for multilateral resistance parameters. I find that both manufacturing and agricultural exports are sensitive to weather shocks, but in different ways. Agricultural exports are sensitive to increases in annual mean temperature, while manufacturing exports are sensitive to extreme heat days. Moreover, I provide some evidence that suggests that this sensitivity of exports to weather shocks is larger when existing trade barriers between the exporter and importer are large. Economists usually conceptualize the macroeconomic damages of climate change as productivity impacts, but these results provide some evidence that weather and potentially climate change can have economically significant impacts beyond the point of production. In particular, the results of this paper suggest that weather and climate shocks propagate unequally through supply chains, such that buyers that are more remote are more impacted by the shock.

Working papers and selected works in progress

Does trade openness reduce the impact of temperature shocks on productivity? An empirical assessment

  • Abstract: Environmental economists have often hypothesized that openness to international trade can help send market signals that enable adaptation to climate change; however, much of the evidence we have on this hypothesis relies on structural models and simulations. In the spirit of the climate econometrics literature, this paper aims to complement this evidence from structural approaches by using a reduced-form empirical model to test this hypothesis that trade openness can reduce the impact of temperature shocks on economic growth. I construct an instrument for trade openness in a manner consistent with international trade theory, and use this instrument in an empirical model of GDP per capita growth. The results provide very limited evidence that trade openness has helped to mitigate the negative impact of temperature shocks on economic growth over the past 30 years, suggesting that caution is warranted when considering the potential role of trade openness in adaptation to climate change.

Green innovation in food products, with Marion Dumas

Supporting solar: The causal impact of subsidies on domestic photovoltaic installations, with Aurélien Saussay and Misato Sato

Green jobs and spatial inequality, with Aurélien Saussay and Misato Sato

Policy papers

Skills and wage gaps in the low-carbon transition: comparing job vacancy data from the US and UK (2023). Grantham Research Institute Policy Report, with Misato Sato, Aurélien Saussay, Francesco Vona, Leo Mercer, and Layla O’Kane.
[Media coverage: The Guardian; The Financial Times.]