Matt Harding shares how Big Data can help solve public policy challenges like rising global energy demands and our expanding American waistline.
Matt Harding is an economist and data scientist who uses Big Data to answer crucial policy questions in energy and the environment, and health and nutrition. He is an assistant professor of public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy and assistant professor of economics in the Department of Economics at Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.
Harding is an associate director at the Information Initiative at Duke (iiD) and a faculty fellow in the Duke Energy Initiative. He also directs the Duke-UNC United States Department of Agriculture Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research.
Harding aims to understand how individuals make consumption choices in a data-rich environment and to quantify the individual and social welfare impact of their choices. He is interested in the potential for Big Data to solve “wicked problems,” complex interdisciplinary problems in public policy, by the use of three fundamental levers: prices, behavioral nudges, and technology. In particular, he is interested in identifying solutions that benefit individual consumers, are profitable for firms, and have a positive impact on society.
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