Professor Matthew Cole

Professor Matthew Cole

Business School
Professor of Environmental Economics
Deputy Dean of Birmingham Business School

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
Department of Economics
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Matt Cole is an environmental economist whose research examines the relationships between economic development and the natural environment, with a particular focus on issues relating to international trade, air pollution, health and biodiversity. He has published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous book contributions. His work has received over 12,500 career citations on Google Scholar and has an h-index of 46. Matt is a Co-Editor of one of the leading international journals in his field, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the ESRC Peer Review College.


BA(Hons) Economics, MA Economics, PhD Economics (Nottingham).


Co-Editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management



Current teaching:

ECON110B Sustainable Development

ECONG46D Environmental Economics

Postgraduate supervision


Matthew's research interests lie at the intersection of Environmental Economics, Development Economics and International Economics. Current topics include pollution offshoring, pollution and health, the economics of biodiversity, and environmental inequality.


Recent publications


Liu, B, Bryson, JR, Sevinc, D, Cole, M, Elliott, R, Bartington, S, Bloss, W & Shi, Z 2023, 'Assessing the Impacts of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone on Air Quality: Estimates from a Machine Learning and Synthetic Control Approach', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 86, no. 1-2, pp. 203-231.,

Song, C, Liu, B, Cheng, K, Cole, MA, Dai, Q, Elliott, RJR & Shi, Z 2023, 'Attribution of air quality benefits to clean winter heating polices in China: combining machine learning with causal inference', Environmental Science and Technology.

Carneiro, J, Cole, M & Strobl, E 2023, 'Foetal Exposure to Air Pollution and Students' Cognitive Performance: Evidence from Agricultural Fires in Brazil', Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Lui-Farrer, G, Green, A, Ozgen, C & Cole, M 2023, 'Immigration and labor shortages: learning from Japan and the United Kingdom', Asian and Pacific Migration Journal.

Cole, MA, Elliott, RJR & Strobl, E 2021, 'Biodiversity and economic land use', Land Economics, vol. 97, no. 2, pp. 281-304.

Cole, MA, Elliott, RJR, Okubo, T & Zhang, L 2021, 'Importing, outsourcing and pollution offshoring', Energy Economics, vol. 103, 105562.

Carneiro, J, Cole, M & Strobl, E 2021, 'The effects of air pollution on students’ cognitive performance: evidence from Brazilian university entrance tests', Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 1051-1077.

Cole, M, Ozgen, C & Strobl, E 2020, 'Air pollution exposure and Covid‑19 in Dutch municipalities', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 581–610.

Cole, MA, Elliott, RJR & Liu, B 2020, 'The Impact of the Wuhan Covid-19 lockdown on air pollution and health: a machine learning and augmented synthetic control approach', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 553-580.

Cole, M, Elliott, R, Okubo, T & Strobl, E 2019, 'Natural disasters and spatial heterogeneity in damages: the birth, life and death of manufacturing plants', Journal of Economic Geography, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 373–408.

Cole, M, Maddison, D & Zhang, L 2019, 'Testing the emission reduction claims of CDM projects using the Benford’s Law', Climatic Change.

Cole, M & Zhang, L 2019, 'The clean-up of Chinese manufacturing: examining the role played by changing techniques of production', Economics Letters, vol. 180, pp. 11-14.

Commissioned report

Bandyopadhyay, S, Karavias, Y, Menezes, L, Taylor, J, Apena Rogers, S, Kane, E, Burton, A, Evans, E, Abramovaite, J, Montgomery, P, Chandan, J, Martin, J, Banerjee, A, Cole, M & Chaudhuri, K 2024, Remedi Restorative Mentors: Pilot trial report. Youth Endowment Fund. <>

Cole, M, Elliott, R & Zhang, L 2023, A review of FDI and the environment in Asia literature: Are there lessons for climate change mitigation strategies? 2023 edn, Asian Development Bank, Philippines.

Other report

Shi, Z, Liu, B, Cheng, K, Elliott, R, Cole, M & Bryson, J 2022, Quantifying the impact of clean air policy interventions for air quality management. University of Birmingham.,

View all publications in research portal