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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance


Sam is an affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Land Economy where he primarily supervises the MPhil in Environmental Policy programme and Paper 5 of the undergraduate Tripos. He is an applied environmental/development economist by training and completed his PhD at the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge. His PhD thesis titled: Microfinance and Mobile phones: an economic analysis of the perceptions, management and measurement of environmental risk in rural Kenya, was supervised by C-EENRG Fellows Shaun Larcom and Andreas Kontoleon. He was a recent recipient of the McKinsey Risk Prize (2020) and a finalist for the Cambridge Society for Applied Research (CSAR) Award (2022). Previously, Sam has worked as an economic advisor on climate change issues in Southern Africa.

Sam’s recent research is focused on the adoption of climate related micro-finance products designed to relieve pressures on rural food security and poverty in Kenya. He is specifically focussed on exploring the environmental drivers of risk preferences and their consequent impacts on financial decision making and economic development. His research relies on both quantitative econometric modelling approaches as well as experimental economic approaches. The projects also incorporate spatial data analysis through the use of GIS tools. Broadly, he is interested in how individuals mitigate and adapt to climate change at the micro level and how financial products and policies can better facilitate economic development in this area.


Key publications: 

Vosper, S. & Mercure, J-F. 2016. Assessing the effectiveness of South Africa’s emissions based purchase tax for private passenger vehicles: a consumer choice modelling approach. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa 27(4): 25-37.

Working papers

Insure or Unsure? Basis Risk Exposure and Uptake of Weather Index Insurance in Kenya (with Francesco Cecchi)

Insure, Adapt, Overcome: Strategic Sowing Decisions and Index Insurance Pay-outs in Kenya (with Francesco Cecchi)

Remotely Risky? Measuring risk preferences at high frequency using mobile phones and Bayesian models (with Francesco Cecchi, Andreas Kontoleon & Ferdinand Vieider)

Work in Progress

Bayesian approaches to model risk preferences from sparse data (with Francesco Cecchi, Andreas Kontoleon & Ferdinand Vieider)

C-EENRG Fellow
Affiliated Lecturer, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
Senior Climate Economist, Risilience Ltd
Sam Vosper


Person keywords: 
Risk Modelling
Environmental Economics
Development Economics
Climate Change