Selected Articles

"The Future Through Yesterday: Long-Term Forecasting in the Novels of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne" The Centennial Review 38, 1994

Introductory Paragraph:

Suppose you were living in 1896, the date Arrhenius published his amazing paper on the Greenhouse Effect, and that your profession or intellectual passion was to predict the distant future....

"Economic Modeling and the False Tradeoff Between Environmental Protection and Economic Growth" Contemporary Economic Policy 15, 1997

Abstract

One important element of the current policy debate on what measures should be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the controversy over the costs of reducing those emissions. “Top-down ” macroeconomic and general equilibrium models give much higher estimates of the costs than “bottom-up” models based on  microeconomic and...

"The Efficiency Paradox: Bureaucratic and Organizational Barriers to Profitable Energy-Saving Investments" Energy Policy 26, 1998

Abstract

The paradox of why profitable energy-saving investments are not undertaken continues to provoke debate. The underlying phenomenon might be called the 'efficiency paradox,' because it represents a case in which business firms, which are often presumed (or taken axiomatically) to be economically efficient, make decisions that  do  not maximize profits. New data...

"Information Processing and Organizational Structure" (with William E. Watkins) Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 36, 1998

Abstract

Standard economic theories of the firm (and other organizations) stress profit maximization as the foundation for derivation of predictable behavior. Yet statistical and case-study evidence continues to accumulate that real firms do not act as required by the neoclassical framework.  Instead of being represented by ever more elaborate maximization models,...

"Estimating the Non-Environmental Consequences of Greenhouse Gas Reductions is Harder Than You Think" Contemporary Economic Policy 17, 1999

Abstract

Top-down and bottom-up models of the non-environmental consequences of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions embody different implicit theories of economic organizations. Yet neither approach is explicit in showing the detailed computations that must be traced if the activities of firms are to be described realistically. Specification of...

"Organizational Structure and the Behavior of Firms: Implications for Integrated Assessment" (with Catherine Dibble and Keyvan Amir-Atefi) Climatic Change 48, 2001

Abstract

Existing climate/economy models typically treat production through the assumptions that firms maximize profits and that inputs are transformed to outputs according to a neoclassical production function. Yet these assumptions are at variance with some of the known empirical features of business behavior. One of the most...

"Cutting Carbon Emissions at a Profit (Part I): Opportunities for the U.S." (with Florentin Krause, J. Andrew Hoerner, and Paul Baer) Contemporary Economic Policy 20, 2002

Abstract

This article identifies and corrects shortcomings in recent modeling studies on the economics of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The major assessments of the Kyoto Protocol --- by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Clinton White House Council...

"Economic Analysis, Environmental Policy, and Intergenerational Justice in the Reagan Administration: The Case of the Montreal Protocol" International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 3, 2003

Abstract

Economic arguments played a significant role in the decision by the Reagan Administration to lead the international effort to protect the stratospheric ozone layer from depletion caused by certain otherwise useful industrial chemicals....

"Descriptive or Conceptual Models? Contributions of Economics to the Climate Policy Debate" International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 5, 2005

Abstract

Economists have brought two distinct modeling styles to the debate on climate policy. Some attempt to forecast the effects of policy decisions by constructing models that purport to be ‘‘descriptive’’ of the global economic system. The alternative approach is a ‘‘conceptual’’ focus on key elements...

"Equity Effects of Alternative Assignments of Global Environmental Rights" (with Paul Niemann) Ecological Economics 56, 2006

Abstract

Through a thought experiment in which members of different generations trade with each other in a virtual market, we examine the effects of alternative assignments of global environmental rights on prices, interest rates, and the global distribution of income. The model is "semi-calibrated" to current and projected levels of the output...