Books and Papers

"The Montreal Protocol at 20: Ongoing Opportunities for Integration with Climate Protection" (with Catherine S. Norman and Lin Fan) Global Environmental Change 18, 2008

Abstract

The Montreal Protocol, implemented because of the risks posed by stratospheric ozone depletion, has successfully brought about international cooperation to address a serious global environmental hazard. We show how flexibility in destruction offsets could improve efficiency and propose a simple methodology to jointly...

"The political economy of global carbon emissions reductions" Ecological Economics, 68(3) January 2009

Abstract

The discussion about what reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required and how the emissions rights might be distributed globally has fostered the belief that there is a fundamental conflict between the rich nations of the “North” and the poor but populous nations of the “South.” The argument is that grandfathering the rights will...

"Limitations of integrated assessment models of climate change" (with Frank Ackerman, Richard B. Howarth, and Kristin Sheeran) Climatic Change, 95(3-4); August 2009

Abstract

The integrated assessment models (IAMs) that economists use to analyze the expected costs and benefits of climate policies frequently suggest that the “optimal” policy is to go slowly and to do relatively little in the near term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We trace this...

It might seem that contemporary economic theory offers a scientific account of choice among alternatives.  Yet this is only superficially the case; the behavior of the agents in most economic models is completely specified by preference functions, technological possibilities, and market interactions.  'Choice' is a misnomer for solution of one or another kind of optimization problem in such models....

The climate policy debate has been dominated by economic estimates of the costs of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Yet the models used to derive those estimates are based on assumptions that have largely gone untested.  The conventional approach embodies structural features that rule out alternative market outcomes.  In addition, the distribution of "climate rights" is crucial to determining the economic affects of various policies....

"Two Hidden Sources of Productivity Growth in American Agriculture, 1860-1930" (with William N. Parker) Agricultural History 56, October 1982, pp. 648-62

Initial paragraph

Sustained productivity growth in modern agriculture depends largely upon two complex social processes of learning. In genetic and biochem- ical technology, scientists must learn how to adjust plant varieties and animal breeds to the various and changing conditions of the natural environment....

"Modeling Technological Change in Energy Demand Forecasting: A Generalized Approach" (with John A. "Skip" Laitner) Technological Forecasting and Social Change 55, 1997

Abstract

Conventional economic modeling of energy demand has characterized technological choice as an investment decision driven primarily by the relationship between capital costs and operating costs. Yet the implementation of this approach has tended to yield unrealistically high estimates of the implicit discount rate governing...