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2014 Upton Forum - Robert N. Stavins

Robert Stavins

2014 Upton Scholar

Robert N. Stavins is one of the world's leading thinkers on climate change policy. He is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, Chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program in Public Policy and the Doctoral Program in Political Economy and Government, and Co-Chair of the  Harvard Business School-Kennedy School Joint Degree Programs, and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. He is a University Fellow of Resources for the Future, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Co-Editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, and a Member of: the Board of Academic Advisors of the Regulatory Markets Center, the Board of Directors of the Robert and RenĂ©e Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Editorial Boards of Resource and Energy EconomicsClimate Change EconomicsEnvironmental Economics and Policy Studies, Environmental Economics AbstractsEnvironmental Law and Policy AbstractsB.E. Journals of Economic Analysis & Policy, and Economic Issues. He is also a Vice-President of the American Association of Wine Economists, an editor of the Journal of Wine Economics, and the Chair of the Expert Advisory Board of the Harvard Alumni Alliance for the Environment. 

He was elected a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2009.  He was formerly Editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, a member of the Board of Directors of Resources for the Future, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, the Editorial Board of Land Economics, The Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, a member and Chair of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board, a member of the Executive Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, a member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, a Lead Author of the Second and Third Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a contributing editor of Environment.  He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard.

Professor Stavins's research has focused on diverse areas of environmental economics and policy, including examinations of: market-based policy instruments; regulatory impact analysis; innovation and diffusion of pollution-control technologies; environmental benefit valuation; policy instrument choice under uncertainty; competitiveness effects of regulation; depletion of forested wetlands; political economy of policy instrument choice; and costs of carbon sequestration. His research has appeared in the American Economic ReviewQuarterly Journal of EconomicsJournal of Economic PerspectivesJournal of Economic Literature, ScienceNatureJournal of Environmental Economics and ManagementEcology Law QuarterlyJournal of Regulatory Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Risk and UncertaintyResource and Energy EconomicsThe Energy JournalEnergy PolicyAnnual Review of Energy and the EnvironmentExplorations in Economic HistoryBrookings Papers on Economic Activity, other scholarly and popular periodicals, and several books. He is the co-editor of Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Architectures for Agreement: Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post-Kyoto World (Cambridge University Press, 2007), editor of the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions of Economics of the Environment (W. W. Norton, 2000, 2005, 2012), co-editor of Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms (Resources for the Future, 2005), editor of The Political Economy of Environmental Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2004), co-editor of the second edition of Public Policies for Environmental Protection (Resources for the Future, 2000), and the author of Environmental Economics and Public Policy: Selected Papers of Robert N. Stavins, 1988-1999 (Edward Elgar, 2000) and Economics of Climate Change and Environmental Policy: Selected Papers for Robert N. Stavins, 2000-2011 (Edward Elgar, 2013).

Professor Stavins directed Project 88, a bi-partisan effort co-chaired by former Senator Timothy Wirth and the late Senator John Heinz, to develop innovative approaches to environmental and resource problems. He continues to work closely with public officials on matters of national and international environmental policy. He has been a consultant to the National Academy of Sciences, the President's Council on Sustainable Development, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Council of Economic Advisers, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Interior, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Members of Congress, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, state and national governments, and private foundations and firms.

Prior to joining Harvard, Stavins was a staff economist at the Environmental Defense Fund; and before that, he managed irrigation development in the Middle East, and spent four years working in agricultural extension in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer.