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2017 Upton Forum - Michael Greenstone

Michael GreenstoneMichael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, University of Chicago.

He previously served as the Chief Economist for President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, and served on the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board. On July 1, 2017 he will become the Director of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, University of Chicago. He is the Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and of the Energy & Environment Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs. Professor Greenstone also directed the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project, which studies policies to promote economic growth, and has since joined its Advisory Council. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and editor of the Journal of Political Economy. Previously, Greenstone was the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at MIT.

Greenstone's research estimates the costs and benefits of environmental quality and society's energy choices. He has worked extensively on the Clean Air Act and examined its impacts on air quality, manufacturing activity, housing prices, and human health to assess its benefits and costs. He is currently engaged in large scale projects to estimate the economic costs of climate change and to identify efficient approaches to mitigating these costs.

His research is increasingly focused on developing countries. This work includes an influential paper that demonstrated that high levels of particulates air pollution from coal combustion are causing the 500 million residents of Northern China to lose more than 2.5 billion years of life expectancy. He is also engaged in projects with the Government of India and four Indian state governments that use randomized control trials to test innovative ways to improve the functioning of environmental regulations and increase energy access.

Greenstone received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University and a BA in economics with High Honors from Swarthmore College.


Forum Events

"Comedy, Economics, and Climate Change (or How Climate Action Turned Me Into a Republican)" 

Yoram Bauman says that his goal in life is "To spread joy to the world through economics comedy; to contribute to education reform through cartoon books about economics and more; and to implement carbon pricing, preferably through a revenue-neutral tax shift involving lower taxes on things we like (working, saving, investing) and higher taxes on things we don't like (e.g., carbon)."

Panel discussion on "Scaling Low-Carbon Energy for the Developing and Developed World". 

Panel discussion: "Modern Energy and the Wealth of Nations".

  • Andrew Revkin (see bio above)
  • B. Kelsey Jack, James L. Paddock Assistant Professor, Department of Economics,Tufts University. Co-author  with 2017 Miller Upton Scholar Michael Greenstone of "Envirodevonomics: A research agenda for an emerging fieldJournal of Economic Literature, 53(1): 5-42.
  • Rema Hanna, "the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Director of the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) research program at the Center for International Development, Harvard University. In addition, Hanna is a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and an affiliate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)." Co-author of  Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves (joint with Esther Duflo and Michael Greenstone). NBER Working Paper #18033, forthcoming at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
  • Response: Michael Greenstone

The June and Edgar Martin Memorial Lecture.

Michael Greenstone, 2017 Miller Upton Scholar.

Followed by Q&A moderated by Andrew Revkin.