EPIC Director Michael Greenstone has been named a Fellow by the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE), joining a handful of renowned economists to receive the group’s highest honor for making significant contributions to the field. He is one of the youngest awardees since the association began selecting fellows in 2005.
“I am honored to receive this award and join a cohort of highly-respected economists who have fundamentally altered the way we understand resource, environment, and energy issues and have influenced the world with their ideas,” said Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, the College and the Harris School.
Greenstone joins Karen L. Palmer, from Resources for the Future, and Kevin Boyle, from Virginia Tech University, in the 2018 class of fellows. The three were recognized last month at the sixth World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists in Gothenburg, Sweden, by AERE President Laura Taylor.
“Michael’s work has quite simply had a transformative impact on empirical environmental economics,” said Taylor, a professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State University. “By using and promoting quasi-experimental econometric methods to address important environmental issues, his work has both improved the empirical methods used by the profession and enriched our understanding of the health impacts of pollution and the effectiveness of policies to control it.”
Recognized not only for his research contributions, but also for his impact on policy, Taylor continued: “Michael’s research has helped to inform environmental policies in the United States and around the globe, specifically in India and China.”
She cited some of Greenstone’s most notable policy impacts, including his work as Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors where he co-led the U.S. government’s development of the Social Cost of Carbon for use in federal policy analysis.
“As one AERE Fellow summarized: ‘Michael is a policy innovator, a champion of economics in policy development, and a researcher motivated by the needs of policymakers,’” she said.
Quoting one of his nominators, she said, “‘While no single person is solely responsible for the shift in how empirical environmental economics is conducted, I think one would be hard pressed to think of someone who has been more influential in that shift than Michael. I think it is undeniable that his work, and his active participation in this field, has helped to transform – to advance – the way in which a significant portion of the environmental economics profession conducts their empirical research.”
Taylor also lauded Greenstone’s contributions in helping to establish a pollution trading market in India and his co-leadership of the Climate Impact Lab, which evaluates the social costs of climate change.
Greenstone is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and a former editor of the Journal of Political Economy. He also directs the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago.
AERE was founded in 1979 as a means for exchanging ideas, stimulating research, and promoting graduate training in environmental and resource economics. It currently has over 1,000 members from more than thirty nations who work in academic institutions, the public sector and private industry.