Billy Pizer

Billy Pizer

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Primary Appointment

School of Public Policy

Billy Pizer joined the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University in the fall of 2011.  He also was appointed a faculty fellow in the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, a nonpartisan institute at Duke that focuses on finding solutions to some of the nation's most pressing environmental challenges.  His current research examines how public policies to promote clean energy can effectively leverage private sector investments, how environmental regulation and climate policy can affect production costs and competitiveness, and how the design of market-based environmental policies can address the needs of different stakeholders.  

From 2008 to 2011, Pizer was deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he created and led a new office responsible for the department’s role in the domestic and international environment and energy agenda of the United States. Prior to that, Pizer was a researcher at Resources for the Future (RFF), a nonpartisan think tank, for more than a decade. He served as senior economist for the environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2002.  

Pizer's academic experience includes visiting professorships at The Johns Hopkins University (1997-1999) and Stanford University (2000-2001). He has published more than thirty peer-reviewed articles and books and holds a PhD and MA in economics from Harvard University and BS in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (On leave, spring 2016)

In The News


Aldy, J, Pizer, W, Tavoni, M, Reis, LA, Akimoto, K, Blanford, G, Carraro, C, Clarke, LE, Edmonds, J, Iyer, GC, McJeon, HC, Richels, R, Rose, S, and Sano, F. "Economic tools to promote transparency and comparability in the Paris Agreement." Nature Climate Change 6, no. 11 (August 22, 2016): 1000-1004.
Aldy, JE, and Pizer, WA. "Alternative Metrics for Comparing Domestic Climate Change Mitigation Efforts and the Emerging International Climate Policy Architecture." Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 10, no. 1 (January 2016): 3-24.
Pizer, WA, and Yates, AJ. "Terminating links between emission trading programs." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 71 (May 2015): 142-159.
Cropper, ML, Freeman, MC, Groom, B, and Pizer, WA. "Declining Discount Rates." American Economic Review 104, no. 5 (May 2014): 538-543.
Newell, RG, Pizer, WA, and Raimi, D. "Environmental economics. Carbon market lessons and global policy outlook." Science (New York, N.Y.) 343, no. 6177 (March 2014): 1316-1317.
Wiener, J. "Using and Improving the Social Cost of Carbon." Science 346 (2014): 1189-1190.
Newell, RG, Pizer, WA, and Raimi, D. "Carbon markets 15 years after Kyoto: Lessons learned, new challenges." Journal of Economic Perspectives 27, no. 1 (2013): 123-146.
Fell, H, MacKenzie, IA, and Pizer, WA. "Prices versus quantities versus bankable quantities." Resource and Energy Economics 34, no. 4 (2012): 607-623.
Newell, RG, and Pizer, WA. "Indexed regulation." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 56, no. 3 (2008): 221-233.
Newell, RG, and Pizer, WA. "Regulating stock externalities under uncertainty." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 45, no. 2 SUPPL. (2003): 416-432.
Newell, RG, and Pizer, WA. "Discounting the distant future: How much do uncertain rates increase valuations?." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 46, no. 1 (2003): 52-71.
Pizer, WA. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change." Journal of Public Economics 85, no. 3 (2002): 409-434.
Morgenstern, RD, Pizer, WA, and Shih, J-S. "The cost of environmental protection." Review of Economics and Statistics 83, no. 4 (2001): 732-738.
Aldy, JE, Pizer, WA, and Akimoto, K. "Comparing emissions mitigation efforts across countries." Climate Policy 17, no. 4 (May 19, 2017): 501-515.
Dietz, S, Groom, B, and Pizer, WA. "Weighing the costs and benefits of climate change to our children." Future of Children 26, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 133-155.
Aldy, JE, and Pizer, WA. "Comparing countries' climate mitigation efforts in a post-Kyoto world." In Implementing a US Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates, 233-252. February 11, 2015.
Buntaine, MT, and Pizer, WA. "Encouraging clean energy investment in developing countries: what role for aid?." Climate Policy 15, no. 5 (January 1, 2015): 543-564.

area(s) of expertise

Advisor: UPEP Doctoral Program

Contact Information

178 Rubenstein Hall, Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., Harvard University (1996)
B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1990)