Billy Pizer

Billy Pizer

Professor in the Department of Economics

External Address: 
123 Sanford Building, Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 613-9286

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)


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

Li, Y, Pizer, WA, and Wu, L. "Climate change and residential electricity consumption in the Yangtze River Delta, China." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, no. 2 (January 2019): 472-477. Full Text

Bielen, DA, Newell, RG, and Pizer, WA. "Who did the ethanol tax credit benefit? An event analysis of subsidy incidence." Journal of Public Economics 161 (May 1, 2018): 1-14. Full Text Open Access Copy

Iyer, G, Calvin, K, Clarke, L, Edmonds, J, Hultman, N, Hartin, C, McJeon, H, Aldy, J, and Pizer, W. "Implications of sustainable development considerations for comparability across nationally determined contributions." Nature Climate Change 8, no. 2 (February 1, 2018): 124-129. Full Text

Fischer, C, and Pizer, W. "Equity Effects in Energy Regulation." (November 2017). Open Access Copy

Pizer, WA. "What's the damage from climate change?." Science (New York, N.Y.) 356, no. 6345 (June 2017): 1330-1331. Full Text

Aldy, JE, Pizer, WA, and Akimoto, K. "Comparing emissions mitigation efforts across countries." Climate Policy 17, no. 4 (May 19, 2017): 501-515. Full Text

Pizer, WA, and Sexton, S. "Distributional Impacts of Energy Taxes." (April 2017). Open Access Copy

Cao, J, Ho, MS, Li, Y, Newell, RG, and Pizer, WA. "Chinese residential electricity consumption: Estimation and forecast using micro-data(Accepted)." Resource and Energy Economics (January 1, 2017). Full Text Open Access Copy

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 (December 1, 2016): 3-24. Full Text

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 (November 1, 2016): 1000-1004. Full Text Open Access Copy


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.

Pizer, WA. "Setting energy policy in the modern era: Tough challenges lie ahead." In The RFF Reader in Environmental and Resource Policy: Second Edition, 171-174. January 4, 2006. Full Text

Wiener, J. "Making Markets for Global Forests Conservation." In Painting the White House Green: Environmental Economics in the White House, 119-140. 2004. (Chapter)

Aldy, JE, Pizer, WA, and Akimoto, K. Transparency, Policy Surveillance, and the Comparison of Mitigation Efforts. November 7, 2016.

Aldy, JE, and Pizer, WA. Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture. February 13, 2014.

Arrow, KJ, Cropper, M, Gollier, C, Groom, B, Heal, GM, Newell, RG, Nordhaus, WD, Pindyck, RS, Pizer, WA, Portney, P, Sterner, T, Tol, RSJ, and Weitzman, M. How Should Benefits and Costs Be Discounted in an Intergenerational Context? The Views of an Expert Panel. December 19, 2013.

Aldy, JE, Krupnick, A, Newell, RG, Parry, IWH, and Pizer, WA. Designing Climate Mitigation Policy. June 2009.

Pizer, WA. A U.S. Perspective on Future Climate Regimes. February 12, 2007.

Goulder, LH, and Pizer, WA. The Economics of Climate Change. June 21, 2006.


Pizer, WA, and Zhang, X. "China's New National Carbon Market.": American Economic Association, 2018. Full Text

Selected Grants

Background Assessment of Options for Pricing Carbon awarded by World Resources Institute (Co-Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015