Billy Pizer

Billy Pizer

Professor in the Department of Economics

External Address: 
278 Rubenstein Hall, Box 90312, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90312, 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 we value the future benefits of climate change mitigation, 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.  He has been actively involved in creation of an environmental program at Duke Kunshan University in China, a collaborative venture between Duke University, Wuhan University, and the city of Kunshan.    

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 fifty 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. 


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

Aldy, J. E., and W. A. Pizer. “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., W. Pizer, M. Tavoni, L. A. Reis, K. Akimoto, G. Blanford, C. Carraro, et al. “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

Dietz, S., B. Groom, and W. A. Pizer. “Weighing the costs and benefits of climate change to our children.” Future of Children 26, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 133–55. Full Text

Buntaine, M. T., and W. A. Pizer. “Encouraging clean energy investment in developing countries: what role for aid?Climate Policy 15, no. 5 (September 3, 2015): 543–64. Full Text Open Access Copy

Pizer, W. A., and A. J. Yates. “Terminating links between emission trading programs.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 71 (May 1, 2015): 142–59. Full Text Open Access Copy

Pizer, W., M. Adler, J. Aldy, D. Anthoff, M. Cropper, K. Gillingham, M. Greenstone, et al. “Using and improving the social cost of carbon.” Science 346, no. 6214 (December 5, 2014): 1189–90. Full Text Open Access Copy

Newell, R. G., W. A. Pizer, and D. Raimi. “Carbon market lessons and global policy outlook.” Science 343, no. 6177 (January 1, 2014): 1316–17. Full Text Open Access Copy

Cropper, M. L., M. C. Freeman, B. Groom, and W. A. Pizer. “Declining discount rates.” American Economic Review 104, no. 5 (January 1, 2014): 538–43. Full Text

Newell, R. G., W. A. Pizer, and D. Raimi. “Carbon markets: Effective policy? - Response.” Science 344, no. 6191 (January 1, 2014): 1460–61. Full Text Open Access Copy


Goulder, Lawrence H., and William A. Pizer. “The Economics of Climate Change,” January 2006.

Newell, Richard G., and William A. Pizer. “Discounting the Distant Future: How Much Do Uncertain Rates Increase Valuations?,” May 2001.

Newell, Richard, and William A. Pizer. “Indexed Regulation,” n.d.

Pizer, William A., Jhih-Shyang Shih, and Richard D. Morgenstern. “Are We Overstating the Economic Costs of Environmental Protection?,” n.d.

Murray, Brian C., Richard Newell, and William A. Pizer. “Balancing Cost and Emissions Certainty: An Allowance Reserve for Cap-and-Trade,” n.d.

Newell, Richard G., and William A. Pizer. “Regulating Stock Externalities under Uncertainty,” n.d.

Aldy, Joseph E., and William A. Pizer. “The Competitiveness Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Policies,” n.d.

Aldy, Joseph E., and William A. Pizer. “The Competitiveness Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Policies,” n.d.

Goulder, Lawrence H., and William A. Pizer. “The Economics of Climate Change,” n.d.