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

Arrow, K. J., M. L. Cropper, C. Gollier, B. Groom, G. M. Heal, R. G. Newell, W. D. Nordhaus, et al. “Should governments use a declining discount rate in project analysis?.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 8, no. 2 (January 1, 2014): 145–63. Full Text Open Access Copy

Newell, R. G., W. A. Pizer, and D. Raimi. “Carbon markets: Past, present, and future.” Annual Review of Resource Economics 6, no. 1 (January 1, 2014): 191–215. Full Text Open Access Copy

Newell, R. G., W. A. Pizer, and D. Raimi. “Carbon markets 15 years after Kyoto: Lessons learned, new challenges.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27, no. 1 (December 1, 2013): 123–46. Full Text Open Access Copy

Arrow, K., M. Cropper, C. Gollier, B. Groom, G. Heal, R. Newell, W. Nordhaus, et al. “Determining benefits and costs for future generations.” Science 341, no. 6144 (January 1, 2013): 349–50. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kerr, Suzi, Catherine Leining, Justine Sefton, Juan-Pablo Montero, Sebastian Vicuna, Jose Eduardo Sanhueza, Michael Grasty, et al. “Roadmap for Implementing a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System in Chile: Core Design Options and Policy Decision-Making Considerations.” Motu Working Paper, no. 12 (December 31, 2012).

Ghosh, Arunabha, Benito Muller, William A. Pizer, and Gernot Wagner. “Mobilizing the Private Sector: Quantity-Performance Instruments for Public Climate Funds,” September 2012.

Branstetter, Lee, and William A. Pizer. “Facing the Climate Change Challenge in a Global Economy,” July 2012.

Morgenstern, R. D., and W. A. Pizer. “The effectiveness of voluntary environmental programs,” January 1, 2012, 88–89. Full Text

Fell, H, MacKenzie, IA, and Pizer, WA. "Prices versus quantities versus bankable quantities." Resource and Energy Economics 34, no. 4 (2012): 607-623. Full Text Open Access Copy

Pizer, W. A., R. Morgenstern, and J. S. Shih. “The performance of industrial sector voluntary climate programs: Climate Wise and 1605(b).” Energy Policy 39, no. 12 (December 1, 2011): 7907–16. Full Text