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

Morgenstern, R. D., W. A. Pizer, and J. S. Shih. “The cost of environmental protection.” Review of Economics and Statistics 83, no. 4 (2001): 732–38. Full Text

Pizer, W. A. “The optimal choice of climate change policy in the presence of uncertainty.” Resource and Energy Economics 21, no. 4 (January 1, 1999): 255–87. Full Text

Pizer, William A. “Optimal Choice of Policy Instrument and Stringency under Uncertainty: The Case of Climate Change.” Resource and Energy Economics 21, no. (3-4) (1999): 255–87.

Pizer, W., and M. Sefton. “Solutions: Derivation of the OLS Estimator Without Using Calculus.” Econometric Theory 12, no. 2 (January 1, 1996): 395–96. Full Text

Parry, Ian W. H., William A. Pizer, and Carolyn Fischer. “How Important is Technological Innovation in Protecting the Environment?,” n.d.