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

Pizer, William A., and Brian C. Prest. “Prices versus Quantities with Policy Updating.” Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 7, no. 3 (May 2020): 483–518. Full Text Open Access Copy

Cao, J., M. S. Ho, Y. Li, R. G. Newell, and W. A. Pizer. “Chinese residential electricity consumption: Estimation and forecast using micro-data.” Resource and Energy Economics 56 (May 1, 2019): 6–27. Full Text Open Access Copy

Newell, R. G., W. A. Pizer, and D. Raimi. “U.S. federal government subsidies for clean energy: Design choices and implications.” Energy Economics 80 (May 1, 2019): 831–41. Full Text

Fischer, Carolyn, and William A. Pizer. “Horizontal Equity Effects in Energy Regulation.” Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 6, no. S1 (March 2019): S209–37. Full Text Open Access Copy

Deryugina, Tatyana, Don Fullerton, and William A. Pizer. “An Introduction to Energy Policy Trade-Offs between Economic Efficiency and Distributional Equity.” Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 6, no. S1 (March 2019): S1–6. Full Text

Pizer, W. A., and S. Sexton. “The Distributional Impacts of Energy Taxes.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 13, no. 1 (February 1, 2019): 104–23. Full Text Open Access Copy

Li, Yating, William A. Pizer, and Libo Wu. “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): 472–77. Full Text

Bielen, D. A., R. G. Newell, and W. A. Pizer. “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., K. Calvin, L. Clarke, J. Edmonds, N. Hultman, C. Hartin, H. McJeon, J. Aldy, and W. Pizer. “Implications of sustainable development considerations for comparability across nationally determined contributions.” Nature Climate Change 8, no. 2 (February 1, 2018): 124–29. Full Text

Pizer, William A. “What's the damage from climate change?Science (New York, N.Y.) 356, no. 6345 (June 2017): 1330–31. Full Text


Pizer, W. A. “Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change.” In Climate Change, 391–416, 2017.

Aldy, J. E., and W. A. Pizer. “Comparing countries' climate mitigation efforts in a post-Kyoto world.” In Implementing a US Carbon Tax: Challenges and Debates, 233–52, 2015.

Pizer, W. A. “Setting energy policy in the modern era: Tough challenges lie ahead.” In The RFF Reader in Environmental and Resource Policy: Second Edition, 171–74, 2006. Full Text

Wiener, J. “Making Markets for Global Forests Conservation.” In Painting the White House Green: Environmental Economics in the White House, 119–40, 2004.

Aldy, Joseph E., William A. Pizer, and Keigo Akimoto. “Transparency, Policy Surveillance, and the Comparison of Mitigation Efforts,” November 7, 2016.

Aldy, Joseph E., and William A. Pizer. “Comparability of Effort in International Climate Policy Architecture,” February 13, 2014.

Arrow, Kenneth J., Maureen Cropper, Christian Gollier, Ben Groom, Geoffrey M. Heal, Richard G. Newell, William D. Nordhaus, et al. “How Should Benefits and Costs Be Discounted in an Intergenerational Context? The Views of an Expert Panel,” December 19, 2013.

Aldy, Joseph E., and William A. Pizer. “The Competitiveness Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Policies,” December 2011.

Aldy, Joseph E., Alan J. Krupnick, Richard G. Newell, Ian W. H. Parry, and William A. Pizer. “Designing Climate Mitigation Policy,” December 2010.

Aldy, Joseph E., Alan Krupnick, Richard G. Newell, Ian W. H. Parry, and William A. Pizer. “Designing Climate Mitigation Policy,” June 2009.

Tatsutani, Marika, and William A. Pizer. “Managing Costs in a U.S. Greenhouse Gas Trading Program: A Workshop Summary,” July 15, 2008.

Pizer, William A. “A U.S. Perspective on Future Climate Regimes,” February 1, 2007.

Pizer, William A. “Economics versus Climate Change,” June 20, 2006.


Pizer, William A., and Xiliang Zhang. “China’s New National Carbon Market.” In Aea Papers and Proceedings, 108:463–67. American Economic Association, 2018. Full Text

Selected Grants

Collaborative Research: Implications of Solar Radiation Management for Strategic Behavior and Climate Governance awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2023

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