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Oscar Dementiev
Oscar Dementiev

How Charles D. Kolstad's Book Environmental Economics Can Help You Understand and Solve Environmental Problems



My research interests are broadly in environmental economics and related areas of industrial organization and public economics. My policy-related focus within these fields is climate change and energy markets.I currently have several projects related to uncertainty and learning in strategic contexts regarding the provision of public goods. For the most part, the application is international environmental agreements. This work is primarily theoretical, though with some empirical and experimental work to validate and illuminate theory. I also have research interests in energy economics (particularly regulation) and other dimensions of the economics of climate change.I welcome new PhD students who wish to study with me. Typically, my students train to be environmental or resource economists, which means they receive strong training in economics. At Stanford this means successfully taking the first year PhD sequences in microeconomics (Econ 202-204) and econometrics (Econ 270-272) offered by the Department of Economics. In addition, students should take the PhD classes Economics 250 (Environmental Economics) and 251 (Resource and Energy Economics). This is a minimum and other coursework would depend on student interest and needs. Strong preparation in math is essential.There are a number of PhD programs at Stanford that are appropriate for someone seeking training as an environmental economist. In addition to the Department of Economics, there are several other departments in which students may apply and matriculate, including the Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER).Working Papers




Environmental Economics Charles Kolstad



Charles D. Kolstad (born April 30, 1948) is an American economist, known for his work in environmental economics, environmental regulation, climate change and energy markets. He is Professor and Senior Fellow at Stanford University (appointed in the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Department of Economics).[1] Prior to his appointment at Stanford, he was Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, appointed to both the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Department of Economics.[2] Kolstad was also Chair of the UCSB Department of Economics and co-director of the University of California Center for Energy & Environmental Economics. He has previously held a wide variety of academic positions, including at the University of Illinois, Harvard University,[3] Stanford University and MIT.


Kolstad is a founding co-editor of the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy,[4] a peer-reviewed journal of environmental economics. He is also a former president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE),[5] and has authored more than 100 publications, including the undergraduate text, Environmental Economics, which has been translated into Japanese, Spanish and Chinese.


Environmental Economics is the first text to concentrate solely on environmental economics. - problems of pollution of earth, air, and water - with an emphasis on both government regulation and private-sector anti-pollution incentives. Assuming a basic knowledge of intermediate microeconomics, the book is divided into four sections: the first defines the field of environmental economics in relation to general economics and to ecological and resourceeconomics; the second looks at market failure and considers why, even with apparent environmental protection, market-led regulation often fails to work properly; the third examines government regulation of pollution using industrial organization literature; and the final section looks at the demand forenvironmental quality, covering both revealed preference and stated preference methods. The author includes many international examples and places special emphasis on the way countries around the world approach and control their own environmental problems.


I would argue that, rather than thinking we can solve the climate crisis by giving shape to something like emissions pricing fully formed at birth, economics can have its biggest influence if we apply good economic ideas in diverse regulatory settings. By aiming for a sequence of policy successes through incremental improvements to regulations, we can achieve greater efficiency and stepwise environmental gains. We may expect these successes to enable the emergence of new technological options and new constituencies that, in turn, enable and support a broader application of economic ideas.


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