Selected Articles in Public Policy and Other Periodicals

2019
Stavins, Robert. “The Future of U.S. Carbon-Pricing Policy: Normative Assessment and Positive Prognosis.” Working Paper (2019).Abstract
There is widespread agreement among economists – and a diverse set of other policy analysts – that at least in the long run, an economy-wide carbon pricing system will be an essential element of any national policy that can achieve meaningful reductions of CO2 emissions cost-effectively in the United States. There is less agreement, however, among economists and others in the policy community regarding the choice of specific carbon-pricing policy instrument, with some supporting carbon taxes and others favoring cap-and-trade mechanisms. This prompts two important questions. Which – if either – of the two major approaches to carbon pricing is superior in terms of relevant criteria, including but not limited to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and distributional equity? And which of the two approaches is more likely to be adopted in the future in the United States? This paper addresses these questions by drawing on both normative and positive theories of policy instrument choice as they apply to U.S. climate change policy, and draws extensively on relevant empirical evidence. The paper concludes with a look at the path ahead, including an assessment of how the two carbon-pricing instruments can be made more politically acceptable.
stavins_future_of_u.s._carbon-pricing_policy_for_nber.pdf
2018
Schatzki, Todd, and Robert Stavins. “GHG Cap-and-Trade: Implications for Effective and Efficient Climate Policy in Oregon.” Harvard Environmental Economics Program, 2018. dp_92_schatzki-stavins.pdf
2017
Stavins, Robert N.What Have We Learned from 30 Years of Cap-and-Trade Programs?The Environmental Forum 34, no. 6 (2017): 15. What Have We Learned from 30 Years of Cap-and-Trade Programs?
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Stavins, Robert N.Authority, Credibility, Influence: What U.S. Loses in Paris Pullout.” The Environmental Forum 34, no. 5 (2017): 17. column_80.pdf
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Stavins, Robert N.The Economics (and Politics) of Trump's Paris Withdrawal.” PBS NewsHour (2017). Publisher's VersionAbstract
The announcement by President Trump that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement was based neither on real science nor sound economics.
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Stavins, Robert N.Goodbye Paris, Hello Nicaragua: Why Trump’s Withdrawl From The Climate Accord Is Bad For America.” WGBH News (2017). Publisher's VersionAbstract
President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement was both confused and misguided, and his justifications were, for the most part, false.
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Stavins, Robert N.Will the Trump Administration Realize the Many Benefits of Paris?The Environmental Forum 34, no. 4 (2017): 17. column_79.pdf
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Stavins, Robert N.Why Trump Pulled the U.S. Out of the Paris Accord.” Foreign Affairs (2017). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Trump’s decision to withdraw the nation from the Paris climate agreement was not based on science or sound economics, but on a confused, misguided, and simply dishonest desire to score some short-term political points with his voters. What he sacrifices in the long term will be immensely more difficult for the country to win back at the ballot box: authority, credibility, and influence.
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Stavins, Robert N.California’s Climate-Change Advances Could Be Jeopardized by Ill-Conceived Senate Bill.” The Sacramento Bee (2017). Publisher's Version

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Ki-moon, Ban, and Robert N. Stavins. “Why the US Should Stay in the Paris Climate Agreement.” The Boston Globe (2017). Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.Is President Trump’s Climate Policy an Oxymoron?The Environmental Forum 34, no. 3 (2017): 17. column_78.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.California Steps Forward on Climate but Emphasizes a Poor Policy Choice.” The Environmental Forum 34, no. 2 (2017): 15. column_77.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.Onerous for Experts, IPCC Process in Danger of Becoming Politicized.” The Environmental Forum 34, no. 1 (2017): 15. column_76.pdf

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2016
Stavins, Robert N.What Does Trump’s Victory Mean for Climate Change Policy?PBS NewsHour, 2016. Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.Goodbye to the Climate.” The New York Times, 2016, sec. Op-Ed. Publisher's VersionAbstract

If Trump lives up to his campaign rhetoric, the country’s efforts to reverse climate change will themselves be reversed....

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Goulder, Lawrence H., and Robert N. Stavins. “New Emissions Targets Make Cap and Trade the Best Low-Cost, Market-Based Approach.” The Sacramento Bee, 2016. Publisher's Version

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Stavins, Robert N.A Key Challenge for Sustained Success of the Paris Agreement.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 6 (2016): 15. column_75.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.Cap-and-Trade: How California Can Lead on Climate Policy.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 5 (2016): 15. column_74.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.The Ever-Evolving Interrelationship Between GDP and Carbon Dioxide.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 4 (2016): 17. column_73.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N.The Paris Agreement Lays a Good Foundation for Climate Progress.” The Environmental Forum 33, no. 3 (2016): 13. column_72.pdf

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