Joseph Aldy

Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Joseph

Aldy's research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and regulatory policy. Aldy is a University Fellow at Resources for the Future, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Faculty Chair of the HKS M-RCBG Regulatory Policy Program. He has previously served as the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment at the White House, a Fellow at Resources for the Future, and a Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers.

In the News

"What Trump Misses about Regulations: They Produce Benefits as Well as Costs," Joseph Aldy, The Conversation, February 5, 2017.
Joseph Aldy quoted on the negligible impact of the elimination of subsidies on U.S. oil and gas production by Brendan L. Smith, "The Burning Debate Over" The Washington Diplomat, September 1, 2016.
"Subsidies in the Wrong Places Skew Renewable Energy’s Power," Joseph Aldy, New York Times, May 3, 2016.
"Why the Job Market Actually Improved after the BP Oil Spill," Joseph Aldy, Interview with Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post, August 22, 2014.
Guest to discuss elimination of fossil fuel subsidies on Living on Earth, Public Radio International, Joseph Aldy, May 10, 2013.


"Busting the Myths Around Public Investment in Clean Energy" (with Jonas Meckling, Joseph Aldy, Matthew J. Kotchen, Daniel C. Esty, Peter A. Raymond, Bella Tonkonogy, Charles Harper, Gillian Sawyer, and Julia Sweatman). Nature Energy 7 (2022): 563–565 .

Discusses critics having opposed clean energy public investment by claiming that governments must not pick winners, green subsidies enable rent-seeking behaviour, and failed companies means failed policy.

"Designing and Updating a U.S. Carbon Tax in an Uncertain World," Resources for the Future, 2017.

Proposes a carbon tax policy that accounts for new scientific, economic, and political information can both send necessary price signals to reduce US carbon dioxide emissions and leverage meaningful mitigation efforts by other countries. 

"Long-Term Carbon Policy: The Great Swap," Progressive Policy Institute, 2016.

Proposes a climate change deal that could abet tax and regulatory reform by swapping a market-based carbon tax for sectoral regulatory policies. 

"Economic Tools to Promote Transparency and Comparability in the Paris Agreement" (with William Pizer, Massimo Tavoni, Lara Aleluia Reis, Keigo Akimoto, Geoggrey Blanford, Carlo Carroro, Leon E. Clarke, James Edmonds, Gokul C. Iyer, Haewon C. McJeon, Richard Richels, Steven Rose, and Fuminori Sano). Nature Climate Change 6, no. 11 (2016): 1000-1104.

Uses four integrated assessment models to evaluate and compare mitigation effort among major economies under the UN Paris Agreement. Uses four integrated assessment models to evaluate and compare mitigation effort among major economies under the UN Paris Agreement. 

"Mobilizing Political Action on Behalf of Future Generations" Future of Children 26, no. 1 (2016): 157-158.

Analyzes durable, successful public policies in U.S. history whose costs and benefits accrued to different groups – the 1935 Social Security Act, the 1956 Interstate Highway Act, and the 1970 Clean Air Act Amendments – and draws lessons for climate policy.