William D. Nordhaus

William D. Nordhaus is Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University.

  • Warming the World

    Warming the World

    Economic Models of Global Warming

    William D. Nordhaus and Joseph Boyer

    This book presents in detail a pair of models of the economics of climate change. The models, called RICE-99 (for the Regional Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy) and DICE-99 (for the Dynamic Integrated Model of Climate and the Economy) build on the authors' earlier work, particularly their RICE and DICE models of the early 1990s.

    Humanity is risking the health of the natural environment through a myriad of interventions, including the atmospheric emission of trace gases such as carbon dioxide, the use of ozone-depleting chemicals, the engineering of massive land-use changes, and the destruction of the habitats of many species. It is imperative that we learn to protect our common geophysical and biological resources. Although scientists have studied greenhouse warming for decades, it is only recently that society has begun to consider the economic, political, and institutional aspects of environmental intervention. To do so raises formidable challenges of data modeling, uncertainty, international coordination, and institutional design.

    Attempts to deal with complex scientific and economic issues have increasingly involved the use of models to help analysts and decision makers understand likely future outcomes as well as the implications of alternative policies. This book presents in detail a pair of models of the economics of climate change. The models, called RICE-99 (for the Regional Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy) and DICE-99 (for the Dynamic Integrated Model of Climate and the Economy) build on the authors' earlier work, particularly their RICE and DICE models of the early 1990s. They can help policy makers design better economic and environmental policies.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £9.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00
  • Managing the Global Commons

    Managing the Global Commons

    The Economics of Climate Change

    William D. Nordhaus

    Provides a detailed analysis of the DICE model (Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy) as well as an extensive analysis of the model's results.

    Coping with the challenges of global warming is a daunting task for both scientists and economists, who must understand future changes, and for policy makers, who must ultimately choose policies to balance risks and costs. Managing the Global Commons presents a unique effort to encompass economic, scientific, and policy aspects of this great geophysical experiment. Managing the Global Commons provides a detailed analysis of the DICE model (Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy) as well as an extensive analysis of the model's results. DICE is the first dynamic model to include a closed-loop system that includes emissions, concentrations, climate change, damages, and emissions controls. The model is useful for estimating the costs and benefits of different paths for slowing climate change and for analyzing the impact of control strategies over time. The analysis contains a number of methodological advances and major findings - most importantly the construction of a small model to encompass the primary components of the climate and economic system within an optimization framework. Also included are new techniques and results concerning the role of uncertainty and the "risk premium" involved in policies to slow global warming. In addition, the analysis derives a set of uncertain representative scenarios that summarize the large number of potential outcomes into a manageable number to be used within an optimization framework and incorporated into a contingent-commodity framework. Nordhaus examines several different approaches to climate-change policy: no controls, economic optimization, geoengineering, stabilization of emissions and climate, and a ten-year delay in undertaking climate-change policies. Among these, there is a modest advantage of an efficient policy over no controls or a ten-year delay, while the three stabilization options would impose significant net costs. Overall, Nordhaus observes, the analysis reveals that even with major technological breakthroughs and stringent controls, the momentum of past greenhouse gas emissions coupled with great inertia in climate change policy will lead to an inevitable rendezvous with massive climate change.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £35.00
    • Paperback $45.00 £35.00
  • Money, Macroeconomics, and Economic Policy

    Money, Macroeconomics, and Economic Policy

    Essays in Honor of James Tobin

    William C. Brainard, William D. Nordhaus, and Harold W. Watts

    These essays all focus on and present new work in areas of research that Franco Modigliani has developed during his career - corporate finance, savings behavior, and macroeconomic theory. They are substantive contributions to the literature as well as evaluations of Modigliani's work. Ten of the twelve essays in this book appear for the first time; they were presented in Modigliani's honor at a conference held on Martha's Vineyard in September 1985 one month before it was announced that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. The other two essays were written later; they are Modigliani's Nobel lecture, "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift, and the Wealth of Nations," and a tribute to the economist and an evaluation of his contributions to micro- and macroeconomics by his fellow Nobel laureate and MIT colleague, Paul Samuelson. The other contributors include some of the most notable economists of our time; several collaborated with Modigliani in fundamental investigations that were to be cited by the Nobel Committee.

    • Hardcover $14.75 £11.99
  • Invention, Growth, and Welfare

    A Theoretical Treatment of Technological Change

    William D. Nordhaus

    As technology continues to expand and to envelop the everyday lives of Westerners, it is important that analysts continue to question the direction in which technology is leading us. One specific set of problems concerns the significance of technology in economic life. It has become clear in recent years that technological change is the major source of growth in per capita income. Less clear, but no less important, is the role of technology in determining the distribution of income and unemployment, the strength of a country's position in the growth of organizational efficiency. Finally, behind the material gains lie the imponderable problems of the destructive forces unleased by technological progress. Many of these questions have been discussed, but much remains to be learned from further analysis.

    The present work explores some of the problems raised in connection with the economics of technology. The author is careful to keep his approach elementary, his feeling being that it is more useful to prepare a good foundation than to put together hastily an elaborate theoretical edifice that stands on uncertain grounds. Where possible the presentation is non-technical, and most of the mathematical intricacies have been put in separate appendixes at the end of the book. To further simplify the reader's task, a uniform notation has been used throughout, with a key to notation given in a separate section at the beginning.

    The book is divided into two general subjects. Part I considers the problem of invention in the firm, with special attention to the microeconomic problems which technological change raises for economic analysis. This part includes a presentation of a simple model of invention with various applications and a discussion of the economics of patents. Part II broadens the study by turning to problems of invention in an economy-wide or general equilibrium framework, with special emphasis on technological change in the process of economic growth. The author examines the Kennedy-Samuelson model of induced invention and applies the model to analyze both the optimal rate and direction of technological change in a planned economy and the applicability of the results to a competitive economy. The effect of invention on prices and wages is also examined, by means of a multisector model. Some surprising results are obtained when this model is applied to economics with unlimited supplies of labor.

    • Hardcover $12.50


  • Global Carbon Pricing

    Global Carbon Pricing

    The Path to Climate Cooperation

    Peter Cramton, David JC MacKay, Axel Ockenfels, and Steven Stoft

    Why the traditional “pledge and review” climate agreements have failed, and how carbon pricing, based on trust and reciprocity, could succeed.

    After twenty-five years of failure, climate negotiations continue to use a “pledge and review” approach: countries pledge (almost anything), subject to (unenforced) review. This approach ignores everything we know about human cooperation. In this book, leading economists describe an alternate model for climate agreements, drawing on the work of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom and others. They show that a “common commitment” scheme is more effective than an “individual commitment” scheme; the latter depends on altruism while the former involves reciprocity (“we will if you will”).

    The contributors propose that global carbon pricing is the best candidate for a reciprocal common commitment in climate negotiations. Each country would commit to placing charges on carbon emissions sufficient to match an agreed global price formula. The contributors show that carbon pricing would facilitate negotiations and enforcement, improve efficiency and flexibility, and make other climate policies more effective. Additionally, they analyze the failings of the 2015 Paris climate conference.

    Contributors Richard N. Cooper, Peter Cramton, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Gollier, Éloi Laurent, David JC MacKay, William Nordhaus, Axel Ockenfels, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Steven Stoft, Jean Tirole, Martin L. Weitzman

    • Hardcover $35.00 £27.00