HKS Affiliated Authors

Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, FAS


October 24, 2020, Opinion: "Economists broadly agree that placing a price on carbon, whether through a cap-and-trade program or a tax, is a key element of an economically efficient suite of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the current US Congress, numerous bills propose the establishment of national carbon tax systems, along with a few that push for cap-and-trade programs. These bills reflect a growing consensus that action is needed at the national level to curb carbon pollution in the United States and that a carbon tax is the most straightforward way to do that. The bills also reflect the existing consensus among economists, as typified by the more than 3,500 economists (including us) who signed the Climate Leadership Council's statement published in the Wall Street Journal last year, which calls for a carbon tax as “the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.”