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Bits & Watts Initiative is a cross-campus effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

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Charles Kolstad

Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Precourt Institute for Energy, Emeritus
Prof. Charles D. Kolstad, is an energy and environmental economist with a focus on energy markets, regulation, and climate change (mitigation, adaptation and impacts). (Note: Environmental Economics is the branch of economics concerned with the intersection between economic activity and the environment, broadly defined.) He has published extensively in environmental and resources economics over the past four decades, including work in understanding uncertainty, randomness and learning in climate decisions and regulation, estimating damage from climate change, coal and electricity markets, international trade and pollution havens, and tax competition. He has also authored a leading advanced economics textbook (Environmental Economics), in use worldwide and translated into Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

Prof. Kolstad has been a Lead Author and a Convening Lead Author for the IPCC (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), is a founding editor of the journal Review of Environmental Economics & Policy and has served on many advisory boards. He is a former president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE).

Prof. Kolstad joined the faculty of Stanford in 2012, following a career at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. At Stanford, he has been affiliated with the Department of Economics, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) and the Doerr School of Sustainability (Precourt and Woods Institutes).

Prof. Kolstad is currently Senior Fellow Emeritus at Stanford University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He continues to write, speak, teach and conduct research.


PhD, Stanford University, Economics & Operations Research (EES & Econ) (1982)
MA, University of Rochester, Math (1973)
B.S. (High Honors), Bates College, Math and Physics (1969)