Barry Rabe, Ford School of Public Policy

Can We Price Carbon?
Barry Rabe


Fall 2017
Lecture Time: 
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 
R0220 Ross School of Business
Introduced By: 
Sarah Gordon


This talk will share key findings from a forthcoming MIT Press book, CAN WE PRICE CARBON? Carbon pricing in the form of either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade has long been embraced by diverse economists as the best possible approach to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Rabe's study of the past twenty years of experience in climate policy in North America, Europe, and Asia concludes that carbon pricing is among the most difficult climate policy options from a political perspective and often struggles in implementation when it has been adopted. At the same time, he explores a small set of cases that have not only been adopted but have proven durable through leadership changes and present evidence of achieving intended goals, considering whether this experience outlines paths toward future policy development.

Additional Notes

Rabe is the J. Ira Nicki Harris Family Professor at the Ford School, where he also directs the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. He is also an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Environmental Policy, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Barry is a political scientist who examines policy adoption and implementation in federal systems, with a special interest on issues that connect energy production with environmental risks. In his next book, he will revisit earlier work on state climate policy adoption, examining how states respond to federal disengagement on this front in the Trump era. He has recently finished a two-year term as co-chair (and later chair) of EPA's Assumable Waters Committee and is a member of the Energy Policy Durability project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.