Head of Economics & Policy Solutions Group
Role in Affiliated Centers
Co-Director of University of California Center for Energy and Environmental Economics
Charles Kolstad’s research interests are broadly in environmental economics and industrial organization. Energy use and technology adoption are, ultimately, economic questions within a policy context, which is why Kolstad believes it is so important to couple consumer education and energy efficiency. Accordingly, he is interested in the role information plays in environmental decision-making and regulation, and does much of his applied work in the area of climate change and energy markets. He currently has several projects related to uncertainty and learning in strategic contexts regarding the provision of public goods. For the most part, the context is international environmental agreements. This work is primarily theoretical, though he is doing some experimental work to validate and illuminate the theoretical results.
Charles Kolstad is an internationally known economist who once served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and has taught at universities in the U.S, Russia, and Belgium. He was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), was a member of the National Academy of Sciences committee charged with evaluating the U.S. Climate Change Research Program, and is an advisor to the California Air Resources Board. He is a former president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and editor of the journal Review of Environmental Economics & Policy. His more than 100 publications include the undergraduate text Environmental Economics which has been translated into Japanese, Spanish and Chinese. At UC Santa Barbara, Kolstad is a Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and in the Department of Economics. He is also Co-Director of the newly established University of California Center for Energy & Environmental Economics, a joint undertaking of UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara. He is a University Fellow at Resources for the Future (Washington), a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge) and a Fellow of CESifo (Munich). In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1982.