Seminar Series

Why is the economics of climate change so difficult and controversial?


Martin Weitzman


Harvard University

Time & Place

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:30:00 NZDT in University of Canterbury


In this lecture, Professor Weitzman will focus on the special features of the economics of climate change that make this area so very difficult to analyse by conventional economic tools. He will discuss such topics as deep structural uncertainty, whose preferences are included, the possibility of catastrophic outcomes, discounting the distant future, and international public goods. Professor Weitzman will speculate on how the dilemmas of climate change might play themselves out.


Martin L. Weitzman is Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Previously he was on the faculties of MIT and Yale. He has been elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published widely in many leading economic journals and written two books. Weitzman's interests in economics are broad and he has served as consultant for several well-known organisations. His current research is focused on environmental economics, including climate change, the economics of catastrophes, cost-benefit analysis, long-run discounting, green accounting, and comparison of alternative instruments for controlling pollution.