Back to Directory
2110 Symons Hall 7998 Regents Drive College Park, Maryland 20742-5535


  • Environmental Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Applied Econometrics



Josh Linn is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF). His research centers on the effects of environmental policies and market incentives on households and businesses in the transportation, electricity, and industrial sectors. His transportation research assesses the effects of passenger vehicle taxation and fuel economy standards in the US and Europe on technology adoption and consumer well-being. Recently he has examined the effects of Beijing’s vehicle ownership restrictions on travel behavior, labor supply, and fertility.

His work on the electricity sector has compared the effectiveness of cap and trade and alternative policy instruments in promoting new technology and reducing emissions. Several studies have compared the roles of natural gas prices and environmental regulation in explaining coal mine closures and the shift away from coal-fired generation in the US. 
Linn’s research on the manufacturing sector has investigated the role of energy prices in driving the adoption of energy-saving technology and the effects of carbon pricing on industrial competitiveness. He has published in leading general interest and field journals in environmental, energy, and health economics.
Prior to joining RFF in 2010, Linn was an assistant professor in the economics department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a research scientist at MIT. He was a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers from 2014-2015. He is currently serving on a National Academy of Sciences committee studying light duty fuel economy.    


Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A., Astronomy and Physics, Yale University


  • Energy and electricity environmental economics topics
  • International transportation
  • Alternative fuels and vehicles
  • Cafe standards and fuel efficiency
  • Electricity markets and regulation
  • Europe
  • Fuel taxes
  • Natural gas
  • Renewable and clean energy
  • Transportation in developing countries, including China
  • Vehicle pollution


Selected Publications:

How Much Do Consumers Value Fuel Economy and Performance? Evidence from Technology Adoption (with Benjamin Leard and Yichen Christy Zhou). Review of Economics and Statistics (forthcoming).

How Do US Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards Affect Purchases of New and Used Vehicles? (with Xiaoya Dou). Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 102 (2020).

The Effects of Market Size and Fuel Costs on Fuel-Saving Technology Adoption in Passenger Vehicles (with Thomas Klier and Yichen Christy Zhou). Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, vol. 29 (2020): 543-78.

The Effect of Owning a Car on Travel Behavior: Evidence from the Beijing License Plate Lottery (with Jun Yang, Antung Anthony Liu, and Ping Qin). Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 99 (2020): 134-57.

Does Electricity Storage Innovation Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions? (with Jhih-Shyang Shih). Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 96 (2019): 130-58.

The Roles of Energy Markets and Environmental Regulation in Reducing Coal-Fired Plant Profits and Electricity Sector Emissions (with Kristen McCormack). RAND Journal of Economics, vol. 50 (2019): 733-67.

The Impacts of Lower Natural Gas Prices on Jobs in the US Manufacturing Sector (with Wayne Gray and Richard Morgenstern). Energy Journal, vol. 40 (2019).

Interactions between Climate and Local Air Pollution Policies: The Case of European Passenger Cars. Journal of the Association for Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 6 (2019): 709-40.

Charging Drivers by the Pound: The Effects of the UK Vehicle Tax System (with Davide Cerruti and Anna Alberini). Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 74 (2019): 99-129.

Explaining the Evolution of Passenger Vehicle Miles Traveled in the United States (with Benjamin Leard and Clayton Munnings). Energy Journal, vol. 40 (2019): 25-54.

The Role of State Policies under Federal Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards (with Virginia McConnell). Energy Policy, vol. 126 (2019) 507-17.

How Do Low Gas Prices Affect Costs and Benefits of US New Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards (with Virginia McConnell and Benjamin Leard). Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy, vol. 7 (2018).

Fuel Prices, New Vehicle Fuel Economy, and Implications for Attribute-Based Standards (with Benjamin Leard and Virginia D. McConnell) Journal of the Association for Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4 (2017): 659-700.

Who Will Be Affected by a Congestion Pricing Scheme in Beijing? (with Zhongmin Wang and Lunyu Xie). Journal of Transport Policy, vol. 47 (2016): 34-40.

Technological Change, Vehicle Characteristics and the Opportunity Costs of Fuel Economy Standards (with Thomas Klier). Journal of Public Economics, vol. 133 (2016): 41-63.

The Rebound Effect for Passenger Vehicles. The Energy Journal, vol. 37 (2016).

Estimating the Job Impacts of Environmental Regulation (with Anna Belova, Wayne Gray, Richard Morgenstern, and William Pizer). Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, vol. 6, (2015): 325-40.

Using Vehicle Taxes to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rates of New Passenger Vehicles: Evidence from France, Germany, and Sweden (with Thomas Klier). American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 7, (2015): 212-42.

Regulating Greenhouse Gases in the Electricity Sector under the Clean Air Act (with Dallas Burtraw and Erin Mastrangelo). Journal of the Association for Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1/2 (2014): 97-134. Winner, Best Paper Award for 2014.

Gasoline Taxes and Consumer Behavior (with Shanjun Li and Erich Muehlegger). American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 6 (2014): 302-42.

The Effect of Voluntary Brownfields Programs on Nearby Property Values: Evidence from Illinois. Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 78 (2013): 1-18.