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Dr. Roberton Williams III


2126 Symons Hall 7998 Regents Drive College Park, Maryland 20742-5535


  • Environmental Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Energy Economics



Rob Williams studies both environmental policy and tax policy, with a particular focus on interactions between the two. In addition to his role at the University of Maryland, he is the Chief Economist for the Climate Leadership Council, a University Fellow at Resources for the Future and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was previously an associate professor at the University of Texas, Austin; a visiting research scholar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research; and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Williams has served as a coeditor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.


Ph.D., Economics, Stanford University, 1999
A.B., Economics, magna cum laude, Harvard College, 1994


Research Areas:

  • Public Economics

  • Environmental Economics

  • Microeconomic Theory

  • Taxation

  • Carbon Pricing

  • Climate Change Policy

  • Design of Environmental Regulations

  • Fuel Taxes


Selected Publications:

“How Is the US Pricing Carbon? How Could We Price Carbon?” with Joseph Aldy, Dallas Burtraw, Maureen Cropper, Carolyn Fischer, and Meredith Fowlie, Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 2022, 13(3):310-334.

“Environmental Policy, Full-Employment Models, and Employment: A Critical Analysis,” with Marc Hafstead and Yunguang Chen, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 2022, 9(2):199-234.

“Designing and Evaluating a Carbon Tax Adjustment Mechanism to Reduce Emissions Uncertainty,” with Marc Hafstead, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2020, 14(1):95-113.

“Jobs and Environmental Regulation,” with Marc Hafstead, Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy, 2020, 1:192-240.

“How to Change U.S. Climate Policy After There Is a Price on Carbon” Hamilton Project Policy Proposal 2019-15 (2019).

“Unemployment and Environmental Regulation in General Equilibrium,” with Marc Hafstead, Journal of Public Economics, 2018, 160:50-65.

“Environmental Taxation,” in A. Auerbach and K. Smetters (eds.) The Economics of Tax Policy, Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Adding Quantity Certainty to a Carbon Tax: The Role of a Tax Adjustment Mechanism for Policy Pre-Commitment,” with Marc Hafstead and Gilbert Metcalf, Harvard Environmental Law Review Forum, 2017, 41:41-57.

“General Equilibrium Impacts of a Federal Clean Energy Standard,” with Lawrence Goulder and Marc Hafstead, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2016, 8(2):186-218.

“The Initial Incidence of a Carbon Tax across Income Groups,” with Hal Gordon, Dallas Burtraw, Jared Carbone, and Richard Morgenstern, National Tax Journal, 2015, 68(1):195-214.