Prof. Don Fullerton, co-leader of IGPA Climate Policy Initiative, returns from European tour

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Prof. Don Fullerton, co-leader of IGPA Climate Policy Initiative, returns from European tour

Traveling to three conferences over the two-and-a-half weeks from June 17 to July 3, IGPA Professor Don Fullerton made six different presentations in three countries: the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. His visit to the Netherlands included a major public lecture and a visit with the Prime Minister.

The governmental agency responsible for all economic policy analysis in the Netherlands is the Central Planning Bureau, which holds a major “CBP Public Lecture” every year on a different topic. Past speakers include Alan Krueger of Princeton University on labor policy, Susan Athey of Stanford on technology policy, and Ed Glaeser of Harvard on urban policy. Professor Fullerton, also the Gutsgell Professor of Finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was invited to present the 2018 CBP lecture and to attend related events, all about the “Circular Economy” –  reduced extraction of virgin materials, increased reuse and recycling, and reduced waste disposal. The first event was an academic conference on June 19, where Fullerton presented his research paper “Vertical and Horizontal Redistributions from a Carbon Tax and Rebate.”

The next morning, June 20, his schedule called for a 45-minute meeting with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, along with the Environment Minister, Stientje van Veldhoven (see photo).  These policymakers asked many questions about how to control waste, encourage recycling, and reduce extraction of virgin materials. 

In the afternoon of June 20, Fullerton presented his public lecture titled “Interactions among the Circular Economies.” The 175 participants included Dutch policymakers and policy analysts, as well as academics and those from business and nonprofit research organizations (see photo).

The next stop on this European Tour included the “Eighth Atlantic Workshop on Energy and Environmental Economics” in A Toxa, Galicia, Spain, an island in the Atlantic, north of Portugal. As can be seen on the website program, Fullerton presented the Keynote Address for this workshop on June 22 to a plenary session that included all participants, about 100 professors of energy economics from all around Europe. After a day off on Saturday, June 23, it was travel to Gothenburg, Sweden for the “World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economics.” While the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) meets every summer with about 350 participants, this “World Congress” meets only once every four years and includes 1,500 participants from the North American AERE as well as the European and Asian associations (the EAERE and the AAERE).

First, though, Fullerton was asked by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help present a pre-conference panel on the Circular Economy on June 25 (see pages 16-18 of the program).  After the reception that evening, the main presentations of the World Congress started Tuesday, June 26, when Fullerton presented his research paper titled “Costs of Energy Efficiency Mandates Can Reverse the Sign of Rebound.” That same afternoon, he presented a different research paper titled “Who Bears the Economic Costs of Environmental Regulations?” (see page 6 and page 29 of the detailed program).

After completing those six presentations, Fullerton was not yet finished. As Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists(JAERE), he is also an ex officio member of the AERE Board of Directors, which met on Wednesday, June 27, in Gothenburg. Finally, on Thursday, June 28, he led the editorial board meeting for all co-editors of the JAERE.  

When asked about how he enjoyed the whole trip, Fullerton could only say “The trip was exhausting but exhilarating; I worked harder and learned more, it seemed, than during the course of a whole semester!”