Don Fullerton

Don Fullerton

Primary Affiliation: Fiscal and Economic Policy Working Group; COVID-19 Task Force

Gutgsell Professor of Finance and Associate Academic Director, Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, Gies College of Business | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Skill Highlights

Critiques Environmental Policy

Calculates Economic Efficiency

Creates Analytical General Equilibrium Models


Anti-discrimination legislation
Spent a month in residence with the Utah legislature, helping Utah state lawmakers to pass anti-discrimination legislation that balances
religious liberty and LGBT rights. In 2019, Professor Wilson assisted the governor of Utah to craft regulations banning gay conversion therapy.
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Don Fullerton is a Gutgsell Professor in the Finance Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Senior Scholar at IGPA, and a former Associate Director of IGPA. For three years, 2014-2017, he was Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE). His research analyzes distributional and efficiency effects of environmental and tax policies. He taught at Princeton, the U. of Virginia, Carnegie Mellon, and the U. of Texas before joining the U. of Illinois in 2008. From 1985 to 1987, he served in the U.S. Treasury Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis. From 1995 to 2000, he was Director of the Summer Minority Program of the American Economics Association. For ten years, 2007 to 2016, he was the founding Director of the Environmental and Energy Economics (EEE) Research Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in Cambridge, MA.

University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. 

Gutgsell Professor of the Department of Finance, 2007 to Present. 

Institute of Government and Public Affairs, UI System.

IGPA Scholar, 2008 to Present

Associate Director, 2013 – 2016.  

University of Texas, Austin, TX. 

Addison Baker Duncan Centennial Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, 1994 – 2008. 

Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Professor of Economic and Public Policy, 1991 – 1994. 

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. 

Professor of Economics, 1988 – 1994.

Associate Professor, 1984 – 1988.

National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA. 

Olin Senior Fellow, 1988 – 1989.

U.S. Treasury Department.

Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax Analysis), 1985 – 1987. 

Stanford University, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA. 

John Stauffer National Fellow in Public Policy, 1983 – 1984. 

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. 

Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, 1978 – 1984. 

University of California, Berkeley, CA.; Ph.D. in Economics, 1978.

University of California, Berkeley, CA.; M.A. in Economics, 1976.

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.; B.A. in Economics with Distinction in all Subjects, 1974. 


Circular Economy

Professor Fullerton met with the Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mark Butte, about waste policy and “The Circular Economy,” at The Hague, in the Prime Minister’s office, June 20, 2018.


Interviewed with Ambassador Gideon Behar, Israel’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability, on “Climate Change Effects on Innovation, Economy, and Diplomacy,” before an audience of 150, on April 20, 2021.

Advising the EPA

Most recently, Professor Fullerton has served on multiple panels created by the U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board to review the work of analysts in the EPA and to make critical suggestions that could improve actual policymaking in Washington.


In the second half of his career, while researching and teaching environmental policy analysis, Professor Fullerton continued his effort to make academic research useful to policymakers. In 2009, he was invited by the European Union to speak before the “EcoFin” meeting of all 27 Finance Ministers of the E.U.’s 27 member nations, about the use of a carbon tax to address climate change.


While teaching at Princeton University in from 1978 to 1984, Professor Fullerton traveled to Washington DC to testify before the U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee and Budget Committee, and the U.S. House of Representative’s Banking Committee. While serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Professor Fullerton testified before Congress and participated in closed meetings of the Senate Finance Committee to answer questions about legislative proposals in what would become the Tax Reform Act of 1987. While at the University of Texas from 1993 to 2007, Professor Fullerton testified before various committees of the Texas State legislature. While at the University of Illinois Professor Fullerton presented policy analysis at several meetings held by IGPA for newly elected members of the Illinois State Legislature.

Recent Publications

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1979: Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award of the National Tax Association
1987: Meritorious Service Award of the U.S. Treasury Department
2012-2014: Elected Vice President of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
2015: Became an "AERE Fellow"
2008-2020: Appeared eight times on the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign