#MeetTopEnvEcon – Karine Nyborg

Karine Nyborg

Current position: Professor of economics, University of Oslo

Year of birth:  1962


IDEAS profile:


I am very happy that Karine Nyborg, Professor of Economics at the University of Oslo, took the time to answer my questions for the Meet Top Environmental Economics (#MeetTopEnvEcon) series. Karine Nyborg is one of the main researchers that brought social norms into environmental economics. There are few others who have pushed this line of literature further than her and her co-authors. One article that you may want to read to get some insights into her views of and contributions to social norms in environmental economics is her recent publication Social Norms and the Environment. Karine Nyborg was also, up to now, the only female president of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (2012-2013), is a member of the Academia Europaea, and is on the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Beijer Institute for Ecological Econonomics.

I can strongly advise you to not miss her presentations or keynotes. Karine Nyborg gave this fantastic keynote speech at the EAERE conference in Athens in 2017. Also, it is not entirely clear to me whether, if asked, she would view herself primarily as an economist, or as a fiction writer. I have been told that her books are a charm.

I am happy to announce that I am working on a series of what I call Express Views. These are very short interviews of environmental economics that are giving interesting insights into their thoughts. Here is my interview with Karine.

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#MeetTopEnvEcon – Thomas Sterner

Thomas Sterner

Current position: Professor of environmental economics, University of Gothenburg

Year of birth:  1952


IDEAS profile:


Thomas Sterner’s CV reads like a book. In fact, it is a book, it has a table of contents,  it is 64 pages long, 40 of which are only listing his publications. He wrote over 100 publications in journals, 21 books or monographs, over a 100 articles in books or reports, and over 200 journalistic articles or speeches. He is extremely active on the policy side, both having participated at COP meetings and helped write an IPCC report, and is advising various governments around the world. In order to achieve this one has to not only show a huge commitment and dedication, but one must also be able to easily transition between fundamental research and talking to policy makers alike. This is clearly a very difficult task that few can manage to this degree.

Thomas comes across as a very relaxed, even casual person. And it is definitely fun and interesting to talk to him. So, if you meet him at the next conference, don’t worry about approaching him and asking him the questions about discounting or policy that you had always wanted to ask. Until then, I hope this interview gives you some further insights into his thoughts and research.

Edit 5. January: I now included an Express Views interview with Thomas:

A new highlight, which I from now on hope to be able to add to these series, is a short video summary of the interview.

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#MeetTopEnvEcon – Lucas Bretschger

Lucas Bretschger

Current position: Professor of Economics at ETH Zurich

Year of birth:  1958


IDEAS profile:


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#MeetTopEnvEcon – Anil Markandya

Anil Markandya

Current position: Former Scientific Director/ Distinguished Ikerbasque Professor

Year of birth:  1945



I am very happy to present Anil Markandya in the Meet Top Environmental Economist series. He is currently the Distinguished Ikerbasque Professor and Scientific Director of the Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, in Spain (since 2008), was the Director of  Sustainable Indicators and Environmental Valuation and Applied Research at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Milan, Italy (2005-2008); lead economist at the World Bank (2000-2004); and held various positions at top universities (University of Bath, London School of Economics, Harvard University, Berkeley, Princeton).

Anil Markandya is a researcher who has been working all of his life on the interaction between (mostly applied) environmental economics and policy advise. In terms of research he has published more than 290 scientific articles and several books, among which the `Blueprint for a Green Economy‘, co-authored with  Edward Barbier (and the first version with the late David Pearce), certainly stands out. In this book the authors were among the first to take a serious step towards understanding how economic growth and environmental constraints should be approached together to achieve a green economy. He has also been extremely influential on the policy side and has been an advisor or consultant for nearly all major world institutions (like the OECD, World Bank, IPCC, FAO, UN, European Environmental Agency) and countries. Anil Markandya has also been a lead author on influential IPCC reports (WG3, 3rd and 4th AR, and WG2 on 5th AR).

This is clearly an impressive record that one can only achieve with a level of dedication and effort which only a selected few have. Thus I am grateful that Anil Markandya took some time off for this interview and kindly answered these questions. I hope you enjoy this interview and if you do then do not hesitate to let me know!


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#MeetTopEnvEcon – Partha Dasgupta

Partha Dasgupta

Current position: Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge

Year of birth: 1942



It is my great honor to present Partha Dasgupta in the #MeetTopEnvEcon series. I had previously met Partha only briefly at various conferences, and thus it was a pleasure to talk to him more extensively during the Climate Ethics and Climate Economics: Discounting the Future conference in Oxford this year. Once you discuss with him you easily understand why it was he who pioneered the nexus on environment, development and economics; his works with Geoffrey Heal on the optimal extraction of non-renewables are the foundation stone for any resource economist these days; together with the likes of Kenneth Arrow he urges governments to cease regarding GDP as a measure of prosperity to more holistic measures like inclusive wealth; and he is one of only a handful of economists who dares to address the problem of the optimal population size.

During the years, Partha published more than 270 scientific articles and books like An Inquiry into Well-Being and Destitution, Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources, or the beautiful little Economics: A Very Short Introduction. For these contributions he was awarded a wealth of honors and awards, from several honorary doctor titles over to fellowships in the most prestigious societies, and was furthermore bestowed the knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. These honors are clearly well-deserved.

One meets few people in life that quickly leave a lasting impression, and I feel that Partha is one of them. Not only because of his vast knowledge that he readily shares and his quick wit, but also because of his character. I have found him to be extremely kind, modest and down-to-earth, which tend to be character traits that too often disappear quickly in most people that reach Partha’s standing. Not so with Partha, which makes it that much more enjoyable to discuss with him.

Finally, I would like to deeply thank Partha for investing such an extensive amount of time on the interview. I hope the readers will appreciate the insights gained here.

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