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The Australian National University

Dr John Pezzey

BSc Mathematics 1976, MSc Economics 1983, PhD Economics 1994
Senior Fellow, and Associate Director (Higher Degrees by Research), Fenner School of Environment and Society; and Joint Founder, Economics and Environment Network (EEN), ANU
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

Areas of expertise

  • Environment And Resource Economics 140205
  • Economic Development And Growth 140202
  • Environment Policy 160507
  • Ecological Economics 149902
  • Welfare Economics 140219


John ('Jack') Pezzey joined the ANU in 1999 after posts at the Universities of Colorado, Bristol, London and York, following a decade in the UK Civil Service as a meteorologist, energy analyst and environmental economist.  He has a BA in applied mathematics and theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge; and a PhD in economics from the University of Bristol, focusing on the theory of sustainability and environmental policies.  His main research interest is the long-run sustainability of world civilisation in the face of environmental resource constraints, and more particularly the economics of sustainability concepts, on which he wrote a seminal report for the World Bank in 1989 and many papers since.  His secondary research interest is the political economy of pollution taxes, especially the comparison between a carbon (emissions) tax and a (carbon) emissions trading scheme, with recent applications to Australian and global climate policies.  He has received numerous research awards from prestigious institutions in the UK, USA and Australia, and has authored over 25 highly-cited journal articles and other papers on environmental economics.  For full CV see, downloadable from his personal website,

Researcher's projects

"Energy transitions: Past, present and future".  Australian Research Council Discovery Project, 2012-2014, led by Professor David Stern, Crawford School of Public Policy.  Project summary: "Uncertainty about the costs of transitioning to a low carbon economy in Australia and other countries will be reduced by improving our knowledge of the costs of reducing fossil fuel use and the role of energy in economic growth. Energy economics research capabilities in Australia will be enhanced."

Available student projects

Two research topics on which I would be interested in supervising a PhD student are (1) exploring empirical models (probably with no analytic solution) of a possible limit to growth (of global average consumption and/or utility per person) that might be met before the end of the century, (2) finding sustainability prices for nonrenewable resources.  See for more details.

Current student projects

Elizabeth Boulton, "Interdisciplinary approaches to framing climate and environmental risk"

Edwina Fingleton-Smith, "The benefit of low carbon development strategies in least developed countries: a renewable energy case study"

Carl Tidemann, "The role of 'the State' in the transformation of the Australian stationary electricity sector"

Past student projects

Walter Reinhardt, "Demand Management in Urban Water and Electricity: How can we do it better?", PhD awarded in 2015

Greg Buckman, "Renewable electricity support policy: Lessons for Australia from overseas experience", PhD awarded in 2011

Qinghong Pu, "Dynamic tradable discharge permits for managing river water quality: an evaluation of Australia's Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme", PhD awarded in 2009

Phillip Pagan, "Evaluation of institutions for interstate water trading involving the Australian Capital Territory", MPhil awarded in 2008

Frank Jotzo, "Global climate policy after the Kyoto Protocol: flexible economic mechanisms for South and North under uncertainty and institutional constraints", PhD awarded in 2006


Projects and Grants

Grants are drawn from ARIES. To add Projects or Grants please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  27 June 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers