Here are some recent articles and presentations:

"Integrated Economic and Climate Modeling," Slides for Keynote Address, 19th Annual Conference of EAERE, Prague, June 2012. For the color slides, click here; for slides for printing, click here.

"Economic Policy in the Face of Severe Tail Events," Journal of Public Economic Theory, 14 (2), 2012, pp. 197–219. How should policy, and particularly climate change policy, respond to the deep uncertainty of fat tails? For a discussion, click here.

For an article on the latest solve from the climate-change obstructionists, click here for the original article and click here for a response to the original article. For the online versions, go to

Environmental Accounting for Pollution: Methods with an Application to the United States Economy,” Nicholas Muller, Robert Mendelsohn, and William Nordhaus, open access AER, click here. (This paper examines the costs of air pollution in the framework of the national income and product accounts.)

"The Economics of Tail Events with an Application to Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 5(2), Summer 2011, 240-257. ( From time to time, something occurs which is outside the range of what is normally expected. This is called a tail event, and is an important question in many areas, including climate change, with an application to Weitzman's Dismal Theorem). Click here.

"Energy: Friend or Enemy," New York Review of Books, October 27, 2011. Online version, click here.   (Is energy our friend or our enemy? In their personal lives, most people regard energy as an essential friend. It powers our computers, warms our homes in the winter, fuels our cars and planes, and provides a necessary input to produce virtually everything we use. Modern life would be inconceivable without the friendly side of energy. But in recent decades, energy has also become an enemy ...)

Xi Chen and William Nordhaus, "Using luminosity data as a proxy for economic statistics," Proceeedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US), May 24, 2011, 108(21): 8589-8594, click here for article, and click here for supporting information. (This study examines the value of night-time lights as a proxy for output measures at the national and grid-cell level.)

"Estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon: Background and Results of the RICE-2011 Model," Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper, October 2011, click here. (The social cost of carbon is the additional cost caused by a ton of carbon emissions. Using the RICE-2011 model, this study estimates that the current SCC including uncertainty, equity weighting, and risk aversion is $44 per ton of carbon ($12 per ton of CO2).

"Economics and the Geosciences," Presentation at AAAS Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, February 19, 2011, click here. (For smaller file without big pictures, click here.)

"The Architecture of Climate Agreements," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, January 2011, click here.

"Economic aspects of global warming in a post-Copenhagen environment," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US), June 2010, click here. (Application of the RICE model, for the Appendix with technical details, click here.)

“The Economics of an Integrated World Oil Market,” Address prepared for Annual Conference of Energy Information Agency, 2009, and June 2009 meeting of International Energy Workshop, click here. (This paper examines the implications of an integrated world oil market for oil policy.)

"Geography: Graphics and Economics," William D. Nordhaus and Xi Chen, The B.E. Journal
of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 9: Iss. 2 (Contributions), click here. (An article using the GEcon data to examine the role of geography in economic development, with graphics.)

“The Perils of the Learning Model For Modeling Endogenous Technological Change,” click here. (This paper discusses why using a learning-by-doing model is dangerous business for modeling technological change.)

The 2007 version of the DICE model with a full description is available in A Question of Balance: Economic Modeling of Global Warming (Yale Press, 2008). A prepublication version is available, click here, click here (version of February 2008). The documentation as lab notes is available, click here (version of October 5, 2007).

"A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Global Warming." Journal of Economic Literature.Vol. XLV (September 2007), pp. 686–702. Click here for the study.

“Critical Assumptions in the Stern Review on Climate Change,” Science, 13 July 2007, Vol. 317. no. 5835, pp. 201–202 for a brief synopsis of the issues concerning the discount rate and the Stern Review, Click here.


 “Alternative Measures of Output in Global Economic-Environmental Models: Purchasing Power Parity or Market Exchange Rates?” Energy Economics, 2007, 29 (2007) 349–372. click here. Why should global warming models use PPP rather than MER?

"An Economic History of Computing" (Journal of Economic History, March 2007). How has the power of computing changed over the last century and a half? To find out, for a pdf version, click here. For the appendix updated to 2010 with data, click here.

"Economic Consequences of a War in Iraq." (December 2002)  This study examined the likely economic costs of the war in Iraq four months before the war began. A non-technical version appeared in the New York Review of Books, December 2002, click here . The full study, published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is available in electronic form from  the Academy web site, click here . It is also available in a pdf version (500 KB), click here 

 “Geography and Macroeconomics: New Data and New Findings” Proceedings National Academy of Sciences (US), March 7, 2006, vol. 103, no. 10, pp. 3510-3517.  Click here.

To go to the webpage with the study and background, click here.

"The Health of Nations" and “Irving Fisher and the Health of Nations.” The surprising result is that improvements in the health status of the population over the 20th century have made as much contribution to economic welfare as all other consumption increases combined. For the recent version from The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 64, No. 1 ( January, 2005), click here.

 “A Retrospective on the Postwar Productivity Slowdown,” September 27, 2004. Using a new data set, this paper reviews the sources of the productivity slowdown of the 1970s. Click here. For the underlying data (prices, nominal output, real output), click here. Note that these have been superceded by BEA data in some cases.

“Abrupt Climate Change,” with R. B. Alley, J. Marotzke, J. T. Overpeck, D. M. Peteet, R. A. Pielke Jr., R. T. Pierrehumbert, P. B. Rhines, T. F. Stocker, L. D. Talley, J. M. Wallace, Science, March 28, 2003, pp. 205-210. Highlights from the recent National Academy of Sciences Report on Abrupt Climate Change, click here .

Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (December 2001). This National Academy of Sciences review of the stunning discoveries about the jagged history of climate, with changes in climate as large as half an ice age in a decade. For an online version of the report, go to