William Nordhaus has focused on economic growth and natural resources, the economics of climate change, as well as the resource constraints on economic growth. Since the 1970s, he has developed economic approaches to global warming, including the construction of integrated economic and scientific models (the DICE and RICE models) to determine the efficient path for coping with climate change, with the latest vintage, DICE-2007, published in A Question of Balance (Yale University Press, 2008). Professor Nordhaus has also studied wage and price behavior, health economics, augmented national accounting, the political business cycle, productivity, and the “new economy.” His 1996 study of the economic history of lighting back to Babylonian times found that the measurement of long-term economic growth has been significantly underestimated. He returned to Mesopotamian economics with a study, published in 2002 before the war, of the costs of the U.S. war in Iraq, projecting a cost as high as $2 trillion. Recently, he has undertaken the “G-Econ project,” which provides the first comprehensive measures of economic activity at a geophysical scale.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is on the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been a member and senior advisor of the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity, Washington, D.C. since 1972. Professor Nordhaus is current or past editor of several scientific journals and has served on the Executive Committees of the American Economic Association and the Eastern Economic Association. He serves on the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Experts and was the first Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Bureau of Economic Analysis. He was the first Chairman of the newly formed American Economic Association Committee on Federal Statistics. In 2004, he was awarded the prize of “Distinguished Fellow” by the American Economic Association.