Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics as well as the Director of the Becker Friedman Institute and the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. He previously served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he co-led the development of the United States Government’s social cost of carbon. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, a Carnegie Fellow (aka the “Brainy Award”), and a former editor of the Journal of Political Economy. Formerly, Greenstone was the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at MIT and directed The Hamilton Project.
Greenstone’s research, which has influenced policy globally, is focused on uncovering the benefits and costs of environmental quality and society’s energy choices. His current work involves testing innovative ways to increase energy access and improve the efficiency of environmental regulations globally. As a co-director of the Climate Impact Lab, he is producing empirically grounded estimates of the local and global impacts of climate change. He also created the Air Quality Life Index™ that converts air pollution concentrations into their impact on life expectancy and co-founded Climate Vault, a 501(c)(3) that uses markets to allow institutions and people to reduce their carbon footprint.