PhD Economics, University of Texas-Austin, 2007
Current Position: Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, Georgia State University
Garth Heutel is an economist who studies the dynamic interactions between environmental policies and economic issues.
Garth earned a BS in physics and philosophy from the University of Michigan in 2000. He taught high school mathematics for two years in San Jose, CA, with the program Teach For America. In 2002, he entered graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, earning an MS in 2005 and a PhD in 2007, both in economics. Garth's dissertation combined three analytical projects. First, he studied the effect of the Clean Air Act (CAA) on electric utilities' decisions to invest in new technologies. Because the CAA grandfathers old plants, utilities are less likely to scrap these plants and replace them with newer ones. These provisions may increase the use of older, dirtier power plants and thus increase emissions, significantly impacting environmental quality. Second, he developed a model to examine the distribution of the costs of different types of environmental policies. Tradable emissions permits, technology mandates, or performance standards all affect firms' demand for capital and labor, which impacts how the costs of these policies are borne among capital-owners and laborers. Third, he studied the interaction between public and private funding sources for public goods like parks and charitable endeavors.
As an Environmental Fellow, Garth continued modeling and analyzing environmental policies using recently developed computational methods. He worked with Richard Zeckhauser, the Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government. Garth's first research project at Harvard examined other cases of grandfathering in environmental policies, such as the New Source Review policy of the Clean Air Act or Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for new automobiles. Garth developed a dynamic model of consumer choice of automobiles in the presence of these policies and estimate the model to evaluate the impact of policy changes. He also studied the relationship between real business cycles and optimal environmental policy.
Richard Zeckhauser, Harvard Kennedy School