By Michael Pearson
The Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) has selected School of Economics Chair Laura Taylor as a fellow for her important research contributions and leadership in the field.
“I’m very touched by this honor, and by the warm wishes from friends and colleagues from around the world,” Taylor said. “I feel privileged to have such a fulfilling career and so many wonderful friends, colleagues, and students.”
“With this honor, she joins an elite list of environmental and resource economists that includes such distinguished names as Michael Greenstone, Robert Pindyck, and recent Nobel laureate William Nordhaus,” Oliver said.
AERE fellows are selected for outstanding contributions to the advancement of environmental and resource economics. The association cited Taylor’s “foundational contributions in stated preference methods and using VSL (Value of a Statistical Life) estimates in policy contexts.”
The association cited one nominator who described the enormous influence of Taylor’s work on VSL estimates — a crucial measure in many environmental regulations.
“Everything that EPA staff did in their assessment of the new empirical research followed the guidance offered in Taylor’s paper, and EPA is now routinely using [these ideas] to integrate new empirical information into the policy evaluation process,” wrote the nominator, who was not identified by the association. “It is difficult to identify another contribution in the past two decades that has had an equivalent impact on the practice of benefit-cost analysis for environmental regulations.”
The association also cited Taylor’s leadership. Taylor has served as an AERE board member, vice president, and president, and helped organize the group’s first annual conference in 2011.
“While Laura’s research is outstanding, her accomplishments in service and leadership are even more remarkable,” the association noted in its award announcement.
Taylor joined the School of Economics in 2018. She was previously a professor of agricultural and resource economics and director of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy at North Carolina State University where she earned her Ph.D.
A former member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, her research focuses on policy evaluation and the valuation of natural resources and the environment.
The School of Economics is a unit of Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.