|Nationality||Austrian & American|
|Dr. Siripanth Nippita (m. 2002)|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Robert N. Stavins|
|Awards||Top 15 Financial Times-McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2015|
|Information at IDEAS / RePEc|
Gernot Wagner (1980 in Austria) is an Austrian-American economist and author. He holds an AB and a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University, as well as an MA in economics from Stanford University. He teaches at New York University and is the co-author, with Martin L. Weitzman, of Climate Shock, a Top 15 Financial Times-McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2015. He is married to Siripanth Nippita, a gynecologist at Harvard Medical School.
Wagner was an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund from 2008 to 2014 and lead senior economist from 2014 to 2016. While there he was a member of the faculty of the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and he wrote Climate Shock (2015), a book emphasizing the importance of risk and uncertainty for prompting action on climate change. Wagner was a member of the six-person lead author team, including Suzi Kerr, that wrote the World Bank's Emissions Trading in Practice : A Handbook on Design and Implementation.
"Risk" and "uncertainty" in climate change are often mentioned as reasons to delay action. Wagner's Climate Shock, joint with Martin Weitzman, emphasizes that the "known unknowns" and potential "unknown unknowns" instead increase the need for action. This contrasts with work done, for example, by economists Bill Nordhaus, Richard Tol, and others. Nordhaus, in turn, favorably reviewed Wagner and Weitzman's book in the New York Review of Books. Wagner's latest academic work on this topic, joint with Kent Daniel of Columbia University and Bob Litterman of Kepos Capital further emphasizes the importance of pricing climate risk and uncertainty.
Wagner was the founding co-director, joint with David Keith, of Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program founded in 2017. His geoengineering research focuses on economics, governance, policy, and public perception, including the chemtrails conspiracy theory. Together with Dustin Tingley, Wagner finds that in a U.S. public opinion survey conducted in October 2016, 30 to 40% of the U.S. public believed in a version of the conspiracy. The paper also describes what the authors call a "community of conspiracy" in online discourse, in particular on Twitter and other anonymous social media.
On November 23, 2018, Wagner published an open-access article on "Stratospheric aerosol injection tactics and costs in the first 15 years of deployment." The article was picked up in a questionable report by CNN, claiming that: "Scientists are proposing an ingenious but as-yet-unproven way to tackle climate change: spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere."
Gernot Wagner has written three books: