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About Don Fullerton

Don Fullerton is a Visiting Professor, Bren School of the Environment, U.C. Santa Barbara (2023-present). He was Gutgsell Professor in the Finance Department at the U. of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (2008-2023). For three years, 2014-2017, he was Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE). His research analyzes distributional and efficiency effects of environmental and tax policies. He received a BA from Cornell, and a PhD in Economics from U.C. Berkeley. He taught at Princeton, the U. of Virginia, Carnegie Mellon, and the U. of Texas, before joining the U. of Illinois in 2008. From 1985 to 1987, he served in the U.S. Treasury Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis. From 2011 to 2014, he served as Lead Author of the 5th Assessment Report, Working Group III of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
After twenty years of research on the economic effects of tax policy, Fullerton started researching topics in environmental economics and policy. He started analyzing household behavior in response to a price per bag of garbage at the curb by measuring not only the reduction in landfill disposal but also the increase in recycling. Some current research is about the “Circular Economy”, including policies to reduce virgin materials extraction and to design products that can more easily be recycled or that have longer product lives, all with the goal of reducing negative effects of extraction, production, and disposal. Most of his research recently has been about the economic effects of climate policy, including energy efficiency mandates, renewable portfolio standards, cap-and-trade permits for greenhouse gas emissions, or a carbon tax. In each case, he studies the likely distribution of the burdens of policy as well as effects on the environment, on cost efficiency, and on overall social welfare.


Present Center for Business and Public Policy (CBPP), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Present Gutgsell Professor of Finance, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Present Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests

environmental and energy economics and policy analysis, public economics and taxation, and distributional effects of taxes, social security, & regulations

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Honors and Awards

  • AERE Fellow, 2014, Award of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students, UIUC, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019
  • Meritorious Service Award, U.S. Treasury Department, 1987
  • First Prize, Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, National Tax Association, 1979

Contact Information

Finance Department and IGPA
University of Illinois
4046 BIF, Box#30 (MC520)
515 East Gregory Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
cell: (512) 750-6012


2022-24 (4)

2020-21 (3)

2019 (5)

2018 (2)

2015-2017 (3)

2014 (3)

2013 (4)

2012 (3)