Professor Nicholas Stern awarded 2020 SIEPR Prize

His previous work on climate change has been enormously influential in academic, business, and policy circles throughout the world
- Mark Duggan, Trione Director of SIEPR

Professor Nicholas Stern, Chair of LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate and the Environment, is this year’s recipient of the prestigious SIEPR Prize. He will receive the award during a virtual event recognising his work and influence on 7 October 2020.

The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) gives the award every two years to a scholar or policymaker who has deeply influenced economic policy. This year is also the first time the prize has been awarded to a recipient from outside of the USA. 

“We are delighted to honour Nick Stern with the SIEPR Prize,” said Mark Duggan, the Trione Director of SIEPR and the Wayne and Jodi Cooperman Professor of Economics at Stanford. “His previous work on climate change has been enormously influential in academic, business, and policy circles throughout the world.”

With the 2006 publication of the 700-page Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Stern made a compelling case for calling out climate change as the world’s greatest and widest-ranging market failure. 

The work found that significantly cutting carbon pollution would cost just 1 percent of global GDP, while doing nothing would cost the world up to 20 percent of its GDP. The report held several policy prescriptions, including carbon pricing, support for low-carbon technologies, and improved energy efficiency.

“It is a great honour to be awarded this special prize,” Stern said. “ SIEPR is an outstanding institution and it is a privilege to be included amongst the very distinguished previous recipients.  Stanford has been an extraordinary leader across so many disciplines, especially economics, and I am delighted to hear of Stanford’s new initiative to establish the school of sustainability, recognising the immense challenges of climate change, and where — again — Stanford will lead.” 

Professor Stern is the IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE and leads the School’s India Observatory and GRI. Outside of LSE he has served as president of the British Academy, between 2013 and 2017, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014.

Among many roles in public life, he was chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1994 to 1999 and was subsequently the chief economist and senior vice president at the World Bank between 2000 and 2003.  He has been a cross-bench (non-party) member of the House of Lords since 2007.

Professor Stern has published more than 15 books and 100 articles and his most recent books are “Why are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change” (2015) and “How Lives Change: Palanpur, India and Development Economics” (2018, with Himanshu and Peter Lanjouw).

The SIEPR Prize was inspired and first funded by George Shultz, who served as President Richard Nixon's budget director and secretary of Labor and Treasury and later led the State Department in the Reagan administration.

Recipients of the SIEPR Prize are selected by Shultz, Duggan, John Shoven, a senior fellow emeritus and former director of SIEPR, and Jim Poterba, a senior fellow at SIEPR, Professor at MIT, and President of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Since the program's founding in 2010, the SIEPR Prize has been awarded to Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman; Martin Feldstein, a Harvard professor and former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors; Stanley Fischer, former governor of the Bank of Israel, and vice chairman of the Federal Reserve; Alice Rivlin, a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and founding director of the Congressional Budget Office; and Bill Bradley, the former U.S. senator who spearheaded a bipartisan effort to reform the U.S. tax code.