WASHINGTON—Resources for the Future (RFF) recently awarded RFF Senior Fellow Allen Blackman the 2013–2015 Thomas Klutznick Chair in Environmental Policy. Blackman is the second person to be awarded this position, which provides $100,000 for a specific research project related to urban development, land-use planning, or transportation issues.
An expert on environmental and natural resource policy in developing countries, Blackman focuses principally on industrial pollution control and tropical deforestation in Latin America and Asia. Much of his research evaluates environmental management strategies that aim to overcome barriers to conventional regulation in developing countries, including weak institutions and missing infrastructure. He coordinates RFF's participation in the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative and is a research fellow at the EfD Center for Central America.
With the award, Blackman will examine the costs of increasingly popular programs in developing country megacities that aim to cut traffic congestion and air pollution by prohibiting cars from being driven one or two days per week depending on the last digit of their license plates. He will be developing new survey-based methods to estimate these costs in Mexico City and Beijing, working with a network of distinguished experts in Central America, Sweden, Mexico, and China. The team’s ultimate goal is to develop and prove a method for estimating the costs of driving restrictions that, with some modification, could be used anywhere in the world.
“This award recognizes Allen’s intellectual creativity, productivity, and leadership, particularly in the field of environment and development,” said RFF President Phil Sharp. “This work very much follows the spirit of the Klutznick chair in defining and solving significant policy challenges of our time.”
Blackman has been a researcher at RFF since 1993. He previously held various research and teaching positions at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, the Center for US–Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and the economics department at the University of Texas, Austin. He recently co-authored a new book, Environmental Regulation and Public Disclosure: The Case of PROPER in Indonesia. Blackman has a PhD in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in political science and international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Thomas Klutznick Chair was established in 2011 through the support of Thomas Klutznick, a long-time supporter of RFF research. Founder of the Klutznick Company, a privately held real estate investment, development, and consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, Klutznick has been a strong advocate of balancing effective urban renewal and community development policies with environmental protection. Klutznick served on the RFF Board of Directors from 1985 to 1994, and was instrumental in establishing RFF’s own real estate portfolio.