Joshua Linn

Senior Fellow

Josh Linn is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland and a senior fellow at RFF. His research centers on the effects of environmental policies and economic incentives for new technologies in the transportation, electricity, and industrial sectors. His transportation research assesses passenger vehicle taxation and fuel economy standards in the United States and Europe. He has examined the effects of Beijing’s vehicle ownership restrictions on travel behavior, labor supply, and fertility.

His work on the electricity sector has compared the effectiveness of cap and trade and alternative policy instruments in promoting new technology and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and local air pollutants. Recent studies have compared the roles of natural gas prices and environmental regulation in explaining coal mine closures and the shift away from coal-fired generation in the United States. He has examined the implications of low-cost storage and renewables for reducing electricity sector emissions.

Linn’s research on the manufacturing sector has investigated the roles of energy prices in driving the adoption of energy-saving technology and the effects of carbon pricing on industrial competitiveness. He has published in leading general interest and field journals in environmental, energy, and health economics.

Prior to joining RFF in 2010, Linn was an assistant professor in the economics department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a research scientist at MIT. He was a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers from 2014–2015. He is serving on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee on light-duty fuel economy. He is a co-editor for the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.


  • PhD in economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005
  • BA in astronomy and physics, Yale University, 2000

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