Tim Brennan

Senior Fellow

Tim Brennan, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has been with RFF since 1995. Before becoming a senior fellow, he began here as a Gilbert White Fellow with a project to adapt his work on competition in telecommunications to the then newly opened electricity sector. His work at RFF examines electricity market design, state and federal regulation, and more recently energy efficiency policy. It has included two books on electricity markets co-authored with Karen Palmer and others at RFF and numerous articles on real-time pricing, capacity markets, decoupling, and outage liability rules.

He has published over 135 articles and book chapters, principally on antitrust and regulatory economics, including the electricity, telecommunications, postal, oil pipeline, and other infrastructure sectors. He also has a strong interest in the nexus between economics and philosophy, which he has applied to questions such as the ethics of discount rates and the role of consumer error in designing energy policy.

Brennan began his career as a staff economist at the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, where his work included the monopolization cases against AT&T and Microsoft. He has been the senior economist for industrial organization and regulation for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, held the T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics at the Canadian Competition Bureau. In 2014 served as Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission.

When not at RFF or UMBC, you can usually find one of his two dozen guitars in his hands at blues jams, jazz gatherings, and other settings. His latest ambition is to learn how to play the pedal steel.


  • PhD in economics, University of Wisconsin, 1978
  • MA in mathematics, University of Wisconsin, 1975
  • BA in mathematics, University of Maryland, 1973

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