Virginia McConnell

Senior Fellow

Virginia McConnell’s recent research is on policies to reduce greenhouse gases from the transportation sector, focusing primarily on the role of electric vehicles. She has assessed the prospects for electric vehicles, and evaluated policies to promote them including California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) policy.

McConnell has evaluated a range of issues associated with current vehicle regulations, including analyses of the costs and benefits of fuel economy regulations, the efficiency of credits markets for lowering the costs of regulation, efficient policies for alternative vehicles and fuels, and the interaction between state and federal transportation policies. Her research is relevant for a number of current policy debates, including the stringency and assessment of federal fuel economy regulations, and the role of different policies for promoting electric vehicles. Earlier work related to the transportation sector included analyses of alternative policies for reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants that contribute to ambient ozone and particulates.

McConnell came to RFF years ago as a Gilbert White Fellow, working on issues related to transportation and the environment. She continues to highly value the unique role RFF plays in bringing academic analysis to important environmental policy debates.


  • PhD in economics, University of Maryland, 1978
  • BA in economics, Smith College, 1969

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