Contemporary economists who have made substantial contributions to modern economic theory, particularly in areas related to environmental, energy, and sustainability issues:
- Robert Costanza – Known for his work in ecological economics and the concept of ‘natural capital’.
- Herman Daly – One of the founders of the field of ecological economics and a strong proponent of a steady state economy.
- William Nordhaus – The 2018 Nobel laureate in economics for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis. Some argue that these models massively underestimate the negative effect of climate change.
- Nicholas Stern – Known for the influential Stern Review on the economics of climate change, which argued that the cost of strong, early action on climate change would be much less than the cost of inaction.
- Joseph Stiglitz – A Nobel laureate who has written extensively on inequality, globalization, and the need for an economic paradigm that accounts for environmental and social sustainability.
- Amartya Sen – A Nobel laureate known for his work on welfare economics and social choice theory, which has important implications for environmental policy.
- Jeffrey Sachs – Known for his work on sustainable development and climate change economics.
- J. B. Ruhl – A leading scholar in the field of environmental law, who emphasizes the role of regulations and incentives in driving sustainable practices.
- Juliet Schor – An economist and sociologist who focuses on issues of work, consumption, and sustainability.
- Paul Ekins – An influential figure in the development of green economics and sustainable development.
- Kate Raworth – Known for her concept of ‘Doughnut Economics’, which outlines a sustainable economy that meets all human needs without exceeding ecological limits.
- Partha Dasgupta – An economist known for his significant contributions to environmental and resource economics.
- Tim Jackson – Known for his work on prosperity without growth, arguing for economies that can function and thrive without relying on endless consumption and environmental exploitation.
- Kenneth Arrow – A Nobel laureate whose work has touched on a broad array of topics, including environmental economics and the idea of ‘learning by doing’ in technology development.
- Naomi Klein – An author and social activist known for her critiques of corporate globalization and her work on capitalism and climate change.
- Steven Keen – Australian economist and author. He considers himself a post-Keynesian, criticising neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported.
Please note that although the work of these economists includes considerations of environmental and energy issues, their theoretical approaches and policy recommendations can be quite diverse.