Professor Robert Hahn


Robert Hahn is Director of Economics and a Professor at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford. He is also an associate at Nuffield College, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, and a Robert Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute.

From 1999 to 2008, Professor Hahn served as the director of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center, a leader in policy research in law and economics, regulation, and antitrust. Previously, he worked for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he helped design the innovative market-based approach for reducing acid rain. He also has served on the faculties of Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Hahn is a frequent contributor to leading scholarly journals including the American Economic Review, Science, and the Yale Law Journal, as well as to general-interest periodicals including the New York Times and He is also the co-founder of

He is the author of several books, among them Reviving Regulatory Reform: A Global Perspective. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Policy and Internet, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Policy, and Regulation.

Professor Hahn has served as a consultant to government and business on a variety of issues ranging from encouraging private investment in Mexico City, to designing more cost-effective alternative fuels policy in the U.S., to rethinking the way we regulate the internet. In addition, he is co-founder of the Community Preparatory School, an inner-city middle school in Providence, Rhode Island, that provides opportunities for disadvantaged youth to achieve their full potential.

Prof Hahn is currently developing the Economics Programme at the Smith School, aimed at developing innovative solutions to improve resource management in the private and public sectors. More information about this programme coming soon.

Recent Publications
Working Papers and Work in Progress
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Environmental Offset Policies, with Kenneth Richards
  • Spectrum Policy and the Evolution of the Wireless Internet: Some Thoughts on Where Economists Agree and Disagree, with Peter Passel
  • "Optimal Unselfishness in Climate Policy,” with Robert Ritz, draft, presented at Cambridge.
  • “Fat-tailed Climate Change,” with Elizabeth Baldwin and David Frame, in preparation.
  • “Clearing the Way for an Important New Business Management Tool,” with Robert Litan and Cass Sunstein, in preparation.
  • “Optimal Liquidity Provision for Decision Makers,” with Paul C. Tetlock, Working Paper, AEI-Brookings Joint Center.
  • “Regulating Dynamic Markets: Progress in Theory and Practice,” with Lewis Evans, ISCR working paper.
  • “R&D, Energy Policy and Climate Policy,” with Linda Cohen, in preparation.
  • “The Economics of Fracking,” with Charles Mason, in preparation.
  • “Rethinking the Digital Divide,” with Steven Yit, in preparation.
  • “Making electronic monitoring more effective: a field experiment,” with Robert Metcalfe, in preparation.
  • Academic Journals (From 2005)
  • “Understanding the Effectiveness of Environmental Offset Policies,” with Kenneth Richards, 2013, Journal of Regulatory Economics, published online February 26.
  • “Assessing Competition in U.S. Wireless Markets: Review of the FCC’s Competition Reports,” with Gerald Faulhaber and Hal Singer, Federal Communications Law Journal, 2012, 64(2), 319-369.
  • “The Effects of Allowance Allocation on Cap-and-Trade System Performance,” with Robert N. Stavins, Journal of Law and Economics, 2011, 54(4), S267-S294.
  • “An Evaluation of Government Efforts to Improve Regulatory Decision Making,” International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, 2010, 3(4), 245-298.
  • “Designing Smarter Regulation with Improved Benefit-Cost Analysis,” Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 2010, 1(1), Article 5.
  • “Government Failure and Market Failure: On the Inefficiency of Environmental and Energy Policy,” with David Anthoff, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, (2010), 26 (2), 197-224.
  • “The Economics of Allowing More U.S. Oil Drilling,” with Peter Passell, Energy Economics, (2010), 32, 638-650.
  • “Why the iPhone Won’t Last Forever and What the Government Should Do to Promote its Successor,” with Hal Singer, Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law, (2010), 8, 313-350.
  • “Smart Phone Wars,” with Hal Singer, Milken Institute Review, (2010), 52-61.
  • “Addressing the Next Wave of Internet Regulation: Toward a Workable Principle for Nondiscrimination,” with Robert Litan and Hal Singer, Regulation and Governance, 2010, 4, 365-382.
  • “Climate Policy: Separating Fact from Fantasy,” Harvard Environmental Law Review (2009) 33, 557-591.
  • “Greenhouse Gas Auctions and Taxes: Some Practical Considerations,” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, (2009), 1-22.
  • “A Statement on the Appropriate Role for Research and Development in Climate Policy,” with Kenneth J. Arrow, Linda Cohen, Paul A. David, Charles Kolstad, Lee Lane, W. David Montgomery, Richard R. Nelson, Roger Noll and Anne E. Smith, The Economists’ Voice (February 2009): 1-4.
  • “The Benefits and Costs of Ethanol: An Evaluation of the Government’s Analysis,” with Caroline Cecot, Journal of Regulatory Economics, (2009) 35, no. 3, 275-295.
  • “An Economic Perspective on a U.S. National Broadband Strategy,” with Scott Wallsten, Policy and Internet, (2009) 1, Issue 1, Article 5.
  • “Where is Internet policy really headed?,” Economists’ Voice (2009) 6, no. 10, Article 5.
  • “Climate Policy and the Art of the Possible,” Milken Institute Review, Second Quarter (2009): 36-47.
  • “Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?,” with Paul C. Tetlock, Journal of Economic Perspectives 22, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 67-84.
  • “The Promise of Prediction Markets,” with Kenneth J. Arrow, Robert Forsythe, Michael Gorham, Robin Hanson, John O. Ledyard, Saul Levmore, Robert Litan, Paul Milgrom, Forrest D. Nelson, George R. Neumann, Marco Ottaviani, Thomas C. Schelling, Robert J. Shiller, Vernon L. Smith, Erik Snowberg, Cass R. Sunstein, Paul C. Tetlock, Philip E. Tetlock, Hal R. Varian, Justin Wolfers, and Eric Zitzewitz, Science 320, no. 5878 (May 2008): 877-878.
  • “Is Trillion the New Billion?,” with Peter Passell, The Economists’ Voice (2009) 6, no. 7, Article 2.
  • “Legislating Life’s Value,” with Peter Passell, Regulation (2008) 31, no. 4.
  • “An evaluation of the quality of impact assessment in the European Union with lessons for the US and the EU,” with Caroline Cecot, Andrea Renda, and Lorna Schrefler, Regulation and Governance (2008) 2, 405-424.
  • “Ethanol: Law, Economics and Politics,” Stanford Law and Policy Review 19, no. 3 (2008), 434-471.
  • “The Need for Greater Price Transparency in the Medical Device Industry: An Economic Analysis,” with Hal Singer and Keith Klovers, Health Affairs 27, no. 6 (November 2008): 1554-1559.
  • “Regulating Our Way to Freedom?,” The American 2, no. 6 (2008): 108-109.
  • “The FCC’s $19 Billion Baby,” with Allen Ingraham, Regulation 31, no. 3 (2008).
  • “Regulation after Bush,” with Peter Passell, The Economists’ Voice 5, no. 4, Article 5 (2008).
  • “The Rush to Re-Regulate” with Peter Passell, The Economists’ Voice 5, no. 3, Article 5 (2008).
  • “Better that the Fed Regulates Subprime Mortgages” with Peter Passell, The Economists’ Voice 5, no. 1, Article 4 (2008).
  • “Assessing Bias in Patent Infringement Cases: A Review of International Trade Commission Decisions,” with Hal Singer, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 21, 2 (Spring 2008): 457-508.
  • “Microsoft: Predator or Prey” with Peter Passell, The Economists’ Voice 5, no. 2, Article 4 (2008).
  • “Time to Change U.S. Climate Policy,” with Peter Passell, The Economists’ Voice 4, no. 5, Article 2 (2007).
  • “How Well Does the U.S. Government Do Cost-Benefit Analysis?” with Patrick M. Dudley, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 1, 2 (Summer 2007): 192-211.
  • “Are Drivers Who Use Cell Phones Inherently Less Safe?,” with James E. Prieger, Applied Economics Quarterly 53, 4 (2007): 327-352.
  • “The Myth of Net Neutrality and the Threat to Internet Innovation,” with Robert Litan, Milken Institute Review, First Quarter (2007): 28-35; revised and updated as “The Myth of Network Neutrality and What We Should Do About It,” for the International Journal of Communication 1 (2007): 595-606.
  • “The Economics of Wireless Net Neutrality,” with Robert Litan and Hal Singer, Journal of Competition Law and Economics 3, 3 (2007): 399-451.
  • “The Economic Significance of ‘Insignificant’ Rules,” with Caroline Cecot, Regulation and Governance 1, no. 2 (June 2007): 172-182.
  • “Further Thoughts on the Cashless Society: A Reply to Dr. Shampine,” with Daniel Garcia Swartz and Anne Layne-Farrar, Review of Network Economics 6, 4 (December 2007): 509-524.
  • “The President’s New Executive Order on Regulation,” with Robert Litan, The Economists’ Voice 4, no. 2, Article 1 (2007).
  • “Regulating the Raters: The Law and Economics of Ratings Firms” with Harold Furchtgott-Roth and Anne Layne-Farrar, Journal of Competition Law and Economics 3, no. 1 (2007): 49-96.
  • “The Law and Economics of Software Security,” with Anne Layne-Farrar, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 30, no. 1 (Fall 2006): 284-353.
  • “The Impact of Driver Cell Phone Use on Accidents,” with James E. Prieger, Advances in Economics & Policy 6, no. 1, Article 9 (2006): 1-37.
  • “A New Approach for Regulating Information Markets,” with Paul C. Tetlock, Journal of Regulatory Economics 29, (2006): 265-281.
  • “The Move toward a Cashless Society: A Closer Look at Payment Instrument Economics” with Daniel Garcia Swartz and Anne Layne-Farrar, Review of Network Economics 5, no. 2 (June 2006): 175-198.
  • “The Move toward a Cashless Society: Calculating the Costs and Benefits” with Daniel Garcia Swartz and Anne Layne-Farrar, Review of Network Economics 5, no. 2 (June 2006): 199-228.
  • “The Economics of Network Neutrality,” with Scott Wallsten, The Economists’ Voice 3, no. 6, Article 8 (2006).
  • “What Affects the Quality of Economic Analysis for Life-Saving Investments?” with Katrina Kosec, Peter Neumann, and Scott Wallsten, Risk Analysis 26, no. 3 (2006): 641-655.
  • “Designing Environmental Policy: Lessons from the Regulation of Mercury Emissions” with Ted Gayer, Journal of Regulatory Economics 30, no. 3 (November 2006): 291-315.
  • “Costs and Benefits of Regulating Mercury,” with Ted Gayer, Science 310, (November 4, 2005): 777-778.
  • “Using Information Markets to Improve Public Decision Making,” with Paul C. Tetlock, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 29, no. 1 (Fall 2005): 213-289.
  • “The Economics of Rebuilding Cities: Reflections after Katrina,” The Economists’ Voice 2, no. 4, Article 1 (2005): 1-4.
  • “Regulating Mercury: What’s At Stake?,” with Ted Gayer, Science 309, no. 5732 (July 8, 2005): 244-245.
  • “The Precautionary Principle,” with Cass R. Sunstein, The Economists’ Voice 2, no. 2, Article 8 (2005): 1-9.
  • “Sold, but what’s the brokerage fee?,” with Robert E. Litan and Jesse Gurman, Milken Institute Review, Fourth Quarter (2005): 46-55; revised and updated as “Bringing More Competition to Real Estate Brokerage,” Real Estate Law Journal 35, no. 1 (Summer 2006): 86-118.
  • “Making Development Work,” with Paul C. Tetlock, Policy Review, no. 112 (August and September 2005): 27-38.
  • “Big Ideas: The Market’s Last Frontier,” with Paul C. Tetlock, Milken Institute Review, First Quarter (2005): 83-89.
  • “Counting Regulatory Benefits and Costs: Lessons for the U.S. and Europe,” with Robert E. Litan, Journal of International Economic Law 8, no. 2 (June 2005): 473-508; reprinted in Economics of Administrative Law, Susan Rose-Ackerman, editor, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA, (2008): 359-394.
  • “The Political Economy of Mercury Regulation,” with Ted Gayer, Regulation 28, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 26-33.
  • “The Impact of Economics on Environmental Policy,” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 39 (2000): 375-399; reprinted in The Political Economy of Environmental Regulation, Robert Stavins, editor, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA, 2004; reprinted in Chinese in the Journal of Comparative Studies 20 (2005): 23-55