C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell

Robert Dyson Sesquicentennial Chair in Environmental, Energy and Resource Economics
Cornell University


I am an Associate Professor and the Robert Dyson Sesquicentennial Chair in Environmental, Energy and Resource Economics in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.

I am an economist with a background in both the natural sciences and the social sciences. I use a variety of economic and econometric methods in my research, including dynamic structural econometric models, structural econometric models of dynamic games, reduced-form econometrics, spatial econometrics, dynamic programming, and optimal control theory. I am interested in a variety of issues, including those related to energy, the environment, and natural resources. I enjoy working on projects that are technically sound, innovative, challenging, and that are of interest to academics, business practitioners, and policy-makers alike. I would like to make a positive impact on the world.

For my undergraduate studies, I pursued a multidisciplinary major in Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard University and wrote a thesis in atmospheric chemistry that was awarded the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize and that culminated in two peer-reviewed journal publications. During college, I was awarded the Detur Book Prize; the Morris K. Udall Scholarship for excellence in environmental policy; the Harvard College Research Program research fellowship; the Donald and Cathleen Pfister Prize for excellence in the natural sciences; and the President Chao Nee Memorial Scholarship. I was a four-time recipient of the John Harvard Scholarship, was selected to Phi Beta Kappa in my junior year, and graduated summa cum laude.

In graduate school, I pursued my Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard University and took my field exams in industrial organization and microeconomic theory (game theory and contract theory). During graduate school, I was a Harvard Environmental Economics Program Pre-Doctoral Fellow and a Repsol YPF - Harvard Kennedy School Fellow. I was awarded the Harvard Committee on Undergraduate Education Certificate of Distinction in Teaching for both my semesters of teaching, the Rita Ricardo-Campbell Fellowship in Economics, and the Jens Aubrey Westengard Scholarship. I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and an Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results Graduate Fellowship, and was selected for a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. My Ph.D. dissertation received the International Society for New Institutional Economics Award for the Best Ph.D. Dissertation and the Harvard University Stone Fellow Award for Best Paper Written by a Doctoral Student in Environmental and Resource Policy.

Prior to joining Cornell University, I was previously an Assistant Professor and then a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California at Davis.

I have published papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and Energy Economics.

My research has been featured in such media outlets as the New York Times (here, and also here), the Washington Post, the Guardian, Platt’s blog, and Bloomberg View. I was awarded the 2011 UC-Davis Hellman Fellowship for promising young faculty who exhibit potential for great distinction in their research; and Honorable Mention in the 2015-2016 Bacon Public Lectureship and White Paper Competition. I was a 2017 Cornell University Knowledge Matters Fellow.

I am listed among the RePEc Top 5% Economists Based on Publications in Last 10 Years as of May 2019, and among the RePEc Top 2.5% Female Economists Based on Publications in Last 10 Years as of May 2019.

I am the Director of Cornell University Dynamics, Economics, Econometrics, Policy, and Games: Rigorous Environmental, Energy, Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Development Analysis and Research (DEEP-GREEN-RADAR).

I am also the Director of the Cornell University Think-tank for Resources, Energy, and the Environment: Science and Policy-related Economic Analysis and Research (TREESPEAR).

I am the President of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics Bay Area Chapter.



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Contact Information

C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Cornell University
407 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4203
(607) 255-4707 (ph)
(607) 255-9984 (fax)
clinlawell at cornell dot edu



Last updated: July 22, 2019