Ivan Rudik appointed chief environmental economist | Cornell Chronicle – Cornell Chronicle

Ivan Rudik, associate professor of applied economics and policy at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at the SC Johnson College of Business, has been named chief environmental economist at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where he will lead work to connect economic analyses with environmental decision-making. His term began on June 3.
Ivan Rudik
One major project Rudik hopes to move forward is the ongoing Natural Capital Accounts Initiative, which will measure the value of environmental assets, such as air quality, that have never been quantified and tracked at the national level.
“We have a system of national accounts, like GDP and unemployment, that provide an overview of the economy, but one of the big missing pieces is natural capital,” Rudik said. 
“If we just look at GDP, we might get a misleading perspective,” he said. “If GDP is going up, but natural capital resources are deteriorating, we might not be doing as well as we think. Or if the environment is improving and GDP doesn’t capture that improvement, we might be understating actual growth.”
Rudik will work within OSTP and across other federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, to bring wide-ranging environmental economics measures under the National Capital Accounts umbrella and develop processes for systematic reporting in the future.
At Cornell, Rudik has focused on valuing particulate air pollution damages, determining the social cost of carbon dioxide emissions and designing policy. In one study, he and his co-authors measured mortality rates of the elderly population living near NASCAR racetracks, before and after leaded gasoline was banned in 2007. He will be on leave from Cornell during his appointment at OSTP.
“Dr. Rudik is a proven thought leader in environmental, energy and resource economics and policy. His expertise will certainly help the U.S. address major challenges in these areas at this critical time,” said Andrew Karolyi, the Charles Field Knight Dean of the SC Johnson College.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Ivan Rudik to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,” said Jane Lubchenco, deputy director for environment and climate at OSTP. “We are grateful to his home institution, Cornell University, for supporting his time at OSTP.”
Alison Fromme is a writer for the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.
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