Introduction for Special Issue in Honor of Martin Weitzman.
This special issue is a reminder that the world lost a truly remarkable scholar when Martin Weitzman sadly passed away in 2019. Across five decades, he explored policy options for the most challenging issues—from unemployment and inflation in the 1970s to climate change in the twenty-first century. In this article, we provide a brief biography and personal remembrance of Weitzman and describe how his contributions advanced the thinking of environmental economists,1 and the thoughts and actions of policy makers on many fundamental issues. We conclude with a brief description of the articles that follow in this issue.
Weitzman was a treasure—a gift that kept on giving to the research and policy worlds—for Harvard University, for economists around the world, and for the global intellectual community. His work as an economic theorist who addressed a broad set of problems, and as an environmental economist who for over a decade focused on climate change, was unparalleled and formed the basis for theoretical and empirical work carried out by legions of economists and other scholars around the world. Weitzman’s contributions to environmental economics in particular were unprecedented, helped to shape the field for nearly five decades, and as the papers in this volume show undoubtedly set the direction for many more years to come.