Suzi Kerr

Chief Economist


Areas of expertise:
Emissions pricing, Climate change policy, Land use, International climate cooperation, and collaborative policy research processes

Suzi ensures the economic integrity of EDF’s positions and programs. Leading a group of economists and analysts, she collaborates with economists and other researchers and stakeholders from a variety of organizations around world to produce research and policy guidance relevant to EDF’s mission. Suzi’s own research focuses on emissions pricing and international cooperation but mostly she works to support the wide range of work within, or facilitated by, the team in the Office of the Chief Economist.

Read more about Suzi’s previous work


Suzi founded and later served as a Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington, New Zealand, which has produced respected, nonpartisan research on the environment, agriculture, labor, productivity and human rights among other areas of focus. Suzi worked closely with government, donors and private sector CEOs seeking market-based solutions to environmental challenges. In addition to her work at Motu, Suzi made contributions to the evolution of modern Reducing Emissions Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) efforts and played a central role in the design of the New Zealand Emissions Trading System, which led to her appointment to the country’s interim Climate Change Committee. Suzi has also co-led three international programs on emissions trading: the design of a roadmap to ETS in Chile, the Handbook ‘Emissions Trading in Practice’ and design of an ETS for Colombia. She has participated in several international science steering groups.

Suzi has served as a Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and at Stanford University. She’s also worked as a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and Research and Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and as a Visiting Researcher at Resources for the Future. She taught for several years at both Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Maryland at College Park.


Harvard University, Ph.D., Economics Harvard University, M.S., Economics University of Canterbury, B.Sc. Economics, honors (first class)


Anastasiadis, Simon, Suzi Kerr Marie-Laure Nauleau, Tim Cox, and Kit Rutherford. 2014. ‘Does complex hydrology require complex water quality policy?’ Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 130–145, January

Van Benthem, Arthur and Suzi Kerr. 2013. ‘Scale and Transfers in International Emissions Offset Programs’ Journal of Public Economics Volume 107, November, pp. 31-46

Cox, Timothy J., Suzi C. Kerr, J. C. Rutherford, Duncan C. Smeaton, Chris. C. Palliser. 2013 “An integrated model for simulating nitrogen trading in an agricultural catchment with complex hydrogeology” Journal of Environmental Management (2013), pp. 268-277

Kerr, Suzi C. 2013. “The Economics of International Policy Agreements to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation”, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 7:1, pp. 47–66.

Kerr, Suzi and Andrew Sweet (2008) ‘Inclusion of Agriculture in a Domestic Emissions Trading Scheme: New Zealand’s Experience to Date’ Farm Policy Journal 5(4), November

Pfaff, Alexander, Suzi Kerr, Leslie Lipper, Romina Cavatassi, Benjamin Davis, Joanna Hendy, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, (2007) ‘Will buying tropical forest carbon benefit the poor? Evidence from Costa Rica’ Land Use Policy 24 600–610

Newell, Richard G., James N. Sanchirico, and Suzi Kerr (2005) “Fishing Quota Markets” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management Vol. 49 pp. 437-462

Kerr, Suzi, Shuguang Liu, Alex Pfaff and R. Flint Hughes (2003) “Carbon dynamics and land-use choices: building a regional-scale multidisciplinary model” Journal of Environmental Management Volume 69, Issue 1, September 2003 , Pages 25-37

Kerr, Suzi and Richard G. Newell, (2003) “Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S Lead Phasedown” Journal of Industrial Economics. Vol. LI, No. 3

Cramton, Peter and Suzi Kerr (2002) “Tradeable carbon permit auctions: How and why to auction not grandfather” Energy Policy 30 pp: 333-345