Nordhaus and Romer insights have been fundamental for my research since I started working in the field of climate change economics more than 15 years ago.
Indeed, Nordhaus was the first scholar to put together two – very different until then – disciplines in one; he drafted an integrated model named DICE in which climate change and macro-economics could dialogue and influence each other, thanks to feedback loops.
Nordhaus also helped economists to overcome their preferred means of reflections till then – pencil and paper – for more modern tools, such as the computers running trials and simulations needed to solve particular optimization problems.
Another fundamental intuition of Nordhaus at the time was to let his model completely open-source, allowing scholars from every field to try it, test it, also criticize it, but at the end definitely improve it.
This is what we did with RICE – the regional variation of his widely known model DICE – back in 2005, when we integrated in a new model also the fundamental dynamics of innovation, as – ironically enough today – set up by Romer in the mid-80s.
Romer was in fact the first to theorize endogenous economic growth as it is now at the heart of our model WITCH. This approach acknowledges that innovation, which is essential for decarbonization, actually depends on 3 fundamental factors: Education, R&D, and Capital.