Much of Professor DeCanio’s research has dealt with global environmental protection. He has written about both the contributions and misuse of economics to debates over long-run policy problems such as climate change and stratospheric ozone layer protection.
Professor DeCanio has written extensively on corporate organization and behavior as it pertains to the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. His book, Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) discusses some of the problems with conventional general equilibrium models when applied to climate policy.
His research has addressed the consequences of computational limits for economics and social theory more generally, and these issues are treated in his his most recent book, Limits of Economic and Social Knowledge (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
His current research deals with the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the human economy and culture.
From 1986 to 1987 DeCanio was Senior Staff Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has been a member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Economic Options Panel, which reviewed the economic aspects of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and served as Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol’s Agricultural Economics Task Force of the Technical and Economics Assessment Panel. He participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and was a recipient of the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought in 2007. In 1996 he received a Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, and in 2007 a “Best of the Best” Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Professor DeCanio was Director of the UCSB Washington Program from 2004 to 2009.
He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.