Frank Ackerman (born 1946 in Madison, Wisconsin) is an economist known for his work in environmental economics, particularly in the areas of climate change and development. A prominent critic of conventional economic approaches to climate and their use of cost–benefit analysis, he has written extensively for academic and popular presses and directed numerous studies for government agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
Ackerman's most recent books include Can We Afford the Future? Economics for a Warming World (Zed Books, 2009), Poisoned for Pennies: The Economics of Toxics and Precaution (Island Press, 2008), and Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing (The New Press, 2004, with Lisa Heinzerling). Most of his articles and reports are available on his personal website.
Ackerman is a senior economist at Synapse Energy Economics, a public interest-oriented consulting firm in Cambridge, MA. Before joining Synapse in 2012, he held research positions at the Stockholm Environment Institute's US Center, at Tufts University's Global Development and Environment Institute, and at the Tellus Institute. He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts.
Ackerman received his BA in mathematics and economics from Swarthmore College and his PhD in economics from Harvard University. He is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, and a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform. He was a co-founder and editor of Dollars & Sense magazine.