Frank A. Wolak

Holbrook Working Professor in Commodity Price Studies in Economics, School of Humanities and Sciences
Professor of Law (by courtesy), Stanford Law School
Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute
Senior Fellow (by courtesy), Precourt Institute for Energy
Senior Fellow (by courtesy), Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research


Frank A. Wolak is the Holbrook Working Professor of Commodity Price Studies in the Department of Economics at Stanford University. His fields of specialization are Industrial Organization and Econometric Theory. His recent work studies methods for introducing competition into infrastructure industries — telecommunications, electricity, water delivery and postal delivery services — and on assessing the impacts of these competition policies on consumer and producer welfare. From January 1, 1998 to March 31, 2011, Wolak was the Chair of the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator for electricity supply industry in California. He is a visiting scholar at University of California Energy Institute and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He currently directs the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) in the Freeman-Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies.   Wolak is also a member of the Emissions Market Advisory Committee (EMAC) for California’s Market for Greenhouse Gas Emissions allowances.   This committee advises the California Air Resources Board on the design and monitoring of the state’s cap-and-trade market for Greenhouse Gas Emissions allowances.


Journal Articles

Paulo Somaini, Frank A. Wolak. Journal of Econometric Methods. March 12, 2015, Vol. 5, Issue 1.


Degree Courses


This is a course on how energy and environmental markets work, and the regulatory mechanisms that have been and can be used to achieve desired policy goals. The course uses a electricity market game as a central teaching tool. In the game,...


Transforming the global energy system to reduce climate change impacts, ensure security of supply, and foster economic development of the world's poorest regions depends on the ability of commercial players to deliver the needed energy at scale....

Insights by Stanford Business

May 13, 2015
As California embarks on “cap and trade,” Stanford researchers employ advanced trading games to head off nasty surprises.