W. Kip Viscusi is Vanderbilt's first University Distinguished Professor, with tenured appointments in the Department of Economics and the Owen Graduate School of Management as well as in the Law School. Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty, Professor Viscusi was the Cogan Professor of Law and Economics and Director of the Program on Empirical Studies at Harvard Law School. He has also been the Allen Professor of Economics at Duke University and Professor of Economics at Northwestern University.
Professor Viscusi is the award-winning author of more than 30 books and nearly 400 articles, most of which deal with different aspects of health and safety risks. His pathbreaking research has addressed a wide range of individual and societal responses to risk and uncertainty, including risky behaviors, government regulation, and tort liability. He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on benefit-cost analysis. Professor Viscusi's estimates of the value of risks to life and health are currently used throughout the Federal government. His book Pricing Lives: Guideposts for a Safer Society synthesized much of his work in this area. In the Carter administration, he was Deputy Director of the Council of Wage and Price Stability, which was responsible for White House oversight over all new federal regulations. He has served on different panels of the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for over a decade. Professor Viscusi served as the President of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis and the President of the Southern Economic Association.
Professor Viscusi is the founding editor of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, which he has edited since 1988. He recently collaborated with Joseph Harrington and David Sappington on the fifth edition of his textbook, Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, which has retained its monopoly position in that field. In 2019 he received the Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research, which is Vanderbilt’s most prestigious honor for faculty research and scholarship.