Valerie J. Karplus


Valerie J. Karplus

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Valerie J. Karplus is a Visiting Associate Professor in Global Economics and Management (GEM) at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Karplus studies resource and environmental management in firms operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with a focus on the role of institutions and management practices in explaining performance. Karplus is an expert on China’s energy system, including technology and business model innovation, energy system governance, and the management of air pollution and climate change. She works with a collaborative team of researchers to study the micro and macro determinants of clean energy transitions in emerging markets, with a focus on China and India. She teaches Entrepreneurship without Borders, New Models for Global Business, and is currently developing a new course, together with Professor Chris Warshaw in Political Science, on Global Energy Markets and Policy.

She has previously worked in the development policy section of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, and in the biotechnology industry in Beijing, China, as a Luce Scholar. From 2011 to 2015, she directed the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project, a five-year research effort focused on analyzing the design of energy and climate change policy in China, and its domestic and global impacts. She is a faculty affiliate of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, the MIT Energy Initiative, and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Karplus holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a PhD in engineering systems from MIT.

Research interests:  Asia; biotechnology; China; climate change; economic modeling; economic development; emerging markets; energy; environmental economics; globalization; international management; political economy; resource management; strategy; sustainability; water


"Institutional Enablers of Energy System Transition: Lessons from Solar PV in Eight African Countries."

Lessard, Donald R., Valerie J. Karplus, Ninad Rajpurkar, and Arun Singh. In Achieving Collective Ends with Limited Resources: Africa’s Struggle to Bridge the Infrastructure Gap, edited by Anne Stafford, Innocent Musonda, and Nuno A. P. Gil, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.

"Risks of Decoupling from China on Low-Carbon Technologies."

Davidson, Michael, Valerie J. Karplus, Joanna I. Lewis, Jonas Nahm, and Alex Wang. Science Vol. 377, No. 6612 (2022): 1266-1269. SSRN Preprint.

"Herding Cats? Firm-level Performance in China’s Industrial Energy Conservation Program."

Karplus, Valerie J., Xingyao Shen, and Da Zhang. The Energy Journal Vol. 41, No. 4 (2020): 1-10. D-Space Preprint.

"Evaluating India’s Climate Targets: The Implications of Economy-Wide and Sector-Specific Policies."

Singh, Arun, Niven Winchester, and Valerie J. Karplus. Climate Change Economics Vol. 10, No. 3 (2019): 1950009. D-Space Preprint.

"Co-Benefits of China's Climate Policy for Air Quality and Human Health in China and Transboundary Regions in 2030."

Li, Mingwei, Da Zhang, Chiao-Ting Li, Noelle E. Selin, and Valerie J. Karplus. Environmental Research Letters Vol. 14, No. 8 (2019).

"Institutional Complementarities: The Origins of Experimentation in China’s Plug-in Electric Vehicle Industry."

Helveston, John, Yanmin Wang, Valerie J. Karplus, and Erica R.H. Fuchs. Research Policy Vol. 48, No. 1 (2019): 206-222.

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Executive Education

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Advanced Management Program

The Advanced Management Program (AMP) is a month-long senior executive program designed for a diverse group of experienced leaders seeking transformative learning among global peers. AMP participants will engage in custom learning components led by MIT’s world-renowned faculty, including interactive classroom sessions, management simulations, case studies, 1:1 leadership coaching, and individualized feedback assessments. Participants will also explore the many companies, labs and centers that make MIT and surrounding Kendall Square the epicenter of innovation worldwide.

  • May 28-Jun 28, 2024
  • May 27-Jun 26, 2025
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