Thomas Lyon

University of Michigan
United States

Lyon holds the Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce at the University of Michigan, with appointments in both the Ross School of Business and the School of Environment and Sustainability. He is President of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS), and Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He earned his BSE from Princeton University, and MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University. Professor Lyon is a leader in using economic analysis to understand corporate environmental strategy, especially in the energy industry, and how it is shaped by emerging government regulations, non-governmental organizations, and consumer demands.


Merchants of Doubt: Corporate Political Influence when NGO Credibility is Uncertain,” (with Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline), Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 2020, 29(2): 439-461.

CSR Needs CPR: Corporate Sustainability and Politics,” (with Magali Delmas, John W. Maxwell, Tima Bansal, Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline, Patricia Crifo, Rodolphe Durand, Jean-Pascal Gond, Andrew King, Michael Lenox, Michael Toffel, David Vogel, and Frank Wijen), California Management Review, 2018, 60(4): 5-24.

The Drivers and Impacts of Renewable Portfolio Standards,” Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2016, 8: 141-155.

Greenwash vs. Brownwash: Exaggeration and Undue Modesty in Corporate Sustainability Disclosure,” (with Eun-Hee Kim), Organization Science, 2014, 26: 705-723.

Is “Smart Charging” Policy for Electric Vehicles Worthwhile?,” Energy Policy, (with Mark Michelin, Arie Jongejan, and Thomas Leahy), 2012, 41: 259–268.

Promoting Global CCS RDD&D by Stronger U.S.–China Collaboration,” (with Jia-Hai Yuan), Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2012, 16: 6746-6769.

When Does Institutional Activism Increase Shareholder Value?: The Carbon Disclosure Project,” (with Eun-Hee Kim), The BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 2011. Volume 11(1) (Contributions), Article 50.

Strategic Environmental Disclosure: Evidence from the DOE’s Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Registry,” (with Eun-Hee Kim), Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2011, 61: 311–326.

Greenwash: Corporate Environmental Disclosure under Threat of Audit,” (lead article, with John W. Maxwell), Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 2011, 20: 3-41.

Why Do States Adopt Renewable Portfolio Standards? An Empirical Investigation,” (with Haitao Yin), The Energy Journal, 2010, 31: 131-155.