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Professor Mark Freeman
Professor of Finance



Mark Freeman holds the position of Professor of Finance.  He is interested in intergenerational finance, particularly cost-benefit analysis for projects that span many decades. This work has a range of applications primarily in the economic analysis of climate change mitigation, investment in infrastructure and other long-lived projects.  He has provided advice for a wide range of organisations including  HM Treasury, the UK Home Office and Department for Transport, the Ministry of Finance (Netherlands), the UK Office for National Statistics, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the International Seabed Authority, and the OECD. Currently, he is engaging with the public consultation process on the Social Cost of Carbon in the United States.

Mark has held a variety of academic leadership roles during his career across research, teaching and engagement.  Between October 2016 and April 2022, he was Dean of the School for Business and Society.  Prior to working at York, he held professorial positions at the Universities of Loughborough and Bradford, non-professorial full-time academic appointments at the Universities of Exeter and Warwick, as well as visiting positions in the United States and Australia.  At Loughborough, he was the Academic Leader for the University Research Challenge of “Secure and Resilient Societies”, and also acted as its Director of Executive Education.  At Bradford, he was the Director of the Accounting, Finance & Economics Division, and was responsible for the design, launch and running of its M.Sc. in Finance.

Over his career, Mark has taught across a wide range of finance topics, mainly at the postgraduate and executive levels, including corporate finance, derivatives, investment management, asset pricing, and international finance.  He has won awards for both his teaching and research.

Before becoming an academic, Mark worked as an equity research analyst specialising in the brewing and distilling industries for stockbrokers Savory Milln and James Capel in London.  He has also worked on a major project appraisal for the bottling division of United Distillers in Scotland.  He holds a first class degree in Mathematics from Nottingham University and a PhD in Finance from Warwick Business School.



Mark’s research interests lie in long-term financial problems. Much of his recent research focuses on the term structure of discount rates for use in intergenerational cost-benefit analysis.  His work is particularly associated with the literature on `declining discount rates’, and the elicitation and reconciliation of expert opinions on intergenerational social discount rates.  His research in these areas has been published in leading journals in interdisciplinary science, economics and accounting as well as finance. 

Mark’s research has been of interest to international policy makers, with him providing an impact case study for Loughborough University’s REF2021 submission.  He has worked directly with a range of governmental and third sector bodies including HM Treasury, the UK Home Office and Department for Transport, the Ministry of Finance (Netherlands), the UK Office for National Statistics, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the International Seabed Authority, and the OECD.  His research has also been widely cited in both leading academic journals (including Science and Nature) and by a range of international governmental bodies.  For example, a paper that Mark co-authored was cited in the EU Parliament's resolution ahead of COP26.

Mark is also interested in the long-run investment outlook for well-diversified portfolios.  His work in this area has been funded by the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management and through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.  He has presented this work at the World Bank, and he has provided related advice for the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Mark received the Dean’s Award at Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics for Researcher of the Year in 2015-16.


Selected publications

Hänsel M.C. M.A. Drupp, D.J.A. Johansson, F. Nesje, C. Azar, M.C. Freeman, B. Groom and T. Sterner (2020), ”Climate economics support for the UN climate targets”.  Nature Climate Change.

Drupp, M.A., M.C. Freeman, B. Groom and F. Nesje (2018), “Discounting disentangled”, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 10(4), 109-134.

Freeman, M.C. and B. Groom (2016), “How certain are we about the certainty-equivalent long term social discount rate?”  Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 79, 152-168.

Freeman, M.C. and B. Groom (2015), “Positively gamma discounting:  Combining the opinions of experts on the Social Discount Rate”.  The Economic Journal, 125, 1015–1024.

Freeman, M.C., G. Wagner and R.J. Zeckhauser (2015), "Climate sensitivity uncertainty: When is good news bad?”  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 373 (2055)

Cropper, M.L., M.C. Freeman, B. Groom and W.A. Pizer  (2014), “Declining discount rates”, American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), 104(5), 538–543


School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

Telephone: +44 (0) 1904 325019
Room: CL/A/110

Subject Group

Accounting and Finance