He graduated from the London School of Economics with a Master of Science in Econometrics in 1968 and was awarded his Ph.D. on the Economics of the Environment in 1975.
Since then he has divided his time between academic and advisory work. On the academic side he has published widely in the areas of climate change, environmental valuation, environmental policy, energy and environment, green accounting, macroeconomics and trade. Some of his best-known works include, ‘Blueprint for a Green Economy’, ‘Green Accounting in Europe’, ‘Reconciling Trade and Development’ and ‘Cleaning the Ganges’.
He has held academic positions at the universities of Princeton, Berkeley and Harvard in the US and at University College London and Bath University in the UK. He holds a chair of economics at the University of Bath in the UK.
He was a lead author for Chapters of the 3rd and 4th IPCC Assessment Reports on Climate Change.
He was one of the core team that drafted the IPCC 4th Assessment that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 and is now part of the team assembled to prepare the IPCC 5th Assessment.
Recently he was author of a paper on climate regulation that was awarded 2nd Prize at the World Energy Council in Rome in November 2007.
In 2008 he was nominated by Cambridge University as one of the 50 most influential thinkers on sustainability in the world.
Professor Markandya has also been an advisor to many national and international organizations, including all the international development banks, UNDP, the EU and the governments of India and the UK. At the World Bank he was a Lead Advisor and worked closely on energy and environmental issues with many governments in Asia, Central Europe and the Former Soviet Union.