The department has a long tradition of excellence in environmental and natural resource economics and has recently added five new faculty in this area, with a sixth to be hired this year.
Research in this field spans the broad field of environmental and natural resource economics, using diverse technical skills and methodologies. Bill Provencher, an expert in both nonmarket valuation and resource dynamics, is also working on real-time electricity pricing. Corbett Grainger is interested in environmental justice issues: who benefits from pollution regulations, and how do property rights affect natural resources? Sheldon Du’s research blends insights from finance, econometrics, agricultural economics and energy markets. Jennifer Alix-Garcia works at the intersection of environmental and development economics, where she applies spatial tools to analyze land-use changes. Dan Phaneuf, who joined the department in January 2012, is the editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and an expert in nonmarket valuation and microeconometrics. Also new last January is Thomas Rutherford, an internationally-known expert on computational general equilibrium modeling. In particular, he studies energy markets, climate policy, and international trade using computational methods. Dominic Parker arrived in August 2012. His research focuses broadly on institutions and property rights, including the impact of legal institutions on economic development, land trusts, conservation easements, and fisheries.
The faculty cooperate with researchers from related areas, such as Forestry and Wildlife Ecology, the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, Limnology, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, Engineering, Computer Science, Sociology, Economics, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Public Health, and more. Examples of such collaborations include Alix-Garcia’s work with ecologists in modeling land-use change in Mexico; Provencher’s work on aquatic invasive species in Wisconsin; and Du’s research with the UW Bioenergy Institute. Within AAE, faculty collaborate with their colleagues across fields (e.g. Brad Barham, Ian Coxhead, Jennifer Alix-Garcia in development economics, and Paul Mitchell, Jean-Paul Chavas in the economics of agriculture).
Graduate students in this field are working on a breadth of topics, including climate change, fisheries, water quality, energy, pollution regulations, valuation of environmental amenities, land use change, natural resource dynamics, and the effects of introducing property rights to manage common pool resources.
Finally, we are proud that two of the major journals in the field -- Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Land Economics -- are edited by AAE faculty.