The Department of Economics Faculty are passionate about their research, with active research agendas covering a wide range of locally and globally relevant topics including issues related to deforestation, health care access in developing countries, international environmental issues, wildlife management, and issues of well-being and happiness, among many others. The department has developed particular strengths in the areas of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Development Economics, but faculty expertise and research interests also cover a range of economic fields such as health economics, public finance, international economics, and experimental economics. We invite you to explore our faculty members' pages by the areas of research where they are actively producing scholarship and teaching.
Katrina Mullan studies the impacts of deforestation on the wellbeing of migrant settlers in the Brazilian Amazon. She focuses on two related questions: first, how do farm households make decisions about whether to clear forest land; and second, what impact does land cover change have on their income and wealth trajectories. To answer these questions, she and her collaborators have interviewed the same households at regular intervals since 1996, and linked their responses to satellite images showing land cover on their properties. (Photo by Daniel Harris)
Derek Kellenberg, with co-authors, Joe Ramler, Mark Hebblewhite, and Carolyn Sime, examine the indirect impacts of wolves on the weight of free-range calves in Western Montana using 15 years of data on ranch husbandry, satellite generated climatological data, and spatial data on wolf pack locations. They find that wolf home ranges that overlap with ranches have no statistically significant impacts on calf weights. However, on ranches where a confirmed wolf depredation of a cow has occurred, the average weight of calves across the herd falls by approximately 20 pounds. These indirect impacts, beyond depredation, can be economically significant for affected ranches. (Photo by Mark Hebblewhite)