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Subtopic: Africa 90 items found
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Investigating the Sensitivity of Household Food Security to Agriculture-Related Shocks and the Implications of Informal Social Capital and Natural Resource Capital
Byela Tibesigwa, Martine Visser, Wayne Twine, Mark Collinson
RFF Discussion Paper EfD-14-21 | December 2014
Abstract: Resource-poor rural South Africa is characterised by high human densities due to the historic settlement patterns imposed by apartheid, high levels of poverty, under-developed markets and substantially high food insecurity. This chronic food insecurity, combined with climate and weather variability, has led to the adoption of less-conventional adaptation methods in resource-poor rural settings. This paper examines the impact of agriculture-related shocks on the consumption patterns of rural households. In our assessment, we are particularly interested in the interplay among social capital (both formal and informal), natural resource capital and agriculture-related shocks. We use three years of data from a relatively new and unique panel of households from rural Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, who rely on small-scale homestead farming. Overall, we make two key observations. First, the agriculture-related shocks (i.e., crop failure from poor rainfall and hailstorms) reduce households’ food availability and thus consumption. Second, natural resource capital (e.g., bushmeat, edible wild fruits, vegetables and insects) and informal social capital (ability to ask for food assistance from neighbours, friends and relatives) somewhat counteracts this reduction and sustains households’ dietary requirements. In general, our findings suggest the promotion of informal social capital and natural resource capital as they are easier, cheaper and more accessible coping strategies, in comparison to other more technical and capital-intensive strategies such as insurance, which remain unaffordable in most rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa. However, a lingering concern centers on the sustainability of these less conventional adaptation strategies.
The Land Certification Program and Off-Farm Employment in Ethiopia
Mintewab Bezabih, Andrea Mannberg, Eyerusalem Siba
RFF Discussion Paper EfD-14-22 | December 2014
Abstract: Land tenure security has long been touted as key to increased performance of the agricultural sector in developing countries. At the same time, off-farm employment is seen as a strategy to diversify rural economies. This paper utilizes household level panel data to analyse the impact of a land certification program on farmers’ off-farm participation and activity choices in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia. Identification of the program’s impact relies on the sequential nature of its implementation and application of the Difference-in-Differences strategy. Our results suggest that certification is a significant determinant of participation in off-farm employment. However, the impact differs substantially between different types of off-farm activities. While land certification is associated with an increased probability of participation in non-agricultural activities requiring unskilled labor, it reduces the probability of engaging in work on others’ farms. In addition, the effect of the program depends on the size of landholdings. The differences in the responsiveness of different off-farm activities to both certification and farm size indicate the need to recognize the complex relationships between reform policies that enhance land tenure and the non agricultural sub-sector in rural areas. In light of similar previous studies, the major contributions of the paper are twofold: assessment of the effects of enhanced land tenure security on activities outside agriculture and evaluation of the role of farm size in determining off-farm participation.
Profitability of Biofuels Production: The Case of Ethiopia
Zenebe Gebreegziabher, Alemu Mekonnen, Tadele Ferede, Gunnar Kohlin
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 14-19 | November 2014
Abstract: This research investigates the profitability of biofuels production in Africa, taking Ethiopia as a case in point, and suggests an oil price threshold beyond which biofuel may be profitable. Specifically, the study analyzes the viability of bioethanol from molasses and biodiesel from other feedstock in the context of Ethiopia, using data from a biofuels investment survey by EEPFE/EDRI in 2010, and makes estimates based on field visits. We draw on investment theory as our underlying conceptual framework and we employ unit cost analysis for our empirical analysis. Findings reveal that, while bioethanol production (from molasses) in Ethiopia can be quite viable, the viability and competitiveness of biodiesel production will largely depend on the cost and price of feedstock. In particular, if the world oil price is expected to vary between $US42 and $US200 per barrel, biodiesel firms in Ethiopia must be able to produce at less than $US1 per liter. This suggests that viable alternatives of coproduction through value addition from byproduct seedcake and intercropping options need to be considered to enhance profitability of biodiesel production. Moreover, research and development efforts and knowledge support to the biofuels industry, including a search for better adaptive and better yielding varieties and good oil quality biofuels crops, as well as better regulatory framework and follow-up, are necessary. Overall, the biofuels industry can be viewed as a way out of poverty but a lot remains to be done to enhance its viability. This is a case study involving a few observations because of the small size of the universe of producers studied; hence, further analysis is called for as the sector expands.
On the Impact of Weather Variability and Climate Change on Agriculture: Evidence from Ethiopia
Mintewab Bezabih, Salvatore Di Falco, Alemu Mekonnen
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 14-15 | July 2014
Abstract: Weather fluctuations tend to be as important as climate change in farmers’ decision making in countries such as Ethiopia that have virtually no weather insurance. This paper assesses the distinct impacts of weather and climate change measures on agricultural productivity of households, measured in terms of crop revenue, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Four waves of survey data, which included about 1500 households in each round, combined with interpolated daily temperature and monthly rainfall data from the meteorological stations, are employed in the analysis. The distinction between weather and climate is highlighted by observations in the temperature data, which show that the pattern of temperature for both short-term and long-term values follows a bell-shaped distribution, with the striking feature that the extreme ends of the distribution have fatter tails for the long term values. The analysis employs monthly rainfall and 14 temperature categories related to weather measures and four categories corresponding with the extreme ends of the long-term temperature distribution. The analysis also distinguishes between summer and spring seasons and different crops, in recognition that Ethiopia’s agriculture is multi-cropping and multi-season. The major findings show that temperature effects are distinctly non-linear, but only when the weather measures are combined with the extreme ends of the distribution of the climate measures. In addition, rainfall generally has a less important role to play than temperature, contrary to expectations for rainfed agriculture.
The Economic Valuation of Dryland Ecosystem Services in the South African Kgalagadi Area and Implications for PES Involving the Khomani San
Johane Dikgang, Edwin Muchapondwa
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 13-16 | December 2013
Abstract: The economic importance of the dryland ecosystem services in the Kgalagadi area is generally unknown, as is the distribution of benefits from use of the ecosystem services. This study seeks to value ecosystem services in the Kgalagadi area by applying the choice experiment technique and then assessing the potential for ecosystem services to contribute to the Khomani San livelihoods through a payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme. Instead of finding the value of the whole ecosystem, this study seeks to value selected ecosystem services from the point of view of visitors. The values placed on dryland ecosystem services by tourists are estimated using a conditional logit model, random parameter logit model, and a random parameter logit model with interactions. The park visitors prefer more pristine recreational opportunities and increased chances of seeing predators, but they disapprove of granting more access inside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to local communities. The visitors have a higher marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for the services that they want than the MWTP of the locals to engage in the competing activities. This scenario shows that it is possible to craft a PES scheme where park visitors could compensate the local communities for accepting restrictions on resource use in the Kgalagadi area. Those who value the services more can pay those who value the services less to refrain from activities that degrade the ecosystem.
Crop-Livestock Inter-linkages and Climate Change Implications for Ethiopia’s Agriculture: A Ricardian Approach
Zenebe Gebreegziabher, Alemu Mekonnen, Rahel Deribe, Samuel Abera, Meseret Molla Kassahun
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 13-14 | December 2013
Abstract: There have been few attempts to look into the economic impacts of climate change in the context of Ethiopia. Although mixed crop-livestock farming is a dominant farming style, most of the studies on climate change, at least in the context of Ethiopia, have emphasized only crop agriculture and disregarded the role of livestock. In this research, we analyze climate change and agricultural productivity in Ethiopia in its broader sense, inclusive of livestock production. We employ a Ricardian approach, estimating three modified versions of the Ricardian model. Results show that warmer temperature is beneficial to livestock agriculture, while it is harmful to the Ethiopian economy from the crop agriculture point of view. Moreover, increasing/decreasing rainfall associated with climate change is damaging to both agricultural activities.
Abalone Conservation in the Presence of Drug Use and Corruption: Implications for Its Management in South Africa
Edwin Muchapondwa, Kerri Brick, Martine Visser
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-15 | November 2012
Abstract: The illegal exploitation of wild abalone in South Africa has been escalating since 1994, despite increased enforcement, leading to collapse in some sections of its range. South Africa banned all wild abalone fishing in 2008 but controversially reopened it in 2010. This paper formulates a poacher’s model, taking into account the realities of the abalone terrain in South Africa—the prevalence of bribery, corruption, use of recreational drugs, and the high value of abalone—to explore why poaching has not subsided. The paper suggests two additional measures that might help ameliorate the situation: eliminating the demand side through enforcement targeted on organized crime, and ceding the resource to the local coastal communities. However, local communities need to be empowered to deal with organised crime groups. Complementary measures to bring back community patriotism will also be needed given the tattered social fabric of the local coastal communities.
Evaluating the Prospects of Benefit Sharing Schemes in Protecting Mountain Gorillas in Central Africa
Samson Mukanjari, Edwin Muchapondwa, Precious Zikhali, Birgit Bednar-Friedl
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-16 | November 2012
Abstract: Presently, the mountain gorilla in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is endangered mainly by poaching and habitat loss. This paper sets out to investigate the possible resolution of poaching involving the local community by using benefit sharing schemes with local communities. Using a bioeconomic model, the paper demonstrates that the current revenue sharing scheme yields suboptimal conservation outcomes. It is shown, however, that a performance-linked benefit sharing scheme in which the Park Agency makes payment to the local community based on the growth of the gorilla stock can achieve socially optimal conservation. This scheme renders unnecessary poaching effort by the local community. Therefore, it becomes unnecessary to impose poaching fines and anti-poaching enforcement on the local community. Given the huge financial outlay requirements for the ideal benefit sharing scheme, the Park Agencies in Central Africa could reap more financial benefits for use in conservation if they employ an oligopolistic pricing strategy for gorilla tourism.
The Valuation of Biodiversity Conservation by the South African Khomani San “Bushmen” Community
Johane Dikgang, Edwin Muchapondwa
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-10 | October 2012
Abstract: The restitution of parkland to the Khomani San “bushmen” and Mier “agricultural” communities in May 2002 marked a significant shift in conservation in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and environs in South Africa. Biodiversity conservation will benefit from this land restitution only if the Khomani San, who interact with nature more than do other groups, are good environmental stewards. To assess their attitude toward biodiversity conservation, this study used the contingent valuation method to investigate the values the communities assign to biodiversity conservation under three land tenure arrangements in the Kgalagadi area. For each community and land tenure arrangement, there are winners and losers, but the winners benefit by more than the cost that losers suffer. The net worth for biodiversity conservation under the various land tenure regimes ranged from R928 to R3,456 to R4,160 for municipal land, parkland, and communal land respectively for the Khomani San, compared to R25,600 to R57,600 to R64,000 for municipal land, parkland, and communal land respectively for the Mier. Both communities have the highest preference for the implementation of the biodiversity conservation programme on communal land. There are no significant differences in the WTP between the two communities when adjusted for annual median household income; hence, the Khomani San can be trusted to become good environmental stewards. However, in order for all members of the local communities to support biodiversity conservation unconditionally, mechanisms for fair distribution of the associated costs and benefits should be put in place.
REDD+ and Community-Controlled Forests in Low-Income Countries: Any Hope for a Linkage?
Randy Bluffstone, Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson, Paul Guthiga
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-11 | October 2012
Abstract: Deforestation and forest degradation are estimated to account for between 12 percent and 20 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. These activities, largely in the developing world, released about 5.8 Gt per year in the 1990s, which was more than all forms of transport combined. The idea behind REDD+ is that payments for sequestering carbon can tip the economic balance away from loss of forests and in the process yield climate benefits. Recent analysis has suggested that developing country carbon sequestration can effectively compete with other climate investments as part of a cost-effective climate policy. This paper focuses on opportunities and complications associated with bringing community-controlled forests into REDD+. About 25 percent of developing country forests are community controlled; therefore, it is difficult to envision a successful REDD+ program without coming to terms with community controlled forests. It is widely agreed that REDD+ offers opportunities to bring value to developing country forests, but there are also concerns related to insecure and poorly defined community forest tenure, informed by often long histories of government unwillingness to meaningfully devolve ownership rights to communities. Further, because communities are complicated systems, there is also concern that REDD+ could destabilize existing well-functioning community forestry systems.
Evaluation of the Status of the Namibian Hake Resource (Merluccius spp.) Using Statistical Catch-at-Age Analysis
Carola Kirchner, Paul Kainge, Johannes Kathena
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-12 | October 2012
Abstract: Namibian hake is the most important fish resource in Namibia. This monograph is a compilation of all the hake data, historic and recent, that has been used to inform stock assessment and management since the late 1970s. It presents the statistical catch-at-age analysis used to evaluate the state of the Namibian hake resource under different assumptions. This analysis treats the two hakes, Merluccius paradoxus and M. capensis, as a single stock. The data and modeling show that the stock has not as yet recovered to its maximum sustainable yield level, despite foreign fishing effort having been removed in 1990. Best estimates suggest the current stock to be roughly 20% of pre-exploitation levels; however this figure is sensitive to model assumptions. Signs indicate that the stock is slowly recovering from its all-time low in 2002-2004. Because the two hake species are pooled for assessment, the resource is currently managed on a relatively simple adaptive basis; 80% of the estimated replacement yield is reserved for fishing, the remainder being left for rebuilding.
Contract Duration under Incomplete Land Ownership Rights: Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia
Abebe D. Beyene, Mintewab Bezabih, Zenebe Gebreegziabher
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-09 | July 2012
Abstract: Using the land tenure system in Ethiopia, where all land is state-owned and only farm households have usufruct rights, as a case study, we assessed the links between land owners’ tenure insecurity, associated behavioral factors, and contract length. In this paper, we analyze these links with survey data of rural households in the Amhara National Regional State of Ethiopia. The empirical strategy follows a hazard function model employed in duration data analyses and investigates the fitness of the data to the alternative exponential and Weibull functional forms. The results show that landlords’ risk aversion increases the duration of contracts, which is in line with the reverse tenancy argument that landlords’ risk preferences affect land-contract decisions. The findings of the study also indicate that tenure insecurity is a critical factor in the nature and length of contracts; hence, policies should aim to reduce landlords’ frustrations regarding future land redistribution by the state. An important implication of the results is that secure tenure systems can reduce the disincentives from tenure insecurity due to uncertainty about contract duration and thereby enhance tenants’ welfare. Longer-term and stable contracts can improve the land rental market. In addition, the impact of risk preferences points toward the importance of poverty in the functioning of the land rental market.
Nudging Boserup? The Impact of Fertilizer Subsidies on Investment in Soil and Water Conservation
Godwin K. Vondolia, Håkan Eggert, Jesper Stage
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-08 | June 2012
Abstract: The new fertilizer subsidies in sub-Saharan Africa are intended to increase agricultural production and ensure development of a fertilizer market. Fertilizer adoption requires complementary inputs, such as investment in soil and water conservation (SWC), for efficient and optimal nutrient uptake, and many fertilizer subsidy programs implicitly assume that fertilizer subsidies crowd in such investments. The results of our study of the impact of fertilizer subsidies on SWC efforts in Ghana indicate that beneficiaries of the program do not invest significantly more in SWC. This suggests that policies should not expect farmers to respond to fertilizer subsidies with substantial investment in SWC. Thus, in order to achieve increased investment in SWC for sustainable agricultural development, more comprehensive measures that include fertilizer investments explicitly (such as integrated soil fertility management programs) may be needed.
Insiders, Outsiders, and the Role of Local Enforcement in Forest Management: An Example from Tanzania
Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson, Heidi J. Albers, Razack B Lokina, Guyslain Ngeleza
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-07 | June 2012
Abstract: Typically both local villagers (“insiders”) and non-locals (“outsiders”) extract products from protected forests even though the activities are illegal. Our paper suggests that, depending on the relative ecological damage caused by each group, budget-constrained forest managers may be able to reduce total forest degradation by legalizing “insider” extraction in return for local villagers involvement in enforcement activities. We illustrate this through the development of a game-theoretic model that considers explicitly the interaction between the forest manager who can combine a limited enforcement budget with legalization of insider resource extraction and livelihood projects such as bee keeping, insider villagers, and outsider charcoal producers.
Households’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Urban Waste Management in Mekelle City, Ethiopia
Dagnew Hagos, Alemu Mekonnen, Zenebe Gebreegziabher
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-06 | April 2012
Abstract: Cities in developing countries experiencing rapid urbanization and population growth too often lack the financial resources and institutional capacity to provide needed municipal infrastructure for adequate solid waste management, despite citizens’ demand for it. This paper uses a cross-sectional survey of 226 randomly selected households in Mekelle City, Ethiopia, to assess the current municipal sanitation fees and the willingness to pay (WTP) of residents for improved urban waste management, and suggests mechanisms for cost recovery. We used Tobit and probit models in the empirical analysis to determine the factors that influence households’ WTP for improved solid waste management. Results reveal that residents’ WTP for improved solid waste management is significantly related to income and awareness of environmental quality, among other factors. Study results reveal that the current city fee for sanitation is far below the WTP of the residents. The mean WTP we found can be a guide for municipal officials in setting a more appropriate fee that can finance improvements in city SWM, where all households receive collection services, waste is disposed of properly, and recycling and composting features are added.
The Role of Incentives for Sustainable Implementation of Marine Protected Areas: An Example from Tanzania
Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson, Heidi J. Albers, Stephen L. Kirama
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-03 | February 2012
Abstract: Although Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) provide an increasingly popular policy tool for protecting marine stocks and biodiversity, they pose high costs for small-scale fisherfolk who have few alternative livelihood options in poor countries. MPAs often address this burden on local households by providing some benefits to compensate locals and/or induce compliance with restrictions. We argue that MPAs in poor countries can only contribute to sustainability if management induces changes in resource-dependent households‘ incentives to fish. With Tanzania‘s Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MBREMP) and its internal villages as an example, we use an economic decision modeling framework as a lens to examine incentives, reaction to incentives, and implications for sustainable MPA management created by park managers‘ use of enforcement ("sticks") and livelihood projects ("carrots"). We emphasize practical implementation issues faced by MBREMP managers and implications for fostering marine ecosystem sustainability in a poor country setting.
Coping with Fuelwood Scarcity: Household Responses in Rural Ethiopia
Abebe Damte, Steven F. Koch, Alemu Mekonnen
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-01 | January 2012
Abstract: This study uses survey data from randomly selected rural households in Ethiopia to examine the coping mechanisms employed by rural households to deal with fuelwood scarcity. The determinants ofcollecting other biomass energy sources were also examined. The results of the empirical analysis show that rural households in forest-degraded areas respond to fuelwood shortages by increasing their labor input for fuelwood collection. However, for households in high forest cover regions, forest stock and forest access may be more important factors than scarcity of fuelwood in determining household‘s labor input to collect it. The study also finds that there is limited evidence of substitution between fuelwood anddung, or fuelwood and crop residue. Therefore, supply-side strategies alone may not be effective in addressing the problem of forest degradation and biodiversity loss. Any policy on natural resource management, especially related to rural energy, should distinguish regions with different levels of forest degradation.
Plot and Household-Level Determinants of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in Rural Tanzania
Menale Kassie, Moti Jaleta, Bekele Shiferaw, Frank Mmbando, Geoffrey Muricho
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 12-02 | January 2012
Abstract: Soil fertility depletion is considered the main biophysical limiting factor to increasing per capita food production for most smallholder farmers in Africa. The adoption and diffusion of sustainable agricultural practices (SAPs), as a way to tackle this impediment, has become an important issue in the development policy agenda for sub-Saharan Africa. This paper examines the adoption decisions for SAPs, using multiple crosssectional plot-level observations, collected in 2010 from 681 farm households and 1,539 plots, in 4 districts and 88 villages of rural Tanzania. We employ a multivariate probit technique to model simultaneous adoption decisions by farm households. Our study reveals that rainfall shocks, insects and disease shocks, government effectiveness, tenure status of plot, social capital, plot location and size, and asset ownership, all influence the adoption decision of sustainable practices. Policies that target SAPs and are aimed at organizing farmers into associations, improving land tenure security, and enhancing skills of civil servants can increase the likelihoodthat smallholder farmers will adopt SAPs.
Farmers’ Response to Rainfall Variability and Crop Portfolio Choice: Evidence from Ethiopia
Mintewab Bezabih, Salvatore Di Falco, Mahmud Yesuf
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 11-10 | December 2011
Abstract: This paper studies the patterns of farmers’ crop choices for a multiple-crop portfolio, where production risk considerations and rainfall uncertainty are likely to be critical factors. Our analysisemploys plot-level panel data from Ethiopia, combined with seasonal and yearly rainfall variability (from 30 years of meteorological data corresponding to the survey villages). Using the single indexapproach, our results indicate that the combined riskiness of crop portfolios at a household level responds negatively to annual rainfall variability, while seasonal rainfall variability has less consistent impact. Farmers are more likely to select less risky crops with less return, even when intercrop interactions are taken into account. Moreover, development policies designed to enhance accumulation and risk taking should take into account the importance of such exogenous factors as weather in ex-ante risk taking.
Private Trees as Household Assets and Determinants of Tree-Growing Behavior in Rural Ethiopia
Alemu Mekonnen, Abebe Damte
RFF Discussion Paper EfD 11-14 | December 2011
Abstract: This study looked into tree-growing behavior of rural households in Ethiopia. With data collected at household and parcel levels from the four major regions of Ethiopia, we analyzed the decision to grow trees and the number of trees grown, using such econometric strategies as a zero-inflated negative binomial model, Heckman’s two-step procedure, and panel data techniques. Our findings show the importance of analysis at the parcel level in addition to the more common household-level. Moreover, the empirical analysis indicates that the determinants of the decision to grow trees are not necessarily the same as those involved in deciding the number of trees grown. Land certification, as an indicator of tenure security, increases the likelihood that households will grow trees, but is not a significant determinant of the number of trees grown. Other variables, such as risk aversion, land size, adult male labor, and education of household head, also influence the number of trees grown. In general, the results suggest the need to use education and/or awareness of the role and importance of trees and point out the importance of household endowments and behavior, such as land, labor, and risk aversion, for tree growing. Finally, we observed that, while tree planting is practiced in all four regions covered,there are variations across regions.
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Ahearne, John F.
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Antle, John M.
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