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Alexander Pfaff
Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Professor in the Department of Economics
Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI's Population Research Center

Areas of Expertise


Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Environment. Trained as an economist, he is focused on how the environment and natural resources, economic development, and a range of policies influence each other.

Research accessible at

He has studied: impacts on forests of protected areas, incentives, roads, railroads and concessions/certification (Brazil’s Amazon, Costa Rica, United States, Panama, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, Bolivia); institutional responses to water shocks (Brazil’s Northeast, Colombia, Mexico); drivers of harmful exposures (groundwater arsenic in Bangladesh, stove emissions in China & Pakistan); and incentives for firms to self-audit and disclose (United States). This applied research aims to increase the chance that policies have their intended impacts upon not only the environment but also the people affected.

Representative Publications

Land-use and land-cover change shape the sustainability and impacts of protected areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA (02/2018)
Spillovers from Conservation Programs Annual Review of Resource Economics (11/2017)
Increasing the impact of collective incentives in payments for ecosystem services Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (11/2017)
Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate Environmental and Resource Economics (05/2017)