Robert T. Deacon

Department of Economics

North Hall 3040

University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA 93106 

Phone: (805) 893-7309 (Economics office)
Fax:    (805) 893-8830

deacon 'at'


Professional affiliations and recent appointments

University Fellow, Resources for the Future

2008 Julian Simon Fellow, Property and Environment Research Center





Professional information

Recent CV


Natural resource economics (undergraduate)

Natural resource economics (graduate)

Microeconomic theory (graduate)

Environmental and resource econ workshop


PhD students supervised




Research topics

Natural resource economics, environmental economics, political economy. Since 2006 my research has focused on the use of property rights systems to manage fisheries and marine habitat protection. Other recent interests include examination of the effects that different political systems have on the use of natural resources, environmental quality and the provision of public goods.


Recent research papers


"Rent Seeking and the Resource Curse" (with Ashwin Rode) September 2012. (Prepared for edited volume on rent seeking.)

"Conservation Incentives and Collective Action Choices in Cooperative Fisheries" (with Dan Ovando, Sarah Lester, Christopher Costello, Tonya Van Leuvan, Karlynn McIlwain, Kent Strauss, Michael Arbuckle, Rod Fujita, Stefan Gelcich and Hirotsugu Uchida) Marine Policy (forthcoming 2013).

"Fishery Management by Harvester Cooperatives" Review of Environmental Economics and Policy Vol. 6, Issue 2 (Summer 2012) 258-277.

Reforming Fisheries: Lessons from a Self-selected Cooperative” (with Dominic P. Parker and Christopher Costello), Journal of Law and Economics (forthcoming, Feb. 2013).

"Fishery Cooperatives as a Management Institution" (with Dan Ovando) Jason Shogren, Ed., Encyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Elsevier Publishers (forthcoming 2013).

"Institutions, the Resource Curse and the Collapse Hypothesis” (April 17, 2012). PERC Research Paper No. 12/5. Available at SSRN: or

“The Political Economy of the Natural Resource Curse: A Survey of Theory and Evidence ” Foundations and Trends® in Microeconomics: Vol. 7: No 2 (2012) pp 111-208.

 “Regulated Incomplete Ownership, Capacity Restrictions and Rent Dissipation,” (with David Finnoff and John Tschirhart, University of Wyoming ), Resource and Energy Economics, 33 (2011) 366-380.

“Pathways to Fishery Reform: Accounting for Political Economy.” In Donald R. Leal, ed., Political Economy of Natural Resource Use: Lessons for Fishery Reform, forthcoming.

 “The Spatial Range of Public Goods Reveled through Referendum Voting” (with Felix Schlapfer, University of Zurich ), Environmental and Resource Economics, (2010) 47: 305-328.

“Public Good Provision under Dictatorship and DemocracyPublic Choice, Vol. 139, (2009) 241-262.

Creating Marine Assets: Property Rights in Ocean Fisheries, PERC Policy Series, No. 43, Property and Environment Research Center, Bozeman MT, January 2009.

“Encumbering Harvest Rights to Protect Marine Environments: A Model of Marine Conservation Easements” (with Dominic P. Parker), Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 53 (2009) 37-58.

“Improving Efficiency by Assigning Harvest Rights to Fishery Cooperatives: Evidence from the Chignik Salmon Co-op” (with Dominic P. Parker and Christopher Costello). Arizona Law Review, 50, 479 (Summer 2008).

“The Efficiency Gains from Fully Delineating Rights in an ITQ Fishery” (with Chris Costello). Marine Resource Economics Vol. 22 (2007) pp. 347-361.

“Strategies for Enhancing Efficiency in an ITQ Fishery” (with Chris Costello). (2009) In R. Arnason, ed. Advances in Property Rights Based Fisheries Management University of Iceland Press.

 “Public Good Provision by Dictatorships: A Survey” (with Sarani Saha). In A. F. Ott and R. J. Cebula, eds., The Companion in Public Economics: Empirical Public Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2006.


“Does the Environmental Kuznets Curve Describe How Individual Countries Behave?” (with Catherine S. Norman), Land Economics, May 2006.


“Political Economy and Natural Resource Use” (with Bernardo Mueller). In R. Lopez and M. Toman, Eds., The Environment and Sustainable Development, Oxford University Press, 2006.


“Is the environmental Kuznets curve an empirical regularity?” (with Catherine S. Norman). In R. Halvorsen and D. Layton, Frontiers of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Edward Elgar Publishers, U.K., 2007.


“Resource Intensity, Institutions, and Development” (with Erwin H. Bulte and Richard Damania), World Development, Vol. 33, No. 5 (July 2005.)


“A Note on the Measurement of Bias in Stated Willingness to Pay for Public Goods,” (with Felix Schlapfer and Nick Hanley) Kyklos, Vol. 58 (2005) No. 1, 145-152.


“Economics of Exhaustible Resources,” with Edmund Balsdon. Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier Publishers, 2002.


“Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources” (with Henning Bohn) American Economic Review Vol. 90, No. 3, (June 2000) 526-550.


“Valuing Beach Recreation Lost in Environmental Accidents,” with Charles Kolstad. Journal of Water Resource Planning and Management, Vol. 126 No. 6 (Nov./Dec. 2000) 374-381.





Less recent research papers


“Deforestation and Ownership: Evidence from Historical Accounts and Contemporary DataLand Economics, 71(3) August 1999.


"Research Trends and Opportunities in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics," (with D. S. Brookshire, A. C. Fisher, A. V. Kneese, C. D. Kolstad, D. Scrogin, V. K. Smith, M. Ward, and J. Wilen) Environmental and Resource Economics 11(3-4) 383-97 April 1998.)


"The Structure of an Environmental Transaction: The Debt-for-Nature Swap", (with Paul Murphy) Land Economics Vol. 73 (1) (February 1997) 1-25.


"Assessing the Relationship Between Government Policy and Deforestation", Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 28, 1995, 1-18.


"Incomplete Ownership, Rent Dissipation, and the Return to Related Investments", Economic Inquiry, Vol. XXXII, October 1994, 655-683.


"Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross Section of Countries", Land Economics, Vol. 70 , No. 4, November 1994, 414-430.


"Taxation, Depletion, and Welfare: A Simulation Study of the U. S. Petroleum Resource" Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 24, No. 2 (March 1993) 159-187.


"Price Controls and Rent Dissipation with Endogenous Transaction Costs" (with Jon Sonstelie) American Economic Review, Vol. 81, No. 5 (December 1991) 1361-1373.




Personal interests

Skiing, sailing, hiking, fishing, bicycling, traveling, nearly anything outdoors—
         almost always with my first mate, fishing pal, hike partner, Jennifer Deacon.