duke university, sanford school of public policy

environmental & natural resource economist

(919) 613-9240


Outreach (with Reviews)

Land Use & Climate Mitigation
Water & Climate Adaptation
Air Quality & Energy Use
Information & Audits


Land Use & Climate Mitigation


Pfaff, A.*, E.O. Sills, G.S. Amacher, M.J. Coren, K. Lawlor, C. Streck (2009). “Policy Impacts on Deforestation: lessons from past experiences to inform new initiatives”. Copenhagen Draft with Executive Summary Reviews literature on international and domestic conservation and development policy impacts on forest loss (for REDD but more evidence on deforestation than on degradation).


Joppa, L.* and A. Pfaff* (2010). “Re-assessing the forest impacts of protection: the challenge of non-random protection & a corrective method”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1185:135–149. Reviews literature on parks' impacts on deforestation, with discussion and examples of the approach I am taking with others.


Pfaff, A.* , A. Barbieri, T. Ludewigs, F. Merry, S. Perz and E.J. Reis (2009).  “Road Impacts in Brazilian Amazonia” chapter proof in the book announcement Keller, M., M. Bustamente, J. Gash and P. Dias, eds.,  Amazonia and Global Change. American Geophysical Union. Reviews Amazonian road impacts research with authors from leading research groups.


Robalino, J. and A. Pfaff (2009). “Mapping success in protecting forests: for Costa Rica's parks and reserves, a threatened location is the key to effectively avoiding deforestation”. EfD Policy Brief Summarizes paper on protected area impacts in Costa Rica. Emphasizes deforestation impacts vary with location characteristics. Suggests policy makers can increase deforestation impacts by targeting.


Andam, K. *, P. Ferraro*, A. Pfaff and A. Sanchez (2007). “Protected Areas and Avoided Deforestation: A Statistical Evaluation”.  Report of GEF (the Global Environmental Facility of World Bank & UNEP) Summarizes reasons for and application of matching approch to estimating protected area impacts. Compares application to Costa Rica with previous evaluations in light of typical challenges.


Meyerson, L.A, J. Baron, , J. Melillo, R.J. Naiman, R. O'Malley, G. Orians, M. Palmer, A. Pfaff., S.W. Running, O. Sala. (2005). “Aggregate Measures of Ecosystem Services:  can we take the pulse of nature?” Frontiers in Ecology 3(1):56-59 Discusses challenges for the quantification of ecosystem services at national scale.


Water & Climate Adaptation


Ahmed, M.F. *, S. Ahuja, M. Alauddin, S.J. Hug, J.R. Lloyd, A. Pfaff, T. Pichler, C. Saltikov, M. Stute and A. van Geen* (2006). “Ensuring Safe Drinking Water in Bangladesh”. Science 314: 1687-88 Summarizes past exposure to arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh as well as both past and potential future exposure reduction. Emphasis the important of well testing.


Madajewicz M.* and A. Pfaff* (2004). “Social Survey Data”, in Rosenboom, J. ed. Not Just Red or Green: an analysis of arsenic data from 15 upazilas of Bangladesh. UNICEF Arsenic Policy Support Unit. UNICEF Bangladesh, with NGOs, conducted surveys to assess the impact of arsenic contamination: the baseline was conducted between July and September of 2001; the follow-up took place in March-May 2002. In the period between surveys, UNICEF and others carried out dissemination programs to make people aware of the problems associated with arsenic contamination. The primary objective of this report is to ascertain whether dissemination increased the level of arsenic related awareness and knowledge.


Pfaff A.*, K. Broad* and M.H. Glantz* (1999). “Who benefits from seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts?”  Nature 397(6721):645-646, February 25th The effective and equitable dissemination of climate forecasts is as important and challenging as their accuracy. During El Nino 1997-98, Peruvian fisheries showed the need to understand forecast use and all parties’ interests.


Taddei R.*, K. Broad and A. Pfaff (forthcoming). “Integrating Climate and Water Management in Ceará:  background, social and legal structures, and implications” in IRI-FUNCEME Ceará Project book.draft We focus on two societal aspects related to water resource management: first, the sociopolitical universe that frames water allocation; and second, the actual patterns of water use by different groups and how water scarcity affects socio-economic structures and processes.


Air Quality & Use


Pattanayak, S.K*  and A. Pfaff* (2009). “Behavior, Environment and Health in Developing Countries: evaluation and valuation”.  Annual Review of Resource Economics 1:183-217 Considers health and environmental quality in developing countries, focusing on four issues resolved in rich countries. Following a general model of household behavior, we suggest informing households may achieve a lot for the issue of groundwater arsenic yet, for the three infectious issues (respiratory, diarrhea, and malaria) community coordination and public provision may also be necessary. We discuss valuation of externalities and evaluation of public policies.


Mueller, V. *, A. Pfaff*, J. Peabody, Y. Liu, T. Riddell and K.R. Smith. “Evaluating Impacts of Improved Stoves in China on Self Reported Health Using Matching”. (presented at ASSA 1/08, AERE 6/08) Demonstrates that typical stove-impact evaluations can steer policy decisions wrong by generating the wrong rankings of impact across options.


Information & Audits


Yin, H. *, A. Pfaff and H.C. Kunreuther (2010). “Can Environmental Insurance Succeed Where Others Fail? the case of underground storage tanks”. Mimeo, University of Pennsylvania. Environmental insurance can achieve social efficiency even when two traditional policy instruments – ex post fines and risk-management mandates with ex ante fines – do not. The evolution of Underground Storage Tank programs suggests that despite the hurdles for novel insurance products, mandating environmental insurance can succeed. Insurance can avoid bankruptcy problems and the burden on a regulator is low if all it has to do is confirm that the firm has insurance.


Graff Zivin J.* and A. Pfaff* (2004).  “To Err on Humans is not Benign:  Incentives for Adoption of Medical Error Reporting Systems”. Journal of Health Economics 23:935-949 Errors have led policy makers to advocate medical error reporting. Health providers fear reported information would be used against them.We propose a re-design in which penalties are a function of a provider’s reporting efforts to overcome this incentive problem.




Pfaff A.* and R.N. Stavins* (1999).  “Readings in the Field of Natural Resource and Environmental Economics”.  SSRN Working Paper (2,156 downloads as of 4/14/09)  PDF file