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Martin D. Smith, George M. Woodwell Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics

Martin D. Smith

Smith studies the economics of the oceans, including fisheries, marine ecosystems, seafood markets, and coastal climate adaptation. He has written on a range of policy-relevant topics, including economics of marine reserves, seasonal closures in fisheries, ecosystem-based management, catch shares, nutrient pollution, aquaculture, genetically modified foods, the global seafood trade, organic agriculture, coastal property markets, and coastal responses to climate change. He is best known for identifying unintended consequences of marine and coastal policies that ignore human behavioral feedbacks. Smith’s methodological interests span micro-econometrics, optimal control theory, time series analysis, and numerical modeling of coupled human-natural systems. Smith’s published work appears in The American Economic Review, Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and a number of other scholarly journals that span environmental economics, fisheries science, marine policy, ecology, and the geo-sciences. Smith has received national and international awards, including the Quality of Research Discovery from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Outstanding Article in Marine Resource Economics, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and the Research Council of Norway. Smith has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Marine Resource Economics, Co-Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Co-Editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He served as a member of the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and currently serves on the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  9 Circuit Drive, Grainger Hall 4116, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 613-8028
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:


Ph.D.University of California - Davis2001
B.A.Stanford University1992

Public Economics
Research Interests: natural resource economics

Current projects: evaluating the economic impacts of marine reserves for fisheries management, analyzing behavioral heterogeneity and dynamic decision-making of individual commercial fishermen, using portfolio theory to guide ecosystem-based management of fisheries, estimating the costs of estuarine pollution with a bioeconomic predator-prey model, empirical modeling of beach nourishment decisions and the dynamics of coastline change

Professor Smith earned his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Davis and joined the Duke faculty in 2001. He is an associate editor of Marine Resource Economics. His research focuses on spatial issues in natural resource use and management with a particular emphasis on the economics of marine resources. Combining econometric analysis of individual resource use decisions with bioeconomic modeling, he strives to understand human impacts on the resource base and the dynamics of these coupled human-natural systems.

Areas of Interest:

behavioral economics
discrete choice econometrics
spatial modeling and econometrics


Animals, Genetically Modified • Aquaculture • Bioeconomics • Climate adaptation • Climate Change • Conservation of Natural Resources • Coupled human and natural system • Dietary Proteins • Econometrics • Ecosystem • Environmental economics • Fish Products • Fisheries • Food, Genetically Modified • Malnutrition • Marine policy • Optimal control theory • Population Dynamics • Public Health • Seafood

Curriculum Vitae
Working Papers   (More Publications)

  1. L.S. Bennear, M.D. Smith, Success or Selection? An economic perspective on fisheries co-management (2011)
  2. Asche, F. and M.D. Smith, Trade and Fisheries: Key Issues for the World Trade Organization (2009) (Technical Report Commissioned by the WTO, 61 pp..)
Representative Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Smith, MD, The New Fisheries Economics: Incentives Across Many Margins, Annual Review of Resource Economics, vol. 4 no. 1 (2012), pp. 379-+, ANNUAL REVIEWS, ISSN 1941-1340 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  2. M.D. Smith, Review of Fisheries Management: Pandemic Failure and Workable Solutions (by Giulio Pontecorvo and William Schrank., Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley UK 2009), International Journal of Maritime History, vol. 22 (2010), pp. 351-52,
  3. Huang, L. and M.D. Smith, The Dynamic Efficiency Costs of Common-pool Resource Exploitation (Submitted, 2010)
  4. Asche, F. and M.D. Smith, Trade and Fisheries: Key Issues for the World Trade Organization (2009) (Technical Report Commissioned by the WTO, 61 pp..)
  5. Klonsky, K; Smith, MD, Entry and exit in California's organic farming sector, in Economics of Pesticides, Sustainable Food Production and Organic Food Markets, Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources, edited by D.C. Hall & L.J. Moffitt, Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources, vol. 4 (December, 2002), pp. 139-165, New York: Elsevier Science, ISSN 1569-3740  [abs]
  6. Williams, Z.C., D. McNamara, S. Gopalakrishnan, M.D. Smith, and A.B. Murray, A Coupled Economic-Coastline Model Modeling with Free Riders and Suckers, J Geophys Res (2013)
  7. Tveterås, S., F. Asche, M.F. Bellemare, M.D. Smith, A.G. Guttormsen, A. Lem, K. Lien, S. Vannuccini, Fish Is Food - The FAO Fish Price Index, PLoS ONE, vol. 7(5): e36731 (2012) [journal.pone.0036731]
  8. L.S. Bennear, M.D. Smith, Success or Selection? An economic perspective on fisheries co-management (2011)
  9. M.D. Smith, Review of Climate Change and the Economics of the World’s Fisheries: Examples of Small Pelagic Stocks (Edited by Rögnvaldur Hannesson, Manuael Barange, and Samuel F. Herrick Jr., Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2006), International Journal of Maritime History (2007) (19:476-78.)
  10. Smith, MD, Reflections on Marine Resource Economics: Editor’s Introduction, Marine Resource Economics, vol. 27 no. 3 (September, 2012), pp. 197-201, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0738-1360 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  11. Smith, MD; Gopalakrishnan, S, Prices and Quantities to Control Overfishing (July, 2011)  [abs]
  12. Murray, AB; Gopalakrishnan, S; McNamara, D; Smith, MD, Progress in Coupling Models of Human and Coastal Landscape Change, Computers & Geosciences (2011)
  13. M.D. Smith, Review of The Economics of Conserving Wildlife and Natural Areas (by C. Tisdell),, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, vol. 47 no. 3 (2003), pp. 418-420
  14. Smith, M.D., F. Asche, L.S. Bennear, E. Havice, A.J. Read, and D. Squires, A catch share for whales is unlikely to improve social welfare, Ecol Appl (Submitted, 2013)
  15. Huang, L; Nichols, LAB; Craig, JK; Smith, MD, Measuring Welfare Losses from Hypoxia: The Case of North Carolina Brown Shrimp, Marine Resource Economics, vol. 27 no. 1 (2012), pp. 3-23, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0738-1360 [doi]  [abs]
  16. Squires, D. K. Carden, A. Khan, M.D. Smith, and N. Vestergaard, Rethinking Marine Conservation from Solving the Commons Problem to Provision of Impure Public Goods (Submitted, 2013)
  17. Asche, F; Bennear, LS; Oglend, A; Smith, MD, U.S. Shrimp Market Integration, Marine Resource Economics, vol. 27 no. 2 (2012), pp. 181-192, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0738-1360 [doi]  [abs]
  18. Conrad, JM; Smith, MD, Non-spatial and spatial models in bioeconomics, Natural Resource Modeling, vol. 25 no. 1 (2011), pp. 52-92, WILEY, ISSN 0890-8575 [doi]  [abs]
  19. Zhang, J; Smith, MD, Estimation of a generalized fishery model: A two-stage approach, The Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 93 no. 2 (2011), pp. 690-699, MIT Press - Journals, ISSN 0034-6535 [REST_a_00075], [doi]  [abs]
  20. Gopalakrishnan, S; Smith, MD; Slott, JM; Murray, AB, The Value of Disappearing Beaches: A Hedonic Model with Endogenous Beach Width, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 61 no. 3 (2011), pp. 297-310, ISSN 0095-0696 [S0095069610001221], [doi]  [abs]
  21. McNamara, D; Murray, AB; Smith, MD, Coastal sustainability depends on how economic and coastline responses to climate change affect each other, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 38 no. 7 (2010), pp. n/a-n/a, American Geophysical Union (AGU), ISSN 0094-8276 [doi]  [abs]
  22. Huang, L; Smith, MD, Management of an Annual Fishery in the Presence of Ecological Stress: The Case of Shrimp and Hypoxia, Ecological Economics, vol. 70 no. 4 (2011), pp. 688-697, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0921-8009 [doi]  [abs]
  23. Zhang, J; Smith, MD, Heterogeneous Response to Marine Reserve Formation: A Sorting Model Approach, Environ & Resource Econ, vol. 49 no. 3 (2011), pp. 311-325, Springer Nature, ISSN 0924-6460 [00009434], [doi]  [abs]
  24. Smith, MD; Crowder, LB, Valuing Ecosystem Services with Fishery Rents: A Lumped-Parameter Approach to Hypoxia in the Neuse River Estuary, Sustainability, vol. 3 no. 11 (2011), pp. 2229-2267, MDPI AG, ISSN 2071-1050 [pdf], [doi]  [abs]
  25. Lazarus, ED; McNamara, DE; Smith, MD; Gopalakrishnan, S; Murray, AB, Emergent behavior in a coupled economic and coastline model for beach nourishment, Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, vol. 18 no. 6 (December, 2011), pp. 989-999, Copernicus GmbH, ISSN 1023-5809 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]  [abs]
  26. Smith, MD; Asche, F; Guttormsen, AG; Wiener, JB, Genetically Modified Salmon and Full Impact Assessment, Science, vol. 330 no. 6007 (November, 2010), pp. 1052-1053 [21097923], [doi]
  27. Smith, MD; Roheim, CA; Crowder, LB; Halpern, BS; Turnipseed, M; Anderson, JL; Asche, F; Bourillón, L; Guttormsen, AG; Khan, A; Liguori, LA; McNevin, A; O'Connor, MI; Squires, D; Tyedmers, P; Brownstein, C; Carden, K; Klinger, DH; Sagarin, R; Selkoe, KA, Economics. Sustainability and global seafood., Science, vol. 327 no. 5967 (February, 2010), pp. 784-786 [20150469], [doi]
  28. Smith, MD; Lynham, J; Sanchirico, JN; Wilson, JA, Political economy of marine reserves: understanding the role of opportunity costs., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 107 no. 43 (October, 2010), pp. 18300-18305 [20133732], [doi]  [abs]
  29. Smith, MD, Toward an Econometric Foundation for Marine Ecosystem-based Management, Bulletin of Marine Science, vol. 86 no. 2 (2010), pp. 461-477, ISSN 0007-4977  [abs]
  30. Huang, L; Smith, MD; Craig, JK, Quantifying the Economic Effects of Hypoxia on a Fishery for Brown Shrimp, Farfantepenaeus aztecus, Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, vol. 2 no. 1 (2010), pp. 232-248, WILEY, ISSN 1942-5120 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]  [abs]
  31. Smith, MD; Sanchirico, JN; Wilen, JE, The economics of spatial-dynamic processes: Applications to renewable resources, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 57 no. 1 (2009), pp. 104-121, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0095-0696 [001], [doi]  [abs]
  32. Smith, MD; Slott, JM; McNamara, D; Murray, AB, Beach nourishment as a dynamic capital accumulation problem, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 58 no. 1 (2009), pp. 58-71, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0095-0696 [doi]  [abs]
  33. Sanchirico, JN; Smith, MD; Lipton, DW, An empirical approach to ecosystem-based fishery management, Ecological Economics, vol. 64 no. 3 (2008), pp. 586-596, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0921-8009 [pdf], [doi]  [abs]
  34. Smith, MD; Wilen, JE, Correlated Risk Preferences and Behavior of Commercial Fishermen: The Perfect Storm/Dilemma, The Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, vol. 31 no. 1 (2005), pp. 53-71 [risk.pdf]
  35. Smith, MD; Zhang, J; Coleman, FC, Econometric Modeling of Fisheries with Complex Life Histories: Avoiding Biological Management Failures, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 55 no. 3 (2008), pp. 265-280, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0095-0696 [003], [doi]  [abs]
  36. Slott, JM; Smith, MD; Murray, AB, Synergies Between Adjacent Beach-Nourishing Communities in a Morpho-economic Coupled Coastline Model, Coastal Management, vol. 36 no. 4 (2008), pp. 374-391, Informa UK Limited, ISSN 0892-0753 [doi]  [abs]
  37. Smith, MD, Bioeconometrics: Empirical Modeling of Bioeconomic Systems, Marine Resource Economics, vol. 23 no. 1 (2008), pp. 1-23, University of Chicago Press, ISSN 0738-1360 [doi]  [abs]
  38. Liese, C; Smith, MD; Kramer, RA, Open access in a spatially delineated artisanal fishery: The case of Minahasa, Indonesia, Environment and Development Economics, vol. 12 no. 1 (2007), pp. 123-143, Cambridge University Press (CUP), ISSN 1355-770X [repository], [doi]  [abs]
  39. Smith, MD, Generating value in habitat-dependent fisheries: The importance of fishery management institutions, Land Economics, vol. 83 no. 1 (2007), pp. 59-73, University of Wisconsin Press, ISSN 0023-7639 [pdf], [doi]  [abs]
  40. Smith, MD; Zhang, J; Coleman, FC, Structural Modeling of Marine Reserves with Bayesian Estimation, Marine Resource Economics, vol. 22 no. 131-46 (2007), pp. 121-136, University of Chicago Press [pdf], [doi]  [abs]
  41. Smith, MD; Zhang, J; Coleman, FC, Effectiveness of Marine Reserves for Large-Scale Fisheries Management, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol. 63 no. 1 (2006), pp. 153-164, Canadian Science Publishing, ISSN 0706-652X [et%20al%20Effectiveness%20Marine%20Reserves%20CJFAS%202006.pdf], [doi]  [abs]
  42. Smith, MD, State Dependence and Heterogeneity in Fishing Location Choice, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 50 no. 2 (2005), pp. 319-340, Elsevier BV [pdf], [doi]  [abs]

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