Steven E. Sexton, Mark and Lynne Florian Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Assistant Professor of Economics

Steven E. Sexton

Sexton holds a Ph.D. in environmental and resource economics from UC Berkeley and is assistant professor of public policy and economics at Duke University. He is also a faculty fellow of the Duke University Energy Initiative. His research focuses on energy industry organization and energy policy, as well as environmental and transportation policy, particularly as they pertain to carbon emissions reductions. Relying on econometric methods and insights from behavioral economics, Sexton has evaluated air pollution control policy, policy for rooftop solar technology adoption, the environmental impacts of local foods and genetically engineered crops, and household electricity consumption. Current areas of interest include shale resource development and renewable technology adoption. His research is published in leading economics and environmental economics journals, including Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. His research has been featured by U.S. and international media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Der Spiegel, The Australian,, Elle Australia, and Men’s Health. A past contributor to the Freakonomics blog, he is a former Executive Fellow in the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Office Location:  201 Science Drive, Rm 252, Box 90312, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 613-9348
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Spring 2022):


Ph.D.University of California - Berkeley2012
M.S.University of California - Berkeley2009
A.B.University of California - Berkeley2004

Agricultural biotechnology • Air pollution control industry • Biofuels • Biotechnology • Energy development • Energy policy • Environmental economics • Food security • Genetic Engineering • Natural gas vehicles • Oil-shale industry • Pesticides • Policy • Productivity • Solar energy policy • Urban transportation policy

Recent Publications

  1. Harding, M; Sexton, S, Household Response to Time-Varying Electricity Prices, Annual Review of Resource Economics, vol. 9 no. 1 (October, 2017), pp. 337-359, ANNUAL REVIEWS [doi]  [abs]
  2. Sexton, S, Automatic Bill Payment and Salience Effects: Evidence from Electricity Consumption, The Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 97 no. 2 (May, 2015), pp. 229-241, MIT Press - Journals, ISSN 0034-6535 [doi]
  3. Sexton, SE; Sexton, AL, Conspicuous conservation: The Prius halo and willingness to pay for environmental bona fides, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 67 no. 3 (January, 2014), pp. 303-317, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0095-0696 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Barrows, G; Sexton, S; Zilberman, D, The Impact of Agricultural Biotechnology on Supply and Land-Use (June, 2013)  [abs]
  5. Sexton, SE, Paying for Pollution? How General Equilibrium Effects Undermine the "Spare the Air" Program, Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 53 no. 4 (January, 2012), pp. 553-575, Springer Nature, ISSN 0924-6460 [doi]  [abs]