Alexander Pfaff, Professor of Sanford School of Public Policy and Economics and Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy and Faculty Research Scholar of DuPRI's Population Research Center and Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative and Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Environment at Duke University. He studies how economic development affects and is affected by natural resources and the environment. His focus is on the impacts of conservation policies (such as protected areas, ecoservices payments, and certifications) and development policies (such as roads and rights). Those are functions of choices by individuals and communities that affect land use, water quantity and quality, human exposures (to arsenic, mercury, mining, and particulates), and both the provision and use of information.

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Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of Technology1995
B.A.Yale University1988

Development Economics

Acre • Arsenic • Carbon • Deforestation • Economics • Fuel • Indoor air pollution • Land use • Malaria • Policy • Protected areas • Toilets • Tropics • Uncertainty

Recent Publications

  1. Börner, J; Schulz, D; Wunder, S; Pfaff, A, The effectiveness of forest conservation policies and programs, Annual Review of Resource Economics, vol. 12 (October, 2020), pp. 45-64 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Keles, D; Delacote, P; Pfaff, A; Qin, S; Mascia, MB, What Drives the Erasure of Protected Areas? Evidence from across the Brazilian Amazon, Ecological Economics, vol. 176 (October, 2020) [doi]  [abs]
  3. Díaz, S; Settele, J; Brondízio, ES; Ngo, HT; Agard, J; Arneth, A; Balvanera, P; Brauman, KA; Butchart, SHM; Chan, KMA; Garibaldi, LA; Ichii, K; Liu, J; Subramanian, SM; Midgley, GF; Miloslavich, P; Molnár, Z; Obura, D; Pfaff, A; Polasky, S; Purvis, A; Razzaque, J; Reyers, B; Chowdhury, RR; Shin, Y-J; Visseren-Hamakers, I; Willis, KJ; Zayas, CN, Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change., Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 366 no. 6471 (December, 2019) [doi]  [abs]
  4. Rodriguez, LA; Pfaff, A; Velez, MA, Graduated stringency within collective incentives for group environmental compliance: Building coordination in field-lab experiments with artisanal gold miners in Colombia, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 98 (November, 2019) [doi]  [abs]
  5. Pfaff, A; Rodriguez, LA; Shapiro-Garza, E, Collective Local Payments for ecosystem services: New local PES between groups, sanctions, and prior watershed trust in Mexico, Water Resources and Economics, vol. 28 (October, 2019) [doi]  [abs]