Richard T. Carson is professor in, and former chair of, the Department of Economics at the University of California-San Diego. He is immediate past president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and Senior Fellow at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He previously served as research director for International Environmental Policy at the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.
Richard received a Ph.D. in Resource Economics and an MA in Statistics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1985, and an MA in International Relations from George Washington University in 1979.
Richard has extensive experience in the assessment of the benefits and costs of environmental policies. His specialty is valuing non-marketed and new goods using a wide array of techniques, including contingent valuation, hedonic pricing, and the household production method.
For U.S. EPA, he has estimated the benefits of the U.S. Clean Water Act, removing low-level carcinogens from drinking water, protecting groundwater aquifers and health and visibility improvements due to air-quality changes. He constructed models used by the State of Alaska to estimate economic gains and losses associated with changing fishery management practices.
For other government agencies, Richard has examined the benefits of visibility improvements in the Grand Canyon, preventing residential water shortages in California cities, restoring Everglades National Park, and the addition of the Kakadu Conservation Zone to Kakadu National Park in Australia. He served as principal investigator on the economic damage assessments for the Exxon Valdez oil spill for the State of Alaska, the Southern Pacific Railroad Sacramento River spill for the State of California, and large-scale DDT and PCB contamination off the coast of Los Angeles for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Richard is a frequent commentator on natural disasters. His econometric research has focused on discrete choice and limited dependent variable models, experimental and sampling designs, imputing missing values, and robust statistical techniques. He has designed surveys to collect data in a number of applied fields. He has been a consultant to a number of nonprofit organizations, major corporations, and government agencies, including the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Battelle Memorial Institute, the California Attorney General's Office, the California Department of Fish and Game, the Electric Power Research Institute, Environment Canada, the Interamerican Development Bank, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Research Triangle Institute, the Resource Assessment Commission (Australia), the Salt River Project, the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Forest Service, and the World Bank.
Richard has been a visiting professor at the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Continuing Consultant at Resources for the Future. He served as a member of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Oil Spill Research and Development and as a member of an academy committee reviewing procedures for water-resource project planning procedures. He served as program chair for the Second World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists.
Richard's publications appear in the American Economic Review, the American Political Science Review, Ecological Economics, Environment and Development Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Journal of Environmental Management, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, the Journal of Urban Economics, Land Economics, Marketing Letters, the Natural Resources Journal, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Public Opinion Quarterly, the Review of Economics and Statistics, Risk Analysis, Water Resources Research, and other professional journals and edited volumes.
Richard's recent books include Both Sides of the Border: Transboundary Environmental Management Issues Facing Mexico and the United States; Economic Valuation with Stated Preference Techniques: A Manual; and Valuing Oil Spill Prevention: A Case Study of California's Central Coast. He is co-author with Robert Mitchell of Using Surveys to Value Public Goods: The Contingent Valuation Method, which won the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists' "Publication of Enduring Quality" award.