Daniel Phaneuf releases environmental economics textbook

A new book by Daniel Phaneuf, a Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, aims to familiarize students with an emerging field.

Titled “A Course in Environmental Economics: Theory, Policy, and Practice,” the graduate-level textbook explores themes integral to the field of study. Researchers in environmental economics study how people interact with the environment, and how regulations can be designed to achieve environmental policy goals.

According to Phaneuf, the two existing books that defined the field had become outdated and failed to cover many contemporary topics. The new textbook is an effort to tie together theory, empirical evidence, and policy in an accessible and comprehensive way. The textbook has garnered advance praise from Phaneuf’s peers in the field.

Calling the work a “synthesis of existing knowledge,” Phaneuf hopes graduate students will turn to the textbook to learn how the core canon of environmental economics developed.

Phaneuf co-authored the book with Till Requate, a Professor of Economics at the University of Kiel in Germany.

A native of Minnesota, Phaneuf earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University. Phaneuf’s interests are primarily in understanding the monetary value of environmental resources and statistical methods for use in environmental economics. His applied work has focused on water quality, land use, and invasive species, and he was the inaugural editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE).

Phaneuf says the experience writing the book has been rewarding both personally and professionally.

“I generally say that writing this book was the most intellectually satisfying thing I have done in my career,” Phaneuf says. “The opportunity to trace the field’s development has made me a better researcher and teacher.”

Watch an interview with Phaneuf below or on the Cambridge University Press website.