SS FORUM #5: Natural Resource Economics and Coastal Erosion Management

Event Type: 
Guest Lecture
Craig Landry, Associate Professor - Department of Economics, East Carolina University
Friday, December 7, 2012 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
1040 Dana
Event Sponsor: 
Center for Sustainable Systems
School of Natural Resources and Environment
Chrysler Corporation Fund


Natural Resource Economics provides tools for optimizing coupled economic and natural systems.  Dr. Landry reviews applications of dynamic optimization models applied to coastal erosion, focusing attention on estimates of benefits and costs of beach maintenance as inputs into these models.  He reviews the existing literature that attempts to measure the value of beach width as capitalized in the value of residential coastal housing.  Using data from Dare County, North Carolina (the ‘Outer Banks’) he explores specification issues in hedonic coastal property models, including:

     i) accounting for proximity to the shore in capturing the value of beaches as a local public good;

     ii) definition of ‘extent of the market’;

     iii) potential errors-in-variables stemming from the dynamic nature of beaches; and

     iv) spatial autocorrelation in hedonic regression models. 

In accord with previous research, he finds evidence of errors-in-variables, but the proffered explanations for this specification problem do not apply to the current dataset.  He explores whether spatial regression models can address this problem, or whether new formulations that allow for sorting of heterogeneous agents in the coastal property market might be needed.

Craig Landry received a B.S.A. and M.S. in Environmental Economics and Natural Resource Management from The University of Georgia in 1996 and 1998, respectively.  While at the UGA, he became interested in economic analysis of coastal erosion management and worked as research assistant on a FEMA-funded project to examine the impact of coastal erosion on the National Flood Insurance Program.  He earned a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics from The University of Maryland, College Park in 2004.  As part of his dissertation research, he applied methods of non-market valuation to assess the economic value of beaches, and he formulated dynamic optimization models to analyze coastal erosion management decisions.
Dr. Landry has secured nine external grants in the past eight years, including funding from the National Science Foundation, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the North Carolina Energy Center, and NC Sea Grant. External grant projects have focused on determinants of disaster migration and preference for rebuilding New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the impacts of coastal wind farms on recreation and tourism, economic impacts and value of the North Carolina for-hire recreational fishing fleet, individual risk perceptions and behavior in the context of tropical storms, and economic values for coastal erosion management, while bringing in over $650,000 in funding directly to ECU.
Dr. Landry has served as an Ad Hoc scientific peer reviewer on over 80 scholarly papers and research proposals and is current Associate Editor for Marine Resource Economics and Associate Editor of Behavioral & Social Science for The Natural Hazards Review.  He has served as dissertation advisor for four students in the Interdisciplinary Coastal Resources Management PhD program at ECU and served on many other student’s PhD and Master’s degree committees (including students in Economics, Recreation and Leisure Studies, and Sustainable Tourism).
Dr. Landry has over 25 peer-reviewed publications on various topics including individual decision making in the context of natural hazards risk, recreation demand, econometrics of non-market valuation, hedonic property price models, community hazard mitigation, and experimental analysis of individual charitable giving.  He is currently Assistant Director of the Center for Natural Hazards Research and recently took on a joint appointment with the Interdisciplinary Institute for Coastal Science and Policy at ECU.
His current research projects include an analysis of amenity and structural capitalization in coastal property rental and sales markets, assessing individual preferences for multi-hazard insurance coverage, understanding the relationship between beach quality and coastal property values, and assessing economic costs of beach replenishment operations.