Environmental and natural resource economics, urban economics
Andrew Plantinga (Social Science Group)
Dissertation Title & Abstract
Essays in the Economics of Wildfire
This dissertation explores the economic consequences of wildfire and smoke in the United States. The third chapter, Wildfire smoke in the United States, examines regional and temporal trends in wildfire smoke impacts. It synthesizes research on health, economic, and behavioral impacts, proposing modifications to federal air quality regulations to address wildfire smoke. The second chapter, Wildfire, smoke, and outdoor recreation in the western United States, focuses on the effects of wildfire and smoke for outdoor recreation. The paper combines millions of administrative campground reservation records with daily satellite data on wildfire, smoke, and air pollution, finding that more than ten percent of available recreation days are affected by severe smoke in some regions. The first chapter, Non-market damages of wildfire smoke: evidence from administrative recreation data, exploits the dataset of the second chapter to provide among the first revealed preference estimates of smoke damages. A structural model of sequential recreation decisions finds that smoke reduces welfare by $107 per person per trip. Annually, more than 21.5 million outdoor visits in the western United States are affected by wildfire smoke, with welfare losses of $2.3 billion. These findings contribute to a growing body of evidence on the costs of wildfire smoke.
BA Economics, University of Puget Sound