Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Environment. Trained as an economist, he is focused on how the environment and natural resources, economic development, and a range of policies influence each other. Research accessible at AlexPfaff.comHe has studied: impacts on forests of protected areas, incentives, roads, railroads and concessions/certification (Brazil’s Amazon, Costa Rica, United States, Panama, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, Bolivia); institutional responses to water shocks (Brazil’s Northeast, Colombia, Mexico); drivers of harmful exposures (groundwater arsenic in Bangladesh, stove emissions in China & Pakistan); and incentives for firms to self-audit and disclose (United States). This applied research aims to increase the chance that policies have their intended impacts upon not only the environment but also the people affected.
- Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1995
- B.A., Yale University 1988
Robalino, J, Pfaff, A, and Villalobos, L. "Assessing the impact of institutional design of payments for environmental services: The costa rican experience." In Ecosystem Services from Agriculture and Agroforestry: Measurement and Payment, 305-318. January 1, 2012. Full Text
Pfaff, A, and Robalino, J. "Human choices and policies' impacts on ecosystem services: Improving evaluations of payment and park effects on conservation and carbon." In Avoided Deforestation: Prospects for Mitigating Climate Change, 192-207. April 2, 2009. Full Text
Robalino, JA, Pfaff, A, and Sanchez-Azofeifa, A. "Estimating spatial interactions in deforestation decisions." In Biodiversity Economics, 92-114. January 1, 2007. Full Text
Kerr, S, Liu, S, Pfaff, A, and Hughes, F. Carbon Dynamics and Land-use Choices: Building a Regional-scale Multidisciplinary Model. September 3, 2003.
Kerr, S, Hendy, J, Liu, S, and Pfaff, A. Tropical Forest Protection, Uncertainty, and the Environmental Integrity of Carbon Mitigation Policies..
Robalino, J, Pfaff, A, and Villalobos, L. Deforestation spillovers from Costa Rican protected areas..
Alpízar, F, Nordén, A, Pfaff, A, and Robalino, J. "Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate." Environmental and Resource Economics 67, no. 1 (May 2017): 181-202. Full Text
Alpízar, F, Nordén, A, Pfaff, A, and Robalino, J. "Spillovers from targeting of incentives: Exploring responses to being excluded." Journal of Economic Psychology 59 (April 2017): 87-98. Full Text
Pfaff, A, Santiago-Ávila, F, and Joppa, L. "Evolving Protected-Area Impacts in Mexico: Political Shifts as Suggested by Impact Evaluations." Forests 8, no. 1 (January 2017): 17-17. Full Text
Mandle, L, Bryant, BP, Ruckelshaus, M, Geneletti, D, Kiesecker, JM, and Pfaff, A. "Entry Points for Considering Ecosystem Services within Infrastructure Planning: How to Integrate Conservation with Development in Order to Aid Them Both." Conservation Letters 9, no. 3 (May 2016): 221-227. Full Text
Baylis, K, Honey-Rosés, J, Börner, J, Corbera, E, Ezzine-de-Blas, D, Ferraro, PJ, Lapeyre, R, Persson, UM, Pfaff, A, and Wunder, S. "Mainstreaming Impact Evaluation in Nature Conservation." Conservation Letters 9, no. 1 (January 2016): 58-64. Full Text
Pfaff, A, Vélez, MA, Ramos, PA, and Molina, A. "Framed field experiment on resource scarcity & extraction: Path-dependent generosity within sequential water appropriation." Ecological Economics 120 (December 2015): 416-429. Full Text
Pfaff, A, Robalino, J, Sandoval, C, and Herrera, D. "Protected area types, strategies and impacts in Brazil's Amazon: public protected area strategies do not yield a consistent ranking of protected area types by impact." Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences 370, no. 1681 (November 2015). Full Text
Blackman, A, Pfaff, A, and Robalino, J. "Paper park performance: Mexico's natural protected areas in the 1990s." Global Environmental Change 31 (March 2015): 50-61. Full Text Open Access Copy
Sills, EO, Herrera, D, Kirkpatrick, AJ, Brandão, A, Dickson, R, Hall, S, Pattanayak, S, Shoch, D, Vedoveto, M, Young, L, and Pfaff, A. "Estimating the Impacts of Local Policy Innovation: The Synthetic Control Method Applied to Tropical Deforestation." PloS one 10, no. 7 (January 2015): e0132590-. Full Text Open Access Copy
Pfaff, A, Robalino, J, Herrera, D, and Sandoval, C. "Protected Areas' Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation-Development Interactions to Inform Planning." PloS one 10, no. 7 (January 2015): e0129460-. Full Text Open Access Copy
Chen, Y, van Geen, A, Graziano, J, Pfaff, A, Cheng, Z, Slavkovich, V, Islam, T, Parvez, F, and Ahsan, H. "The effectiveness of a multidisciplinary community-based mitigation program in reducing arsenic exposure in Araihazar, Bangladesh." June 1, 2006.
van Geen, A, Trevisani, M, Immel, J, Gelman, A, Schoenfeld, A, Pfaff, A, and Ahmed, KM. "Targeting low-arsenic aquifers for the installation of community wells in Bangladesh." March 26, 2006.
Sustainable Landscapes and Forest Enterprise Cluster Program in Brazil awarded by Department of Agriculture (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2020
Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED2) awarded by Columbia University (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2015
Forest Impacts of Certification awarded by World Wildlife Fund (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015
Conservation Policy Impacts in Tropical Dry Forest awarded by Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2011
LBA Book Project awarded by Department of Agriculture (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2010