Lori Snyder Bennear

Lori Snyder Bennear

Associate Professor in the Department of Economics

External Address: 
102K Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90467, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 613-8083

My research focuses on evaluating environmental policies and improving methods and techniques for conducting these evaluations. While the field of policy evaluation is a broad one, my specific niche is in bringing rigorous quantitative methods to evaluate environmental policy innovations along four dimensions.  (1) Evaluating the effectiveness of environmental policies and programs. This line of research uses statistical analysis to estimate the extent to which environmental policies such as information disclosure and management-based regulations actually improve corporate environmental performance, change household behavior, or improve individual environmental health indicators. (2) Evaluating strategic behavioral responses to non-traditional regulatory regimes. Environmental policies create incentives and in responding to these incentives, regulated entities sometimes behave strategically in ways that undermine program effectiveness.  This line of research seeks to illuminate these strategic behavioral responses and quantify the magnitude of their impact.  (3)  Assessing the distributional impacts of these new regulatory regimes. My research in this area evaluates whether innovations in regulatory policy result in uneven distribution of environmental impacts on lower income or minority communities.  (4)  Evaluating the role of program evaluation in environmental policy. My research identifies the barriers to and facilitators of increased use of evaluation in environmental policy.


  • Ph.D., Harvard University 2002
  • M.A., Yale University 1996

Smith, Martin D., Atle Oglend, A Justin Kirkpatrick, Frank Asche, Lori S. Bennear, J Kevin Craig, and James M. Nance. “Seafood prices reveal impacts of a major ecological disturbance.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 7 (February 2017): 1512–17. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1617948114. Full Text Open Access Copy

Golden, Jay S., John Virdin, Douglas Nowacek, Patrick Halpin, Lori Bennear, and Pawan G. Patil. “Making sure the blue economy is green.Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, no. 2 (January 24, 2017): 17. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-016-0017. Full Text

Purcell, Kevin M., J Kevin Craig, James M. Nance, Martin D. Smith, and Lori S. Bennear. “Fleet behavior is responsive to a large-scale environmental disturbance: Hypoxia effects on the spatial dynamics of the northern Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery.Plos One 12, no. 8 (January 2017): e0183032. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183032. Full Text

Cunningham, S., L. S. Bennear, and M. D. Smith. “Spillovers in regional fisheries management: Do catch shares cause leakage?Land Economics 92, no. 2 (May 1, 2016): 344–62. https://doi.org/10.3368/le.92.2.344. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bennear, L. S. “Offshore oil and gas drilling: A review of regulatory regimes in the United States, United Kingdom, and Norway.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 9, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 2–22. https://doi.org/10.1093/reep/reu013. Full Text

Balasubramanya, Soumya, Alexander Pfaff, Lori Bennear, Alessandro Tarozzi, Kazi Matin Ahmed, Amy Schoenfeld, and Alexander van Geen. “Evolution of households' responses to the groundwater arsenic crisis in Bangladesh: information on environmental health risks can have increasing behavioral impact over time.Environment and Development Economics 19, no. 5 (October 2014): 631–47. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1355770x13000612. Full Text

Smith, M. D., F. Asche, L. S. Bennear, and A. Oglend. “Spatial-dynamics of hypoxia and fisheries: The case of Gulf of Mexico brown shrimp.” Marine Resource Economics 29, no. 2 (January 1, 2014): 111–31. https://doi.org/10.1086/676826. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kirkpatrick, A. J., and L. S. Bennear. “Promoting clean energy investment: An empirical analysis of property assessed clean energy.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 68, no. 2 (January 1, 2014): 357–75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2014.05.001. Full Text

Smith, Martin D., Frank Asche, Lori S. Bennear, Elizabeth Havice, Andrew J. Read, and Dale Squires. “Will a catch share for whales improve social welfare?Ecological Applications : A Publication of the Ecological Society of America 24, no. 1 (January 2014): 15–23. https://doi.org/10.1890/13-0085.1. Full Text Open Access Copy

Bennear, L. S., J. M. Lee, and L. O. Taylor. “Municipal rebate programs for environmental retrofits: An evaluation of additionality and cost-effectiveness.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 32, no. 2 (March 1, 2013): 350–72. https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.21692. Full Text


Balleisen, E. J., J. Wiener, K. Krawiec, and L. Bennear, eds. Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents, and Financial Crises. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316492635. Full Text

Balleisen, E. J., L. S. Bennear, D. Cheang, J. Free, M. Hayes, E. Pechar, and A. C. Preston. “Institutional mechanisms for investigating the regulatory implications of a major crisis: The commission of inquiry and the safety board.” In Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents and Financial Crises, 485–539, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316492635.017. Full Text

Balleisen, E. J., L. S. Bennear, K. D. Krawiec, and J. B. Wiener. “Recalibrating risk: Crises, learning, and regulatory change.” In Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents and Financial Crises, 540–61, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316492635.018. Full Text

Balleisen, E. J., L. S. Bennear, K. D. Krawiec, and J. B. Wiener. “Introduction.” In Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents and Financial Crises, 1–40, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316492635.001. Full Text

Bennear, L. S. “Economic analysis, risk regulation, and the dynamics of policy regret.” In Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents and Financial Crises, 43–57, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316492635.002. Full Text

Bennear, Lori Snyder, and Cary Coglianese. “Flexible Environmental Regulation,” 2012.

Bennear, L. S. “Beyond belts and suspenders: Promoting private risk management in offshore drilling.” In Regulatory Breakdown: The Crisis of Confidence in U.S. Regulation, 9780812207491:49–67, 2012.

Bennear, L. S., and S. M. Olmstead. “Information Disclosure and Drinking Water Quality.” In Issues of the Day: 100 Commentaries on Climate, Energy, the Environment, Transportation, and Public Health Policy, 122–23. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future Press, 2010.

Bennear, L. S. “Evaluating management-based regulation: A valuable tool in the regulatory toolbox?” In Leveraging the Private Sector: Management-Based Strategies for Improving Environmental Performance, 51–86, 2006. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781936331444. Full Text

Bennear, L. S., and C. Coglianese. “Program Evaluation of Environmental Policies: Toward Evidence-Based Decision Making.” In Decision Making for the Environment:  Social and Behavioral Science Research Priorities, edited by G. D. Brewer and P. C. Stern. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2005.

Bennear, Lori Snyder, and Cary Coglianese. “Evaluating Environmental Policies,” November 1, 2004.

Dickinson, Katherine, and Lori Snyder Bennear. “Incorporating Evaluation into the Regulatory Process,” 2011.

Bennear, Lori Snyder, and Martin D. Smith. “Success or Selection? An Economic Perspective on Fisheries Co-Management,” April 1, 2011.

Selected Grants

Measuring the Effects of Hypoxia on the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Fishery awarded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Co-Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2014

Collaborative Research: The Impacts of the "Right to Know": Information Disclosure and Drinking Water Quality awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2010

An Integrative Investigation of the Sources and Effects of Groundwater Contamination for Local Communities awarded by Department of Agriculture (Co-Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2009

Corporate Responses to Information Disclosure awarded by Environmental Protection Agency (Co Investigator). 2006 to 2009