Martin D. Smith

Martin D. Smith

Professor in the Department of Economics

External Address: 
9 Circuit Drive, Grainger Hall 4116, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708-0328
(919) 613-8028

Smith studies the economics of the oceans, including fisheries, marine ecosystems, seafood markets, and coastal climate adaptation. He has written on a range of policy-relevant topics, including economics of marine reserves, seasonal closures in fisheries, ecosystem-based management, catch shares, nutrient pollution, aquaculture, genetically modified foods, the global seafood trade, organic agriculture, coastal property markets, and coastal responses to climate change. He is best known for identifying unintended consequences of marine and coastal policies that ignore human behavioral feedbacks. Smith’s methodological interests span micro-econometrics, optimal control theory, time series analysis, and numerical modeling of coupled human-natural systems. Smith’s published work appears in The American Economic Review, Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and a number of other scholarly journals that span environmental economics, fisheries science, marine policy, ecology, and the geo-sciences. Smith has received national and international awards, including the Quality of Research Discovery from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Outstanding Article in Marine Resource Economics, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and the Research Council of Norway. Smith has served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Marine Resource Economics, Co-Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Co-Editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He served as a member of the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and currently serves on the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies.


  • Ph.D., University of California at Davis 2001
  • B.A., Stanford University 1992

Smith, Martin D., John Lynham, James N. Sanchirico, and James A. Wilson. “Political economy of marine reserves: understanding the role of opportunity costs.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107, no. 43 (October 26, 2010): 18300–305. Full Text

Smith, M. D. “Toward an econometric foundation for marine ecosystem-based management.” Bulletin of Marine Science 86, no. 2 (April 1, 2010): 461–77.

Smith, Martin D., Cathy A. Roheim, Larry B. Crowder, Benjamin S. Halpern, Mary Turnipseed, James L. Anderson, Frank Asche, et al. “Economics. Sustainability and global seafood.Science 327, no. 5967 (February 12, 2010): 784–86. Full Text

Smith, M. D., J. M. Slott, D. McNamara, and A. B. Murray. “Beach nourishment as a dynamic capital accumulation problem.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 58, no. 1 (2009): 58–71. Full Text

Smith, M. D., J. N. Sanchirico, and J. E. Wilen. “The economics of spatial-dynamic processes: Applications to renewable resources.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 57, no. 1 (2009): 104–21. Full Text

Slott, J., M. D. Smith, and A. B. Murray. “Synergies between adjacent beach-nourishing communities in a morpho-economic coupled coastline model.” Coastal Management 36, no. 4 (December 1, 2008): 374–91. Full Text

Smith, M. D., J. Zhang, and F. C. Coleman. “Econometric modeling of fisheries with complex life histories: Avoiding biological management failures.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 55, no. 3 (May 1, 2008): 265–80. Full Text

Sanchirico, J. N., M. D. Smith, and D. W. Lipton. “An empirical approach to ecosystem-based fishery management.” Ecological Economics 64, no. 3 (January 15, 2008): 586–96. Full Text

Smith, M. D. “Bioeconometrics: Empirical modeling of bioeconomic systems.” Marine Resource Economics 23, no. 1 (January 1, 2008): 1–23. Full Text

Sanchirico, J. N., M. D. Smith, and D. W. Lipton. “Managing Fish Portfolios.” Resources, December 2007.