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

Wiener, J., K. Saterson, N. Christensen, R. Jackson, R. Kramer, S. Pimm, and M. Smith. “Editorial, Disconnects in Evaluating the Relative Effectiveness of Conservation Strategies.” Conservation Biology 18 (2004): 597–99.

Smith, M. D. “The economics of conserving wildlife and natural areas.” Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 47, no. 3 (September 1, 2003): 418–20.

Smith, M. D., and J. E. Wilen. “Economic impacts of marine reserves: The importance of spatial behavior.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 46, no. 2 (January 1, 2003): 183–206. Full Text

Klonsky, K., and M. D. Smith. “Entry and exit in California's organic farming sector.” Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources 4 (December 1, 2002): 139–65.

Wilen, J. E., M. D. Smith, D. Lockwood, and L. W. Botsford. “Avoiding surprises: Incorporating fisherman behavior into management models.” Bulletin of Marine Science 70, no. 2 (March 1, 2002): 553–75.

Smith, Martin D., and James Wilen. “The Marine Environment: Fencing the Last Frontier.” Review of Agricultural Economics 24 (2002): 31–42.

Smith, M. D. “Spatial search and fishing location choice: Methodological challenges of empirical modeling.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 82, no. 5 (January 1, 2000): 1198–1206. Full Text

Gopalakrishnan, S., D. McNamara, M. D. Smith, and A. B. Murray. “Decentralized Management Hinders Coastal Climate Adaptation: The Spatial-dynamics of Beach Nourishment.” Environmental and Resource Economics, n.d. Full Text