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, Davis 2001
  • B.A., Stanford University 1992

Garlock, T., F. Asche, J. Anderson, T. Bjørndal, G. Kumar, K. Lorenzen, A. Ropicki, M. D. Smith, and R. Tveterås. “A Global Blue Revolution: Aquaculture Growth Across Regions, Species, and Countries.” Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture 28, no. 1 (January 2, 2020): 107–16. Full Text

Smith, Martin D. “Subsidies, efficiency, and fairness in fisheries policy.Science (New York, N.Y.) 364, no. 6435 (April 2019): 34–35. Full Text

Ferraro, Paul J., James N. Sanchirico, and Martin D. Smith. “Causal inference in coupled human and natural systems.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, no. 12 (March 2019): 5311–18. Full Text

Birkenbach, A. M., M. D. Smith, and S. Stefanski. “Feature-Taking Stock of Catch Shares: Lessons from the Past and Directions for the Future.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 13, no. 1 (February 1, 2019): 130–39. Full Text

Mullin, M., M. D. Smith, and D. E. McNamara. “Paying to save the beach: effects of local finance decisions on coastal management.” Climatic Change 152, no. 2 (January 30, 2019): 275–89. Full Text

Asche, Frank, Taryn M. Garlock, James L. Anderson, Simon R. Bush, Martin D. Smith, Christopher M. Anderson, Jingjie Chu, et al. “Three pillars of sustainability in fisheries.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 44 (October 2018): 11221–25. Full Text

Abbott, J. K., J. N. Sanchirico, and M. D. Smith. “Common property resources and the dynamics of overexploitation: The case of the north pacific fur seal—a 42-year legacy.” Marine Resource Economics 33, no. 3 (July 1, 2018): 209–12. Full Text

Asche, F., and M. D. Smith. “Viewpoint: Induced Innovation in Fisheries and Aquaculture.” Food Policy 76 (April 1, 2018): 1–7. Full Text

Gopalakrishnan, S., C. E. Landry, and M. D. Smith. “Climate change adaptation in coastal environments: Modeling challenges for resource and environmental economists.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 12, no. 1 (February 1, 2018): 48–68. Full Text

Birkenbach, Anna M., David J. Kaczan, and Martin D. Smith. “Catch shares slow the race to fish.Nature 544, no. 7649 (April 5, 2017): 223–26. Full Text


Smith, M. D., F. Asche, and C. Roheim. “Markets, Trade and Seafood.” In Encyclopedia of Natural Resources - Two-Volume Set (Print), edited by Y. Wang, 2:791–97. CRC Press, 2014. Open Access Copy

Smith, M. D. “Open access and the fishery.” In Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 2014.

Smith, M. D. “Managing Our Nations Fisheries 3: Advancing Sustainability.” edited by J. Gilden, 2014.

Roebeling, P. C., I. Bohnet, M. Smith, D. Westcott, F. Kroon, M. Hartcher, M. Hodgen, and J. Vleeshouwer. “Landscapes toolkit for triple-bottom-line assessment of land use scenarios in Great Barrier Reef catchments.” In Modsim05  International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Advances and Applications for Management and Decision Making, Proceedings, 711–17, 2005.

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

Selected Grants

CoPe: RCN: Building a Collaboratory for Coastal Adaptation over Space and Time (C-CoAST) awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2022

CNH-L: Climate Change Adaptation in a Coupled Geomorphic-Economic Coastal System with Heterogeneous Climate Beliefs awarded by University of North Carolina, Wilmington (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2021

Structural Modeling of Transitions to Catch Shares awarded by North Carolina State University (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2019

Modelling Fishery Landings Locations and Product Forms awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2015

Do Catch Shares Increase Ex-vessel Prices in U.S. Fisheries? awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015

Measuring the Effects of Hypoxia on the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Fishery awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2014

ESE Collaborative Research: Modeling New Behaviors awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2014