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I am an environmental economist and a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, a nonprofit independent research institution in Washington, DC.

Follow me on Twitter: @margaretwalls1


I conduct economic research on a wide range of environmental and natural resource issues. All of my research has the objective of ultimately improving public policy. My current research is focused in two areas:

  • hurricanes, flooding, and climate impacts, adaptation, and resilience; and

  • conservation, public lands, and outdoor recreation.

My research on climate impacts and resilience aims to improve our understanding of how people make choices regarding disaster risks and how governments can design policies to lower disaster costs. I have assessed the potential for natural lands such as wetlands and forests to enhance resilience and analyzed policy options for changing land use in the floodplain. Current research is evaluating the extent to which hurricanes affect U.S. migration patterns.

I have written extensively about how to pay for parks and conservation, evaluating various kinds of taxes, payments for ecosystem services programs, and the role of philanthropy. I am currently analyzing the local economic impacts of national monuments and other federal protected lands.

Click on the Research tab at the top of this page for more information and links to publications.