About Lori Bennear
I am an Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. I also hold secondary appointments with the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics at Duke. I received my Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2004, an M.A. in Economics from Yale in 1996 and an A.B. in Economics and Environmental Studies from Occidental College in 1995.
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.
My research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.