The MEM Seminar Series 2002/2003


“Economics in Relation Resource Management


Prof Jack Knetsch, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Simon Fraser UniversityS



15 October 2002


For more information, please call

Jennifer @ 6874-3563 or e-mail

About the speaker

Professor Knetsch is an eminent economist whose works have appeared regularly in premier internationally refereed journals (such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, and Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, just to name a few; with over 180 publications mostly in either Premier and Leading journals). Professor Knetsch obtained his Ph.D from Harvard University and has taught at Simon Fraser University for 26 years and is recently Emeritus Professor of Economics as well as Professor of Resource and Environmental Management there. He continues to be active in research (his most recent paper (2001) appeared in Land Economics, a leading journal in the field of environmental economics) and has made a number of significant contributions in his field of study namely, the use of land value changes as an indirect measure of the benefit provided by an amenity resource, areas of recreation and environmental quality, alternative techniques of assessing changes in economic welfare, economic analysis of the various legal rules and institutions, and behavioural economics.

Professor Knetsch’s wide knowledge and research experience, and in particular, his work on Behavioural Economics is of particular significance. Behavioural Economics is fast becoming a global trend and an important subject, and Professor Knetsch contributes intensively in this area through publications in premier journals. He has also published 2 books, namely, Property Rights and Compensation (Butterworths) and the Economics of Outdoor Recreation (with Marion Clawson, John Hopkins Press).

Professor Knetsch has held Professorships and Fellowships at Oxford University, Cambridge University, the University of Toronto, University of London, University of British Columbia and the University of New England. Between 1967 and 1973, he held positions at the George Washington University where he was Professor of Economics and Director, Natural Resources Policy Centre; Consultant and Economic Project Advisor to Malaysia for 2 years under the Harvard University Development Advisory Service. Among his consultancy projects in Malaysia, have included the Penang-Butterworth Bridge benefit-cost analysis; and the palm oil pollution impact analysis. He was recently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Professor Knetsch’s wide international experience include assignments in Argentina, Thailand, Lebanon, and Italy under the United Nations Environment and Development Programme, and an assignment at Papua New Guinea with the Institute of National Affairs concerning land reform. From 1986 to 1990, he has participated as a Professor in a series of Law and Economics workshops organized by the Canadian International Development Agency for legal advisors to Governments of ASEAN. Professor Knetsch was also formerly a senior staff member under President Johnston’s US Council on Environmental Quality.

Professor Knetsch was an Editorial Board Member of Annals of Regional Science and President of the Western Regional Science Association. Together with Marion Clawson, Professor Knetsch developed and improved on the travel-cost method for the evaluation of parks and recreation. This well-known method is now used by Australian, Canadian and United States Governments today, and is named after them. In 1999, on the basis of citations, contributions to advancing knowledge in economics, and publications in reputable journals, Professor Knetsch was selected to be included in Mark Blaug’s Who’s Who in Economics, MIT Press 1999, and he is listed as among the top economists in Canada. Professor Knetsch’s current interests are in behavioural economics, environment economics, cost-benefit analysis and law and economics. In the last ten years, Professor Knetsch had challenged and ignited a debate on the established methodology on contingent valuation and other evaluation disparities which continues unabated till today. For this work, he was again highly cited in the economics literature.