Merlin M. Hanauer


Assistant Professor of Economics

Department of Economics
School of Business and Economics

Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Merlin M. Hanauer joined the faculty of the Department of Economics at Sonoma State University in the Fall of 2011. Dr. Hanauer earned his PhD in Economics from Georgia State University (2011) with a concentration in Environmental Economics.

Dr. Hanauer's research addresses the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of environmental policy. He employs extensive use of geographic information systems (GIS), quasi-experimental and experimental design to elucidate policy impacts. Dr. Hanauer's research has been published in journals such as The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Environmental and Resource Economics, Conservation Letters, World Development, Annual Review of Environment and Resources and Environmental Research Letters.

Advances in Measuring the Impacts of Environmental Programs

This paper highlights recent advances in methods for measuring causal effects as they pertain to the impacts of environmental programs and plicies on social and environmental outcomes.

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Mechanisms of Protected Areas

This study highlights methods by which researchers can quantify the mechanisms through which environmental programs impact social outcomes. We estimate how Costa Rica's protected areas impacted poverty through ecotourism, infrastructure development and provisioning ecosystem services.

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Cozzarelli Prize

Hanauer (with Paul J. Ferraro and Katharine R.E. Sims) were awarded the Cozzarelli Pize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for their article Conditions Associated with Protected Area Success in Conservation and Poverty Reduction.

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Protected Areas in Bolivia

In a detailed analysis of Bolivia's protected area system, Hanauer and Gustavo Canvire find no evidence that protection had exacerbated poverty over the past several decades. In fact, most evidence indicates that poverty was alleviated near protected areas

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More strictly protected areas are not necessarily more protective:

Restricting human activities that threaten endangered species and ecosystems can help protect these species and habitats. However, do stricter rules mean better protection? Not necessarily.

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Protected Areas: Win-win or Tradeoffs?

Paper explores the heterogeneity in the impacts of Costa Rica's protected areas. We find that, although Costa Rica's protected areas were (on average) associated with avoided deforestation and reductions in poverty, there was significant heterogeneity in these impacts according to biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics.

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Do Protected Areas Promote Regrowth?

Protected areas imacts can be quantified by numerous metrics. This paper is the first identify the impact of protected areas on new forest growth.

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