William S. Breffle

Bill Breffle

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Associate Professor of Economics, School of Business and Economics

  • PhD, Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder

Biography

Dr. Breffle is an applied microeconomist specializing in environmental economics. Prior to joining Michigan Tech, he conducted economics research primarily for testimony for large natural Resource Damage Assessments, typically at Superfund sites. He has done work in 12 states for a variety of stakeholders, and continues to work with State and Federal Trustees. As a result, he brings practical and policy-relevant experience to Michigan Tech classrooms. Dr. Breffle regularly presents new research at national professional meetings, is published in peer-reviewed books and journals, and brings grant funding to Michigan Tech. Recently, two of Dr. Breffle’s journal articles were selected for the International Library of Environmental Economics and Policy book volumes as important and influential essays. In 2011, Dr. Breffle was a finalist for the Wells Fargo Teacher of the Year award in the School of Business and Economics. Dr. Breffle was interviewed by CBS-Detroit in 2012 as part of the Great Lakes Technology and Innovation Report, and in 2014, he was selected at the first ever Props for Profs recipient after being nominated by a student for going above and beyond his teaching duties.

Research Focus

The Great Lakes and their broader ecosystems help shape the industries, recreation, and culture of the people who live near them. The activities of those residents, in turn, affect the lakes and their ability to provide economic services. Dr. William S. Breffle, Associate Professor of Economics, is conducting research that examines the long-term environmental and economic impact of human activity on the Great Lakes environment. Dr. Breffle expects that, ultimately, the research will aid in the development of policy management tools that sustain and protect the environmental and human-use services provided by these critical resources.

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental economics
  • Natural resource economics
  • International economics
  • Mathematical economics
  • Principles of economics

Research Interests

  • Non-market valuation
  • Discrete choice modeling
  • Benefit-cost analysis
  • Restoration program planning
  • Health economics

Recent Publications

  • Breffle, W.S., M. Eiswerth, D. Muralidharan, and J. Thornton. 2015. Understanding how income influences willingness to pay for joint programs: A more equitable value measure for the less wealthy, Ecological Economics Forthcoming.
  • Wright, S., D. Muraliharan, A. Mayer, and W.S. Breffle. 2014. Using contingent valuation to estimate the willingness to pay for improved water supplies in rural Ugandan villages. Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development. Forthcoming.
  • Breffle, W.S., D. Muralidharan, R.P. Donovan, F. Liu, A. Mukherjee, and Y. Jin. 2013. Socioeconomic evaluation of the impact of natural resource stressors on human-use services in the Great Lakes Environment: A Lake Michigan case study. Resources Policy 38:152-162.
  • Chestnut, L.C., R.D. Rowe, and W.S. Breffle. 2012. Economic valuation of mortality-risk reduction: stated preference estimates from the U.S. and Canada. Contemporary Economic Policy 30(3):399-416.
  • Breffle W.S., E.R. Morey, and J.A. Thacher. 2011. A joint latent-class model: combining Likert-scale preference statements with choice data to harvest preference heterogeneity. Environmental and Resource Economics 50:83-110.
  • Breffle, W. S. 2009. In pursuit of the optimal design: a guide for choice experiment practitioners. International Journal of Ecological Economics and Statistics 14(S09):3-14.
  • Breffle, W. S., Maroney, K. K. 2009. The restoration of fishing services and the conveyance of risk information in the southern California bight. Marine Policy 33:561-570.
  • Morey, E.R., W.S. Breffle, and P.A. Greene. 2008. Two Nested Constant-Elasticity-of-Substitution Models of Recreational Participation and Site Choice: An “Alternatives” Model and an “Expenditures” Model, in Revealed Preference Approaches to Environmental Valuation Volume I (J. Herriges and C. Kling, eds.), International Library of Environmental Economics and Policy, Ashgate Publishing Limited, U.K.