William S. Breffle

William S. Breffle


Expanded CV

  • Associate Professor of Economics, College of Business
  • PhD, Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder


William (Bill) Breffle is an applied microeconomist specializing in environmental economics. Prior to joining Michigan Tech, he conducted economics research at Superfund sites and has done work in 15 states for a variety of stakeholders, mainly state and federal trustees. With his practical and policy-relevant experience, Dr. Breffle routinely collaborates with students and faculty on projects.

Dr. Breffle has published more than 25 research papers and 20 technical reports. Two of his journal articles were selected for the International Library of Environmental Economics and Policy book volumes as "important and influential essays." Another publication he co-authored is listed among the top 200 "most influential" research papers in the discipline of environmental and ecological economics. 

Dr. Breffle was selected in 2014 as the first-ever Props for Profs recipient after being nominated by a student for going above-and-beyond teaching duties. In 2015, Breffle was selected as a finalist for the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award, the University's highest teaching honor, and he was inducted into the Michigan Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence. Professor Breffle was the first economist in 27 years to be inducted by the College of Business into the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma in 2018. In 2021, he was the first Tech economics professor to be bestowed the honor of College of Business Teacher of the Year, and in 2022 he received the College of Business Research Award.

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. Breffle's research aids 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
  • International economics
  • Mathematical economics
  • Principles of economics

Research Interests

  • Non-market valuation
  • Discrete choice modeling
  • Benefit-cost analysis
  • Environmental sustainability