William S. Breffle
- Associate Professor of Economics, School of Business and Economics
- PhD, Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder
Dr. Breffle is an applied microeconomist specializing in environmental economics. Prior to joining Michigan Tech, for 12 years he conducted economics research primarily for testimony for large Natural Resource Damage Assessments at Superfund sites. He has done work in 15 states for a variety of stakeholders, working mainly with State and Federal Trustees. As a result, when he joined Michigan Tech in 2007 he brought practical and policy-relevant experience. He routinely collaborates with students and faculty on a wide spectrum of projects.
Dr. Breffle is well-published in peer-reviewed books and journals, and has managed significant funding at Michigan Tech. He has published over twenty research papers and twenty technical reports. 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." Another publication co-authored by Dr. Breffle in 2006 is listed among the top 200 "most influential" research papers in the discipline of environmental and ecological economics, based on a rigorous statistical evaluation of nearly seven thousand articles.
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 as the first ever Props for Profs recipient after being nominated by a student for going above and beyond his teaching duties. In 2015, Dr. 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. In 2018, Dr. Breffle was the first economist in 27 years to be inducted by the School of Business and Economics into the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma.
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.
- Environmental economics
- Natural resource economics
- International economics
- Mathematical economics
- Principles of economics
- Non-market valuation
- Discrete choice modeling
- Benefit-cost analysis
- Restoration program planning
- Health economics
- Dillingham, R., W.S. Breffle, and M.C. Kelly. 2018. A latent-class discrete-choice model of demand for economics electives: A case study on the challenge to increase enrollment. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/08841241.2018.1426673.
- Bhattu, B., B. D. Barkdoll, and W.S. Breffle. 2018. A sustainability-based socio-technical-environmental project selection. Sustainable Water Resources Management. 4(1):117-128.
- Jin, Y., R.P. Donovan, and W.S. Breffle. 2016. A dynamic model to assess the carrying capacity of a defined system. Journal of Sustainable Development 9(4):151-164.
- 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 109:17-25.
- Wright, S., D. Muralidharan, 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 4(3):490-498.
- 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.