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University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics

Kent D. Messer

Photograph Image of Kent Messer
Title Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment, Director - Center for Experimental and Applied Economics
Email messer@nospam5d36fbb517690.udel.edu
Office Townsend Hall


Kent D. Messer is the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment in the Department of Applied Economics & Statistics and the director of the Center for Experimental & Applied Economics at the University of Delaware. Messer applies behavioral science and experimental economics to problems in the agriculture and nexus. He had published over 60 publications, served as editor of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, and wrote a textbook on mathematical programming published in 2011. Messer has been an investigator of interdisciplinary proposals worth over $46 million from numerous sources including NSF, EPA, NOAA, and USDA. His recent book “The Science of Strategic Conservation: Protecting More with Less” will be released by Cambridge University Press in 2017.


  • Ph.D., Cornell University, 2003
  • M.S., University of Michigan, 1999
  • B.A., Grinnell College, 1994

Select Publications

  • Messer, K.D. and W.A. Allen. Forthcoming. The Science of Strategic Conservation: Protecting More with Less. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, England.
  • Messer, K.D., M. Kecinski, Z. Liu, M. Korch, T. Bounds. 2016. “Military Readiness and Environmental Protection through Cost-effective Land Conservation.” Land Economics.
  • Messer K.D and A. Borchers. 2015. “Choice for Goods under Threat of Destruction.”  Economic Letters. 135: 137-140. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2015.07.026
  • Fooks, J., K.D. Messer, and J. Duke. 2015. “Dynamic Entry, Reverse Auctions, and the Purchase of Environmental Services.” Land Economics. 91(1): 57-75.
  • Li, J., J. Michael, J. Duke, K.D. Messer, and J. Suter. 2014. “Behavioral Response to Contamination Risk Information in a Spatially Explicit Groundwater Environment: Experimental Evidence.” Water Resources Research. 50: 6390-6405.
  • Arnold, M., J.M. Duke, and K.D. Messer. 2013. “Adverse Selection in Reverse Auctions for Environmental Services” Land Economics. 89(3): 387-412.
  • Keisner, D.K., K.D. Messer, W.D. Schulze, and H. Zarghamee. 2013. “Testing Social Preferences for an Economic ‘Bad’: An Artefactual Field Experiment.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 115(1): 27–61.
  • Kaiser, H.M. and K.D. Messer. 2011. “Mathematical Programming for Agricultural, Environmental, and Resource Economics.” Wiley & Sons.
  • Messer, K.D., G.L. Poe, D. Rondeau, W.D. Schulze and C. Vossler. 2010. “Social Preferences and Voting: An Exploration Using a Novel Preference Revealing Mechanism.” Journal of Public Economics 94(3-4): 308-317.
  • Kanter C., K.D. Messer and H.M. Kaiser. 2009. “Does Production Labeling Stigmatize Conventional Milk?” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91(4):1097-1109.

Awards & Honors

  • National Science Foundation – funding support from EPSCoR Track-2. “North East Water Resources Network (NEWRnet)” D.J. Leathers (PI); A. Andres, D., Levia, S. Inamdar, and K.D. Messer (co-PIs), 2013-2016
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from EPSCoR Track-I. “Delaware EPSCoR: Meeting Delaware’s 21st Century Water and Energy Challenges through Research, Education, and Innovation.” D.L. Sparks (PI); V. Kalavacharla, K.D. Messer, S. Smith, K. Steiner, (Co-PIs), 2013-2018
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from the Decision, Risk & Management Sciences directorate. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS: Protecting the Coastline – Optimal Coastal Inundation Adaptation Mechanisms.” K. Messer (PI); J. Fooks (co-PI), 2013-2014
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from the Decision, Risk & Management Sciences, Engineering, and Geosciences directorates, “WSC Category 1 – Water Sustainability in Coastal Environments: Exploratory Research for an Integrated Study of the Effect of Anticipated Sea Level Rise on Contaminated Site Risk.” J.M. Duke (PI), K.D. Messer, H. Michael and D. Sparks (co-PIs), 2012-2013
  • Northeast Center for Risk Management Education, “Pricing and Marketing Risk Management Education for Honey Producers.” D. Delaney and K. Messer (PIs), J. Fooks (Co-PI), 2012-2013
  • USDA Economic Research Service, “Designing Choice Architecture to Cost-Effectively Reduce Agricultural Nutrient and Sediment Water Pollution in the Galveston Bay Watershed: A Framed Field Experiment.” K.D. Messer and W.D. Allen (PIs), O. Amundsen (Co-PI), 2011-2013
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from the Decision, Risk and Management Sciences and Hydrologic Sciences programs, “Collaborative Research: An Experimental Economics Investigation of Groundwater Resource Dynamics.” K.D. Messer and J. Suter (PIs), H. Michael and J. Duke (co-PIs), 2010-2013
  • Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Economics, “2009 NAREA Workshop: The Use of Experimental Methods in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics” K. Messer and J. Murphy (PIs), 2008-2009
  • Editor, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 2012-present
  • Board member, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, 2008-2011

Curriculum Vitae

Download Kent Messer’s CV (PDF)


Visit Kent D. Messer’s Personal Webpage