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George L. Van Houtven

Director, Ecosystem Services Research

George Van Houtven, PhD, specializes in the measurement of environmental, health, and natural resource values and the application of these measures to evaluate environmental and risk management policies. He has extensive experience in conducting original nonmarket valuation research, including the application of contingent valuation, conjoint analysis, averting behavior, and cost-of-illness methods. He also specializes in meta-regression analysis and other benefit transfer methods that synthesize results from existing research to support policy analysis. He has coordinated several interdisciplinary studies that link environmental and economic models and that apply benefit transfer approaches to support cost-benefit analyses of environmental regulations. He has also conducted research to examine the effectiveness of unit-based pricing policies for solid waste management, and he has analyzed the role of cost-benefit factors in environmental regulatory decision-making. His research has been published in several journals including the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, and Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.


PhD, Economics, University of Maryland; BA, Economics, Johns Hopkins University.

Latest Publications

Van Houtven, G., Mansfield, C., Phaneuf, D.J., von Haefen, R., Milstead, B., Kenney, M.A., et al. (2014). Combining expert elicitation and stated preference methods to value ecosystem services from improved lake water quality. Ecological Economics, 99 :40-52.
Wainger, L.A., Van Houtven, G., Loomis, R., Messer, J., Beach, R., & Deerhake, M. (2013). Tradeoffs among ecosystem services, performance certainty, and cost-efficiency in implementation of the Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 42 (1):196-224.
Rea, A.W., Davis, C., Evans, D.A., Heninger, B.T., & Van Houtven, G. (2012). Using ecosystem services to inform decisions on U.S. air quality standards. Environmental Science and Technology, 46 (12):6481-6488.
Van Houtven, G., Loomis, R., Baker, J., Beach, R., & Casey, S. (May 2012). Nutrient credit trading for the Chesapeake Bay: An economic study: Prepared for Chesapeake Bay Commission. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.
Mansfield, C., Van Houtven, G., Hendershott, A., Chen, P., Porter, J., Nourani, V., & Kilambi , V. (Jan 2012). Klamath River Basin restoration: Nonuse value survey. Final report: Prepared for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International.
View all publications by George L. Van Houtven (42)


  • Environmental Economics
  • Nonmarket Valuation
  • Health Valuation
  • Meta-Analysis