Professor and Department Chair
David Sunding holds the Thomas J. Graff Chair in the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, where he is a professor in the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics. Since 2013, he has served as ARE's department chair.
He has published extensively in the fields of environmental economics, natural resources, applied econometrics, and law and economics. He has won numerous awards for his research, including grants from the National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, and private foundations. He teaches courses in natural resource economics, microeconomics, water resources, and law and economics in both the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics and the Berkeley School of Law.
Prof. Sunding frequently advises on the development of environmental and natural resource policies. He has served on panels of the National Academy of Sciences and the USEPA’s Science Advisory Board, and has testified on numerous occasions before Congress, state legislatures and regulatory bodies. He was a principal negotiator of the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement and was the chief economic adviser to the State of California on its development of the California WaterFix (a $17 billion conveyance project originally known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan). Prior to his current position at Berkeley, Prof. Sunding served as a senior economist at President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers where he has responsibility for the areas of agriculture, environment, natural resources and energy.
Prof. Sunding has played a central role in some of the most important environmental and natural resource disputes of the past two decades, including U.S. v. BP Exploration & Production, Florida v. Georgia, Minnesota v. 3M, Edwards v. National Milk Producers’ Federation, Klamath v. U.S., Arch Coal, SWANCC and Rapanos. In these and other cases, he authored testimony on subjects such as civil penalties, natural resource damages, just compensation for takings, competition in natural resource industries, environmental health risks, and the economic effects of regulation.
He completed his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 1989. He has been a visiting professor in the Woods Institute of the Environment at Stanford University, and began his career as an assistant professor of economics and law at Boston College. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Econometric Society and the American Law and Economics Association.
An avid mountain biker, he lives in Marin County with his wife and two daughters.
University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1989
University of California, Los Angeles
M.A. in African Area Studies, 1986
Claremont McKenna College
B.A. in Economics, 1983
"The Value of Urban Water Supply Reliability." With Steven Buck, Maximillian Auffhammer and Stephen Hamilton. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, in press, 2015.
“Optimal Recycling Policy for Used Lubricating Oil: The Case of California’s Used Oil Management Policy.” With Stephen Hamilton. Environmental and Resource Economics (2014), DOI: 10.1007/s10640-014-9812-x.
“The Impact of Water Price Uncertainty on the Adoption of Precision Irrigation Systems.” With Karina Schoengold. Agricultural Economics (2014), DOI: 10.1111/agec.12118.
“Potential Economic Impacts of Environmental Flows Following a Potential Listing of Endangered Texas Freshwater Mussels,” With Brad Wolaver, Cassandra Cook, Stephen Hamilton, Bridget Scanlon, Michael Young, Xianli Xu and Robert Reedy. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (2014), DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12171.
“Land Markets and the Value of Water Supply: Hedonic Analysis using Panel Data.” With Steven Buck and Maximillian Auffhammer. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96(2014): 953-969.
“Conserving Endangeed Species through Regulation of Urban Development: The Case of California Vernal Pools.” With Jonathan Terhorst. Land Economics 90(2014): 290-305.
“Environmental Policy with Collective Waste Disposal.” With Stephen Hamilton, Thomas Sproul and David Zilberman. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 66(2013): 337-346.