Headshot of Andrew Ayers.

Andrew Ayres

Assistant Professor of Economics


Andrew's main areas of research include environmental and natural resource economics, institutional economics, applied econometrics, and water economics and policy. The primary line of investigation considers how institutions (rules, norms, and regulation) are agreed upon and subsequently influence human behavior and resource conditions in river basins. His current work examines legal and economic institutions for the management of groundwater resources, with a focus on water marketing and managing impacts from fallowed agricultural lands. Andrew has previously worked in domestic and international contexts on policy development and formulation for climate change, energy, river restoration, and water pricing.

Research interests

  • Environmental and natural resource economics
  • Institutional economics
  • Applied econometrics
  • Water policy and economics
  • Land use
  • Air quality

Selected publications

  • Ayres, A., Adams, T., Carron, J., Cohen, M., and A. Saracino (2022). "Potential impacts of reduced inflows to the Salton Sea: Forecasting non-market damages." Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 58(6): 1128-48.
  • Ayres, A., Kwon, J., and J. Collins (2022). "Land Transitions and Dust in the San Joaquin Valley: How Proactive Management can Support Air Quality Improvements." Public Policy Institute of California.
  • Ayres, A., Meng, K., and A. Plantinga (2021). "Do Environmental Markets Improve on Open Access? Evidence from California Groundwater Rights." Journal of Political Economy, 129(10): 2817-60.
  • Ayres, A., Hanak, E., Gray, B., Sencan, G., Bruno, E., Escriva-Bou, A., and G. Gartrell (2021). "Improving California's Water Market: How Water Trading and Banking can Support Groundwater Management." Public Policy Institute of California.
  • Bourque, K., Schiller, A., Angosto, C., McPhail, L., Bagnasco, W., Ayres, A., and A. Larsen (2019). "Balancing agricultural production, groundwater management, and biodiversity goals: a multi-benefit optimization model of agriculture in Kern County, California." Science of the Total Environment, 670: 865-75.
  • Ayres, A., Edwards, E., and G. Libecap (2018). "How transaction costs obstruct collective action: the case of California’s groundwater." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 91: 46-65.
  • Ayres, A., Degolia, A., Fienup, M., Kim, Y., Sainz, J., Urbisci, L., Viana, D., Wesolowski, G., Plantinga, A., and C. Tague (2016). "Social Science/Natural Science Perspectives on Wildfire and Climate Change." Geography Compass, 10(2): 67-86.
  • Ayres, A. (2014). "Germany's Water Footprint of Transport Fuels." Applied Energy, 113: 1746-51.

Courses taught

  • ECON 102: Principles of Microeconomics


  • Ph.D., Economics and Environmental Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2018
  • B.A., Economics, Pomona College, 2010