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James Williamson



James Williamson is an economist with the Farm Economy Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division. As a researcher, James' principal areas of expertise include public finance and policy analysis. He has published articles on the valuation of water quality, tax policy and environmental exposure to hazardous substances, and environmental pollution fees and sustainability. He has also authored several book chapters on the economics of watershed restoration. At ERS, James conducts research on Federal tax policies that affect rural America and the agricultural sector. He also leads the farm income and wealth statistics program.


James began his career in the Federal government in 2003. Previous to joining ERS in 2008, he held a position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development, and served as an economist with the Joint Committee on Taxation in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2012-13, James served as a senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Office of the President.


James received a Ph.D. in economics from Syracuse University in December of 2003. He also holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Vermont with a concentration in finance and economics.

Professional Affiliations:

James is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Eastern Economic Association, and the Society of Government Economists.

Selected Publications:

"Estimating the Effects of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 on the Home Health Care Use of the Dually Eligible: A Natural Experiments Approach" Social Work in Public Health (2013) 28(5): 463-476.

The Role of Information and Prices in the Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Decision: New Evidence from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey" Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (2011) 36(3): 552-572.

"Tax-Deferred Exchanges of Farmland: Theory and Evidence from Federal Tax Data" (With Ron Durst and Mike Brady), Agricultural Finance Review (2010) 70(2): 214-230.

"Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Children's Health" Eastern Economic Journal (2010) Volume 36: 423-449.

"Is Sustainability Achievable? Exploring the Limits of Sustainability with Model Systems" (with Heriberto Cabezas, Yogendra Shastri, and Urmila Diwekar), Environmental Science & Technology (2008) 42(17): 6710-6716.

"Valuing Acid Mine Drainage Remediation in West Virginia: A Hedonic Modeling Approach," (with Hale Thurston and Matthew Heberling), Annals of Regional Science (2008) 42(4):987-999.

"Valuing Acid Mine Drainage Remediation in West Virginia: Benefit Transfer with Preference Calibration" (with Hale Thurston and Matt Heberling), Environmental Economics and Policy Studies (2007) Volume 8, Number 4: 271-293.

"Income and Poverty in the United States in Comparative Perspective: The Role of Income and Wealth in Guaranteeing Economic Security" (With Timothy M. Smeeding, Eva Sierminska, Janet Gornick and Andrea Brandolini), Public Policy and Aging Report (2006) Volume 16, Number 3.


"Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy" Economic Research Report No. 127, 98 pp, September 2011 (with Marc Ribaudo, Jorge Delgado, LeRoy Hansen, Michael Livingston, and Roberto Mosheim).

"Targeting Investments To Cost Effectively Restore and Protect Wetland Ecosystems: Some Economic Insights" Economic Research Report No. 183, 56 pp, February 2015 (with LeRoy Hansen, Daniel Hellerstein, Marc Ribaudo, and David Nulph).

Book Chapters

"Using Hedonic Modeling to Value AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed," in Environmental Economics for Watershed Restoration. (Boca Raton: Taylor and Francis Group, 2009).

"Using Benefit Transfer to Value AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed," in Environmental Economics for Watershed Restoration. (Boca Raton: Taylor and Francis Group, 2009).

Last updated: Thursday, March 17, 2016

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