In the summer of 2010, Professor Kinnaman began research on the economic and environmental consequences of drilling for natural gas in central Pennsylvania. Bucknell students majoring in economics and environmental studies are collaborating in this research.

Educational Background

  • B.A., Decision Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • M.A., Economics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • Ph.D., Economics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Research Interests

  • economics of solid waste and recycling

Other Activities

Professor Kinnaman's work has been published in among others the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and The National Tax Journal. He has also edited two volumes of literature on the economics of solid waste on invitation from Kluwer and Ashgate publishers.

In spring of 2009 Professor Kinnaman served as visiting fellow in American Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. While at Doshisha, he began collaborative research with Japanese economists on various waste issues. One such effort considered various policy options for the international trade in used durable goods such as computers and television sets. These goods are increasingly imported to developing countries but often contain hazardous waste materials that developing countries may be unable to manage. A second research initiative examined the costs of recycling specific materials (paper, plastic, metal, etc.) in Japan. This study represents the first to estimate recycling costs of individual materials.

Selected Publications


“Waste Disposal and Recycling,” Encyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resource, and Environmental Economics, forthcoming.

“Estimating Willingness to Pay for River Amenities and Safety Measures Associated with Shale Gas Extraction,” with Paula Bernstein and Mengqi Wu, Eastern Economics Journal, 39(1), 2013, 28-44.

“The Economic Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction: Moving Beyond Jobs and Tax Revenues,” Energy Delta Institute Quarterly 3(4), December 2011, 11-14 (non-refereed).

“The Economic Impact of Shale Gas Extraction: A Review of Existing Studies,” Ecological Economics 70(7), May 2011, 1243-1249.

“Economic Policies to Address the Environmental Consequences of Global Reuse,” with Hide-Fumi Yokoo, American Economic Review 101(2), May 2011, 71-76 (non-refereed).

“Solid Waste Management in the Caribbean.” Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies 35(2), June 2010, 38-60.

“The Costs of Municipal Curbside Recycling and Waste Collection,” with Robert A. Bohm, David H. Folz, and Michael J. Podolsky, Resources, Conservation, and Recycling 54(11), September 2010, 864-871.

“Optimal Solid Waste Policy with Centralized Recycling Opportunities,” National Tax Journal 63(2), June 2010, 237-252.

“Landfill Closure and Housing Values,” Contemporary Economic Policy 17(4), July 2009, 380-89.

“The Economics of Municipal Solid Waste Management,” Waste Management 29(10), October 2009, 2615-1617.

"Response from Thomas Kinnaman," Journal of Economic Perspectives 22(2), Spring 2008, 243–244. (a response to a comment by Elbert Dijkgraaf and Raymond Gradus on my paper in the 2006 Journal of Economic Perspectives)

“Examining the Justification for Residential Recycling,” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(4), Fall 2006, 219-232.

“Why do Municipalities Recycle?” Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy 5(1), January 2005.

“Explaining Household Demand for the Collection of Solid Waste and Recycling,” in Don Fullerton and Thomas C. Kinnaman, editors, The Economics of Household Garbage and Recycling Behavior.  Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishers, 2002, 144-152 (non-refereed)

“Explaining the Growth in Municipal Recycling Programs: The Role of Market and Non-Market Factors,” Journal of Public Works Management and Policy 5(1), July 2000, 37-51.

“Garbage and Recycling with Endogenous Local Policy,” with Don Fullerton, Journal of Urban Economics 48(3), 2000, 419-442.

“The Economics of Residential Solid Waste Management,” with Don Fullerton, in Henk Folmer and Tom Tietenberg, editors, The International Yearbook of Environmental and Resource Economics 2000/2001.  Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishers, 2000, 100-147 (non-refereed).

“Household Responses To Pricing Garbage By The Bag,” with Don Fullerton, American Economic Review 86(4), September 1996, 971-984.

“Garbage, Recycling, and Economic Incentives,” Proceedings of the Eighty-Eighth Annual Conference on Taxation, National Tax Association, 1996, 169-174 (non-refereed).

“Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping,” with Don Fullerton, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 29(1), July 1995, 78-91.

“How a Fee Per-Unit Garbage Affects Aggregate Recycling in a Model With Heterogeneous Households,” with Don Fullerton, in Lans Bovenberg and Sijbbren Cnossen, editors, Public Economics and the Environment in an Imperfect World. Boston: Kluwer Publishers, 1995, 135-159 (non-refereed)


The Economics of Residential Solid Waste Management, Thomas C. Kinnaman, editor, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2003.

The Economics of Household Garbage and Recycling Behavior, Don Fullerton and Thomas C. Kinnaman, eds., Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishers, 2002.


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