Kent Messer


  • Ph.D. Cornell University, 2003
  • M.S. University of Michigan, 1999
  • B.A. Grinnell College, 1994

Current Courses

  • APEC100: Sustainable Development
  • APEC667: Experimental Economics
  • APEC807: Mathematical Programming with Economic Applications


  • Environmental Conservation
  • Provision of Public Goods
  • Behavioral Response to Risk

Current Sponsored Research

USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. 2016-2010. “CONSERVE (Coordinating Nontraditional Sustainable watER Use in Variable climatEs): A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food Crop Production, and Health.” $10,000,000. A. Sapkota (PI), K. Kniel and K Messer (co-PIs).

USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. 2015-2018. “Applying Behavioral Economics to Improve USDA Agricultural Programs: Field Experiments in Nutrient Management and Water Quality Protection.” $499,386. M. Masters (PI), K.D. Messer and P. Ferraro (co-PIs).

USDA Economic Research Service. 2015-2018. “CBEAR Seed Grant Program.” $400,000. K.D. Messer and P. Ferraro (PIs).

State of Delaware Federal Research and Development Grant Program. 2015-2017. Economics of Ecosystem Services from Oyster Aquaculture. $99,993. S. Jardine (PI), K.D. Messer, T. Li and G. Ozbay (co-PIs).

USDA Economic Research Service. 2015-2018. “CBEAR Training and Outreach Visiting Scholar Program” $128,000. K.D. Messer and P. Ferraro (PIs).

USDA Economic Research Service. 2014-2017. “USDA Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Policy Research (C-BEAR)” $750,000. K.D. Messer and P. Ferraro (PIs), D. Just, M. Price, and G. Poe (co-PIs).

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Grant. 2014-2017. “Economics of Ecosystem Services for Oyster Aquaculture.” $317,215. S.L. Jardine (PI), J. Eward, M. Kecinski, K.D. Messer, G. Parsons, and J.K. York (co-PIs).

National Science Foundation – funding support from EPSCoR Track-I. 2013-2018. “Delaware EPSCoR: Meeting Delaware’s 21st Century Water and Energy Challenges through Research, Education, and Innovation.” $24,000,000. D.L. Sparks (PI); V. Kalavacharla, K.D. Messer, J. Rabolt, S. Smith. (co-PIs).

National Science Foundation – funding support from EPSCoR Track-2. 2013-2016. “North East Water Resources Network (NEWRnet)” $6,000,000. D.J. Leathers (PI); A. Andres, D. Levia, S. Inamdar, and K.D. Messer (co-PIs).



Messer, K.D. and W.A. Allen. ForthcomingThe Science of Strategic Conservation: Protecting More with LessCambridge University Press. Cambridge, England.

Kaiser, H.M. and K.D. Messer. 2011. Mathematical Programming for Agricultural, Environmental, and Resource Economics. Wiley & Sons.

Select Publications

Messer, K.D., M. Kecinski, Z. Liu, M. Korch, T. Bounds. 2016. “Military Readiness and Environmental Protection through Cost-effective Land Conservation.” Land Economics.

Fooks, J., N. Higgins, K.D. Messer, J. Duke, D. Hellerstein, and L. Lynch. 2016. “Conserving Spatially Explicit Benefits in Ecosystem Service Markets: Experimental Tests of Network Bonuses and Spatial Targeting” American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Kecinski, M., Kerley, D., K.D. Messer, and W.D. Schulze. 2016. “Stigma Mitigation and the Importance of Redundant Treatments.” Journal of Economic Psychology. 54: 44-52. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2016.02.003

Messer, K.D., M. Kecinski, X. Tang, and R. Hirsch. 2016. Applying Multiple Knapsack Optimization to Improve the Cost Effectiveness of Land Conservation.” Land Economics. 92(1):117-130.

Messer K.D and A. Borchers. 2015. “Choice for Goods under Threat of Destruction.”  Economic Letters. 135: 137-140. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2015.07.026

Fooks, J., K.D. Messer, and J. Duke. 2015. “Dynamic Entry, Reverse Auctions, and the Purchase of Environmental Services.” Land Economics. 91(1): 57-75.

Li, J., J. Michael, J. Duke, K.D. Messer, and J. Suter. 2014. “Behavioral Response to Contamination Risk Information in a Spatially Explicit Groundwater Environment: Experimental Evidence.” Water Resources Research. 50: 6390-6405.

Arnold, M., J.M. Duke, and K.D. Messer. 2013. “Adverse Selection in Reverse Auctions for Environmental Services” Land Economics. 89(3): 387-412.

Keisner, D.K., K.D. Messer, W.D. Schulze, and H. Zarghamee. 2013. “Testing Social Preferences for an Economic ‘Bad’: An Artefactual Field Experiment.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 115(1): 27–61.

Suter, J., J. Duke, and K.D. Messer, and H. Michael. 2012. “Behavior in a Spatially Explicit Groundwater Resource: Evidence from the Lab.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 94(5): 1094-1112.

Messer, K.D., G.L. Poe, D. Rondeau, W.D. Schulze and C. Vossler. 2010. “Social Preferences and Voting: An Exploration Using a Novel Preference Revealing Mechanism.” Journal of Public Economics 94(3-4): 308-317.

Kanter C., K.D. Messer and H.M. Kaiser. 2009. “Does Production Labeling Stigmatize Conventional Milk?” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91(4):1097-1109.

Messer, K.D., H. Zarghamee, H.M. Kaiser and W.D. Schulze. 2007. “New Hope for the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism: The Effects of Context.” Journal of Public Economics 91(9):1783-1799.



Contact Information
Kent Messer

Unidel Howard Cosgrove Career Development Chair in Environment
Director, Center for Experimental & Applied Economics

Applied Economics and Statistics
531 South College Avenue #226

Newark, DE 19716
Phone: (302) 831-1316
Fax number: (302) 831-6243