Don Coursey

Ameritech Professor of Public Policy


Don L. Coursey is the Ameritech Professor of Public Policy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the College and served as dean of Harris from 1996 to 1998. He is an experimental economist whose research elicits reliable measures of preferences and monetary values for public goods, such as environmental quality. Coursey's research has focused on demand for international environmental quality, environmental legislation in the United States, and public preferences for environmental outcomes relative to other social and economic goals.

Coursey led an investigation of environmental equity in Chicago, documenting the prevalence of hazardous industrial sites in poor, minority neighborhoods. He has examined public expenditures on endangered species. He has also consulted with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill to develop federal response guidelines for environmental disasters.

He received both a BA in mathematics and a PhD in economics from the University of Arizona and has previously taught at the University of Wyoming and Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He has received the Burlington-Northern Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teaching; Greater St. Louis Award for Excellence in University Teaching; John M. Olin School of Business Teacher of the Year Award in 1989 and 1990; and has been named Professor of the Year for six consecutive years by Harris students.