Joseph Cook joined the Evans School faculty in 2007. His research uses tools from economics to inform environmental and health policy, often in economically-developing countries. His focus is primarily on water and sanitation policy, water resources management, stated preference methods, and vaccine policy. Two current research projects study the impact on intra-household time allocation of providing convenient water access in rural Ethiopia and the barriers to the use of water markets in coping with drought in the Yakima basin of Washington state.
While at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his graduate training, Cook studied private demand for vaccines against two water-borne illnesses (cholera and typhoid) using stated preference methodologies, doing extensive fieldwork in India, Vietnam, and Mozambique. He also worked as a research assistant at Resources for the Future in Washington D.C., examining the benefits of natural resource improvements in Adirondack State Park, the costs and benefits of controlling air pollution from informal brick kilns in Mexico, and willingness-to-pay to avoid mortality risks.
Scholarly work by Cook has been published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Environmental and Resource Economics, Economic Inquiry, World Development, and Environment and Development Economics. He also co-authored a chapter in Small Firms and the Environment in Developing Countries: Collective Impacts, Collective Action (RFF Press, 2006).
He is affiliated with the Benefit-Cost Analysis Center at the Evans School, the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE) at UW, and the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA), based in Pretoria, South Africa. Outside of academia, he served as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank on Nepal’s Melamchi water supply project, the International Vaccine Institute, the Hopi Tribe, Global Water Challenge, and Orange County (NC).
Cook holds a Ph.D. and MS in environmental management and policy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also holds a BS in natural resources from Cornell University.