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School of Economic Sciences | WSU Faculty

Joe Cook




  • Water policy
  • Development economics
  • Water resource economics
  • Non-market valuation
  • Environmental economics
  • Benefit-cost analysis
  • Stormwater and green infrastructure


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2007
  • M.S., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2004
  • B.S., Cornell University, 1996


  • Professor, School of Economic Sciences, WSU, from August 2023.
  • Associate Professor, School of Economic Sciences,  WSU, Fall 2017-Aug 2023.
  • Associate Professor, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2013-2017 (tenured). Assistant Professor, 2007 – 2013.


  • Excellence in Teaching Award (University of Washington, student-awarded): 2010-11 and 2015-16
  • Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award (University of Washington), 2013
  • Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, 2016, for “Benefit-cost analyses of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Projects”.


  • EconS 101 Fundamentals of Microeconomics
  • EconS 301 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory with Calculus
  • EconS 581 Resource Economics (doctoral)


Fuente, D., R. Mulwa, and J. Cook. 2023. “Out of Sight Out of Mind : Household Perceptions of ‘ Fair ’ Water Prices in Nairobi , Kenya.” Water Resources Research 59(e2022WR033374). EfD Discussion Paper version.

M.T. Randriamaro and J. Cook. 2022. “The value of time, with and without a smartphone.”   J Econ Beh and Organization, 200: 138-146

 Brent, D., J. Cook, and A. Lassiter. 2022. “The effects of eligibility and voluntary participation on the distribution of benefits in environmental programs: an application to green stormwater infrastructure”.”  Land Economics 98(4): 579-598.

Cook, J., J. Kabubo-Mariara and Peter Kimuyu. 2022. “Happy at work in Africa? Measuring hedonic well-being among water carriers in rural Kenya using the Experience Sampling Method”.  J Happiness Studies, Working paper version.

Cook, J. and W. Sugiarto. 2022. “Measuring consumer demand for tires made without 6PPD”. Under review. Study registration, data and pre-analysis plan here.

Cook, J., J. Kabubo-Mariara and Peter Kimuyu. 2021. “The short-run impacts of reducing water collection times on time use, well-being and education in rural Kenya”. Kenya water and time Appendices Kenya water and time Manuscript March 2023




My extension program focuses on providing local and state policymakers with timely, evidence-based information on issues around water and stormwater. I use non-market valuation and survey-based approaches as well as benefit-cost analysis to analyze policy and behavioral solutions to water issues, especially as they pertain to stormwater management but also water resources and water markets.  Because many policy solutions and infrastructure investments for both water scarcity and water quality involve additional ratepayer costs, I also provide applied research and evidence-based advice for utilities in designing assistance programs to ensure that their poorest customers can afford modern water and sanitation services.

Extension websites

Extension media and blogposts

Extension presentations and panels

  • “Thoughts on customer assistance programs in water and sewer in the US.” National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA), May 12, 2022.
  • Invited testimony on water markets to Washington State Legislature, House Rural Development and Natural Resources subcommittee. February 25, 2020.
  • Panelist for 2022 Lane Lecture (WSU School of the Environment) featuring Catherine Coleman-Flowers, “Environmental Justice in rural America”, Feb. 16, 2022

Extension advisory services

  • Member, Stormwater Strategic Initiative Lead Advisory Team (SIAT). Provides expert opinion and recommendations to the Stormwater Strategic Initiative Lead Team (SIL) to develop implementation strategies, review recovery plans, and policy recommendations for Puget Sound recovery. 2022-
  • Section Editor for Stormwater Policy & Management, Oxford Encyclopedia of Water, Sanitation, and Global Health. 2018-2022
  • Member, Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) Committee to advise the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on fish hatchery reform. 2018-2019



E-mail address:
Office Location:
Hulbert 203A
Office Phone:
(509) 335-3817