(And Other Related Topics)

Over the years I have kept a running tab of research questions related to environmental, agricultural, natural resource, and urban economics. These are often multi-disciplinary (transdisciplinary, if you will), dealing with questions around technology, equity, individual-versus-collective interests, and community well-being.

I would like to share some of these ideas, hopefully to spark some collaborations and continuing discussions in the years ahead. …

What economics can tell us about mobilizing group action

Photo credit: dejankrsmanovic (CC BY 4.0)

Two neighbours may agree to drain a meadow, which they possess in common; because ’tis easy for them to know each others mind; and each must perceive, that the immediate consequence of his failing in his part, is the abandoning the whole project. …

An ongoing series on the value of ecological data.

Photo credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann (Creative Commons)

(See Part 1 here)

This post addresses the value of ecological data used to support regenerative land management practices. We describe an approach to estimate current values of ecological data based on what we know about expenditures on payment for ecosystem services. The methods can apply from a global scale all the way down to individual projects.


This article focuses on activities like crop- and rangeland restoration projects, changes in land management practices, and the factors that enable these activities. We describe an outcome-based approach to ecological regeneration that is concerned…

A series on the intersection of ecology and emerging token economies

Maple Syrup collecting in Michigan. Photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC →;< (Creative Commons)

Part 1: Metaphors and market design

The advent of token economies has given us a profusion of metaphors to describe how these economies work. A non-exhaustive list of token economy metaphors would include digital gold (assets), digital cash (currencies), and arcade (utility/access) tokens. This is a necessary step in any emerging field, and as time goes by, that language will emerge. Indeed, we are already seeing this today, with talk of cryptoeconomic primitives and other building blocks.

When electronic instruments such as the theremin and the analog synthesizer were invented, early players often adapted existing musical repertoire. The results could be stunning, like Clara Rockmore’s rendition…

Kyle Birchard

Economist, Technologist, Entrepreneur

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