Gary Libecap

Environmental Science & Management


4412 Bren Hall

University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

IEE Research Areas: 


National Bureau of Economic Research, Research Associate


Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Sherm and Marge Telleen Research Fellow, 
Property and Environment Research Center, Senior Fellow

Research Description: 

Gary Libecap is interested in common pool resource problems and how property rights institutions (private, group) can or cannot address them.  If he finds they have not or have been adopted late, then he is interested in examining the process of institutional change.  The motivation for this lies both in the wastes associated with open-access resources and the wide variety of institutional responses that are empirically observed. Moreover, it is often the case that even in the presence of consensus on the size and nature of the open-access problem (Tragedy of the Commons), the problems persist and are addressed only slowly and incompletely. For an economist, this presents a challenge—explaining why externalities persist in some cases or why they are addressed rapidly in others.  At the institute, Professor Libecap applies this research to the area of energy efficiency through economic and political initiatives.


BA: University of Montana, Bozeman
PhD: University of Pennsylvania


Gary Libecap is Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Corporate Environmental Management in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.