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GFCB Economics Staff

Jacob Byl, PhD, JD
Jacob Byl, PhD, JD
- Assistant Professor - Economics
Teaching Area(s)
Law and Economics

Environmental Economics



PhD, Economics, Vanderbilt University, 2015

JD, Law, Vanderbilt University, 2015

BA, Economics and International Studies, Northwestern University, 2005

Licenses and Certifications:

Member of Tennessee Bar, 2015


Dr. Byl conducts research in the intersection of law and economics, often involving environmental topics like the effectiveness of endangered species regulations. He is interested in measuring how people respond to risks, the role of laws in shaping behavior, and effective regulatory policy. His papers have appeared in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations, Ecological Economics, and Pace Environmental Law Review. He has also been involved in interdisciplinary science projects studying water quality in Mammoth Cave National Park. Before joining WKU, Dr. Byl was a postdoctoral research fellow at Vanderbilt University, clerked for trial and appellate federal judges, and co-founded an education nonprofit.

Recent Publications

"Three Barriers to Effective Programs with Payment for Ecosystem Services: Behavioral Responses in a Computer-Based Experiment", 13 Sustainability, 2021, 13, 1-17.

"Experimental Study of Consumer Responses to Different Sources of Information about Prescription Drugs" (with W. Kip Viscusi), Journal of Economics Behavior and Organization, 2021.

"Perverse Incentives and Safe Harbors in the Endangered Species Act: Evidence from Timber Harvests near Woodpeckers", 157 Ecological Economics, 2019, 157, 100-108.

"Regulations to Protect Endangered Species Reduce Local Employment: Evidence from the Listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken", (with Richard T. Melstrom and Kangil Lee), Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2018, 43, 346-363.

"Accurate Economics to Protect Endangered Species and their Critical Habitat", Pace Environmental Law Review, 2018, 36, 308-345.

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 Last Modified 8/15/21