Faculty Profile

Jonathan Yoder

Jonathan Yoder


Phone: 509-335-8596


Jonathan Yoder is a Professor of Economics in the School of Economic Sciences, Director of the State of Washington Water Center, and Affiliate Faculty in the WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. He specializes in natural resource and environmental economics and economic development, with a focus on policy design, law, contracts, and valuation.  He received a Ph.D. in Economics from North Carolina State University, a Masters in Economics from Montana State University, and an undergraduate degree in Biology and Journalism from Indiana University.  Yoder has published on economic aspects of agricultural and natural resource markets, energy, climate policy, water management, wildfire economics, wildlife management institutions, allocation of public resource access, land leases, livestock infectious disease, econometrics methods, and other topics.  

General Research / Expertise:
My recent research spans four topic areas: the nexus of health and economic development; water economics; energy economics, and the economics of wildfire. Methodologically I specialize in applied econometrics and policy analysis. 

Research Contributions:
I am interested in understanding the ways in which health and economic well-being are connected in low-income rural communities. Sick people and livestock are less productive, which lowers income and drains a household’s economic resources --- which makes it harder to avoid and recover from health problems where social safety nets are weak and insurance and credit markets function poorly.  This kind of “health poverty trap” is difficult to break out of.  The focus of my work is to understand the health and economic factors that help households and communities overcome health-related poverty. 

Research Details:
Recent published research with colleagues and students have focused on indirect relationships and consequences of livestock health. For example, a recent paper in Science Advances shows that the  adoption of East Coast Fever vaccine by households can raise livestock-dependent household income enough to increase the their capacity to pay for schooling, leading to higher school attendance by girls, who are more often unable to attend. In another recent work in the journal Environment and Development Economics, we identity a strong connection between communal grazing, livestock illness, and antibiotic use. Communal grazing is common in sub Saharan Africa as an effective land tenure and risk management strategy among pastoralists, but it comes with potential costs in the form higher infectious livestock disease transmission and illness rates. Another paper  in the journal PLOS One estimates the cost borne by pastoralist avoidance of malignant Catarrhal Fever risk in Northern Tanzania due to moving away from migrating wildebeest during calving season --- when transmission of the disease is highest.  

Select Publications
  • Haseeb Ahmed, Douglas R. Call, Robert J. Quinlan and Jonathan K. Yoder (2018) Relationships between livestock grazing practices, disease risk, and antimicrobial use among East African Agropastoralists Environment and Development Economics Volume 23, Issue 1, pp80-97, doi10.1017/S1355770X17000341. PMID: PMCID:
  • Jonathan Yoder Jennifer Adam Michael Brady Joseph Cook Stephen Katz Shane Johnston Keyvan Malek John McMillan Qingqing Yang (2017) Benefit‐Cost Analysis of Integrated Water Resource Management: Accounting for Interdependence in the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Journal of the American Water Resources Association 53(2):456-477. DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12507 PMID: PMCID:
  • Marsh TL, Yoder J, Deboch T, McElwain TF, Palmer GH (2016) Livestock vaccinations translate into increased human capital and school attendance by girls. Science Advances 2(12):e1601410. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27990491 PMCID: PMC5156515
  • Lankester F, Lugelo A, Kazwala R, Keyyu J, Cleaveland S, Yoder J. (2015) The economic impact of malignant catarrhal fever on pastoralist livelihoods. PLoS One. 10(1):e0116059. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116059. PMID: 25629896 PMCID: PMC4309580
  • Jonathan K. Yoder, Adrienne M. Ohler, Hayley H. Chouinard (2014) What floats your boat? Preference revelation from lotteries over complex goods Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 67(3):412-430. PMID: PMCID:

List of Publications