James M Sears

cv: pdf

Research Interests

Environmental and resource economics, applied microeconometrics, public finance; behavioral decision-making under uncertainty; machine learning and matching for causal inference; policy design and impact evaluation


Culpable Consumption: Residential Response to Price and Non-Price Water Conservation Measures (JOB MARKET PAPER)

James Sears

Are we #stayinghome to Flatten the Curve?

James Sears , Sofia Villas-Boas, J. Miguel Villas-Boas, and Vasco Villas-Boas
Accepted, American Journal of Health Economics

Tree-based Matching on Structural Equation Model Parameters

Sarfaraz Serang, James Sears

Clustering Life Course to Understand the Heterogeneous Effects of Life Events, Gender, and Generation on Habitual Travel Modes

Ling Jin, Alina Lazar, James Sears, Annika Todd, Alex Sim, Kesheng Wu, Hung-Chia Yang, and C. Anna Spurlock

Describing the users: Understanding adoption of and interest in shared, electrified, and automated transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area

C. Anna Spurlock, James Sears, Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, Victor Walker, Ling Jin, Margaret Taylor, Andrew Duvall, Anand R. Gopal, and Annika Todd

Food for Thought: How Food Banks Mitigate the SNAP Benefit Cycle

James Sears
Working Paper

A Reputation For the Good Stuff: User Feedback Signaling and the Deep Web Market Silk Road

James Sears
Paper in Preparation

Regional Windfalls of Beverly Hillbillies? Local and Absentee Ownership of Oil and Gas Royalties

with Jason P. Brown, Timothy Fitzgerald, and Jeremy G. Weber


American Journal of Health Economics, Economic Inquiry (WEAI Outstanding Review Service Award 2020)


Instruction and Content Design

Data and Decisions Pre-Term

  • Created content for 35 probability and statistics lessons for incoming EWMBA students
  • Recorded and Produced over 3 hours of accompanying videos
  • Content rolled out for EWMBA Class of 2023
Summer 2020

Introduction to Applied Econometrics (Instructor)

Environmental and Economic Policy C118
  • Introduced students to econometrics for causal inference and techniques for data cleaning and visualization
  • Redesigned course to use R through Jupyter Notebooks
  • First department course to utilize open-source data science tools (Berkeley Data Stack, Github)
  • Github Link
Summer 2019


Data and Decisions

EWMBA 200S, Haas School of Business

Introduction to Applied Econometrics

Environmental and Economic Policy C118

Economics for Business Decision-Making

EWMBA/EMBA 201A, Haas School of Business

Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

International and Area Studies 106


University of California Berkeley

Ph.D., Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Fields: Environmental and Energy Economics (Major), Public Finance (Minor)
Dissertation Advisor: Sofia Villas-Boas
Orals Chair: James Sallee
Expected May 2022

Montana State University

M.S., Applied Economics
Thesis Advisor: D. Mark Anderson
August 2014 - May 2016

University of California Davis

B.S., Managerial Economics
August 2009 - May 2013


University of California Berkeley

Ph.D. Admissions committee member, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics


Programming Languages & Tools

  • English: native
  • Italian: professional working
  • Spanish: limited working


  • Outstanding GSI Award, UC Berkeley (2020)
  • Cheit Outstanding GSI Award, Haas School of Business (2017)
  • Mildred Livingston Presidential Award, Montana State University
  • Departmental Citation Award, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis
  • Integrated Studies Honors Program, UC Davis
  • Regents Scholar, UC Davis