Kent Messer

Associate Professor

Department: Economics
Campus Address: Townsend Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-1316



  • Environmental Conservation
  • Provision of Public Goods
  • Behavioral Response to Risk


  • Ph.D. Cornell University, 2003
  • M.S. University of Michigan, 1999
  • B.A. Grinnell College, 1994
  • Curriculum Vitae


  • Messer, K.D., J. Duke, and L. Lynch. Forthcoming. “Applying Experimental Economics to Land Economics: Public Information and Auction Efficiency in Land Preservation Markets.” in the Oxford Handbook of Land Economics. J. Duke and J. Wu editors. Oxford Press.
  • Hoffman, V, J. Fooks, and K.D. Messer. Forthcoming. “Measuring and Mitigating HIV Stigma: A Framed Field Experiment” Economic Development and Cultural Change.
  • Unur, A.S., H.E. Peters, K.D. Messer, and W.D. Schulze. 2013.“Incentive Effects of Parents’ Transfers to Children:  Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment” B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (Contributions).
  • Keisner, D.K., K.D. Messer, W.D. Schulze, and H. Zarghamee. 2013“Testing Social Preferences for an Economic ‘Bad’: An Artefactual Field Experiment.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 115(1): 27–61.
  • Arnold, M., J. Duke, and K.D. Messer. 2013. “Adverse Selection in Reverse Auctions for Environmental Services”Land Economics. 89(3): 387-412.
  • Messer, K.D., J. Suter, and J. Yan. 2013. “Context effects in a negatively framed social dilemma experiment”Environmental & Resource Economics.55(3): 397-405.
  • Duke, J.M., S.J. Dundas, and K.D. Messer. 2013“Cost-Effective Conservation Planning: Lessons from Economics”Journal of Environmental Management. 125: 126-133
  • Fooks, J. and K.D. Messer. 2013.. “Mathematical Programming Applications to Land Conservation and Environmental Quality.” in Computational Intelligent Data Analysis for Sustainable Development. T. Yu editor. Taylor & Francis Publishing.
  • Liu, Z., C. Kanter, K.D. Messer, and H. M. Kaiser. 2013. “Identifying significant characteristics of organic milk consumers: a CART analysis of an artefactual field experiment” Applied Economics. 45(21): 3110-2121.
  • Messer, K.D., G.L. Poe and W.D. Schulze. 2013“The Value of Private Versus Public Risk and Pure Altruism: An Experimental Economics Test.” Applied Economics. 45(9): 1089-1097.
  • Suter, J., J. Duke, and K.D. Messer, and H. Michael. 2012“Behavior in a Spatially Explicit Groundwater Resource: Evidence from the Lab.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 94(5): 1094-1112.
  • Fooks, J.R. and K.D. Messer. 2012.“Maximizing Conservation and In-Kind Cost Share: Applying Goal Programming to Forest Protection” Forest Economics. 18: 207-217.
  • Dillaway, R., K.D. Messer, J. Bernard, and H.M. Kaiser. 2011“Do Consumer Responses to Media Food Safety Information Last?” Applied Economics Policy and Perspectives. 33(3): 363.383.
  • Shawhan, D., K.D. Messer, W.D. Schulze, and R.E. Schuler. 2011. “An Experimental Test of Automatic Mitigation of Wholesale Electricity Prices.” International Journal of Industrial Organization. 29(1): 46-53.
  • Messer, K.D., H.M. Kaiser, C. Payne, and B. Wansink. 2011“Can Generic Advertising Alleviate Consumer Concerns Over Food Scares” Applied Economics: 43(12):1535-1549.
  • Allen, W.L., O.M. Amundsen, J. Dujmoviċ, and K.D. Messer. 2011“Identifying and Selecting Strategic Mitigation Opportunities: Criteria Design and Project Evaluation using Logic Scoring of Preference and Optimization.” Journal of Conservation Planning. 7: 61-68.
  • Messer, K.D., G.L. Poe, D. Rondeau, W.D. Schulze and C. Vossler. 2010“Exploring Voting Anomalies Using a Demand Revealing Random Price Voting Mechanism.” Journal of Public Economics. 94(3-4): 308-317.
  • Messer, K.D. and W.L. Allen. 2010. "Applying Optimization and the Analytic Hierarchy Process to Enhance Agricultural Preservation Strategies in the State of Delaware." Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 39(3): 442-456.
  • Messer, K.D. 2010 “Protecting Endangered Species: When Are Shoot-on-Sight Policies the Only Viable Option to Stop Poaching?” Ecological Economics 69: 2334 – 2340.
  • Kanter C., K.D. Messer and H.M. Kaiser. 2009. “ Does Production Labeling Stigmatize Conventional Milk ” American Journal of Agricultural Economics." 91(4):1097-1109.
  • Payne, C., K.D. Messer, and H.M. Kaiser. 2009“ Which Consumers Are Most Responsive to Media Induced Food Scares?”Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 38(3): 295-310.
  • Messer, K.D., H.M. Kaiser and W.D. Schulze. 2008“The Problem of Free Riding in Voluntary Generic Advertising: Parallelism and Possible Solutions from the Lab." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 90(2): 540–552.
  • Doyon, M., V. Simard, K. Messer, L.D. Tamini, and H.M. Kaiser. 2008. “ An Experimental Analysis of Modifications to the Centralized Milk Quota Exchange System in Quebec.” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 56(1): 295-312. (Received 2008 Oustanding Journal Article Award, Canadian Agricultural Economic Society)
  • Messer, K.D., H. Zarghamee, H.M. Kaiser and W.D. Schulze. 2007. “ New Hope for the Voluntary Contribution Mechanism: The Effects of Framing and Context” Journal of Public Economics 91(9):1783-1799.
  • Messer, K.D., W.D. Schulze, K.F. Hackett, T. Cameron, and G. McClelland. 2006. “Can Stigma Explain Large Property Value Losses? The Psychology and Economics of Superfund. ” Environmental and Resource Economics33(3): 299-324.
  • Messer, K.D. 2006. “The Conservation Benefits of Cost-Effective Land Acquisition: A Case Study in Maryland.”Journal of Environmental Management 79:305-315.
  • Messer, K.D., T.M. Schmit and H.M. Kaiser. 2005. “Optimal Institution Designs for Generic Advertising: An Experimental Analysis.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 87(4): 1046-1060.

Awards & Honors

Select Research Funding

  • National Science Foundation – funding support from EPSCoR Track-2. 2013-2016. “North East Water Resources Network (NEWRnet)” $6,000,000. D.J. Leathers (PI); A. Andres, D., Levia, S. Inamdar, and K.D. Messer (co-PIs).
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from EPSCoR Track-I. 2013-2018. “Delaware EPSCoR: Meeting Delaware's 21st Century Water and Energy Challenges through Research, Education, and Innovation.” $20,000,000. D.L. Sparks (PI); V. Kalavacharla, K.D. Messer, S. Smith, K. Steiner, (Co-PIs).
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from the Decision, Risk & Management Sciencesdirectorate. 2013-2014. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS: Protecting the Coastline - Optimal Coastal Inundation Adaptation Mechanisms.” $13,860. K. Messer (PI); J. Fooks (co-PI).
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from the Decision, Risk & Management Sciences, Engineering, and Geosciences directorates, 2012-2013. “WSC Category 1 - Water Sustainability in Coastal Environments: Exploratory Research for an Integrated Study of the Effect of Anticipated Sea Level Rise on Contaminated Site Risk.” $135,000.  J.M. Duke (PI), K.D. Messer, H. Michael and D. Sparks (co-PIs).
  • Northeast Center for Risk Management Education, 2012-2013. “Pricing and Marketing Risk Management Education for Honey Producers.” $35,000.  D. Delaney and K. Messer (PIs), J. Fooks (Co-PI).
  • USDA Economic Research Service, 2011-2013. “Designing Choice Architecture to Cost-Effectively Reduce Agricultural Nutrient and Sediment Water Pollution in the Galveston Bay Watershed: A Framed Field Experiment.” $100,000.  K.D. Messer and W.D. Allen (PIs), O. Amundsen (Co-PI).
  • National Science Foundation – funding support from the Decision, Risk and Management Sciences and Hydrologic Sciences programs, 2010-2013. “Collaborative Research: An Experimental Economics Investigation of Groundwater Resource Dynamics.” K.D. Messer and J. Suter (PIs), H. Michael and J. Duke (co-PIs) ($369,483).
  • Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Economics, 2008-2009. “2009 NAREA Workshop: The Use of Experimental Methods in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics" ($60,624). K. Messer and J. Murphy (PIs).
  • Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2010. “Exploring Ways to Ensure the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Delaware's Conservation Efforts” ($10,000) K.D. Messer and J. Duke (PIs).
  • USDA Economic Research Service and the Farm Foundation, 2008-2009. “2009 NAREA Workshop: The Use of Experimental Methods in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics" $10,000. K. Messer and J. Murphy (PIs).
  • Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology, 2008-2011. “ Better Practices of Maryland Land Conservation” $58,450 W. Allen and K. Messer (PIs).
  • USDA Economic Research Service, 2007-2009. “ Applying Economic Experiments to Improve the Design and Implementation of Conservation Programs” $295,823 ID#58-6000-7-0089. K. Messer and M. Weinberg (PIs), J. Duke, D. Hellerstein, N. Higgins, B. Kirwan, L. Lynch, M. Roberts (Co-PIs).
  • National Science Foundation – fuding support from Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Program, 2006-2008. “The Economics and Psychology of Stigma: An Experimental Examination.” ID#0551289. $239,966. William Schulze (PI), K.D. Messer and Brian Wansink (co-PI).
  • National Science Foundation – funding suspport from the Economics Program and Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Program, 2004-2006. “An Experimental Economics Examination of Behavioral Anomalies, Group Decision Making, and the Provision of Public Goods.” $220,535. ID#0418450. W.D. Schulze (PI), K.D. Messer, G. Poe, and H.M. Kaiser (Co-PIs).

Professional Activities

  • Editor, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review (2012-present)
  • Board Member, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (2008-2011)
  • Affiliate, Delaware Environmental Institute
  • Member, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
  • Member, American Agricultural Economic Association
  • Member, American Economics Association
  • Member, Economic Science Association

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.4 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Fund, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Lerner College faculty - like Anu Sivaraman, who is among Social Media Marketing Magazine’s “Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter” and’s “Top 50 Marketing Professors on Twitter” - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

All Lerner College departments offer experience-driven learning and emphasize evidence-based analytics methods to enrich the student experience. Here, finance students visit New York City’s financial districts for a first-hand look at markets trading and to meet with UD alumni.

Charles W. Horn, AS75, and wife Patricia, recently made a $3 million commitment to enhance and expand entrepreneurial studies.

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