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Louis Preonas

Assistant Professor

2104 Symons Hall College Park, MD 20742


  • Energy Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Development Economics



Louis Preonas is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland. His is an energy and environmental economist, and much of his research focuses on interacting market distortions in U.S. energy markets. His recent work studies market power in U.S. coal transportation, and analyzes the extent to which decreasing coal markups may lead to incomplete pass-through of a carbon tax.  

He also works at the intersection of environmental and development economics, focusing on the economic impacts of electricity access in the developing world. Other ongoing projects include: evaluating the private and social costs of inefficient electricity supply in India; estimating demand elasticities for electricity and groundwater in California agriculture, in order to characterize spatial pumping cost externalities, surface water substitution, and planting decisions; and improving the design of randomized experiments using panel data.


Ph.D. 2018, University of California, Berkeley: Agricultural and Resource Economics
M.S. 2013, University of California, Berkeley: Agricultural and Resource Economics
B.A. 2007, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: Economics and Spanish


Areas of Interest: 

  • Energy Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Development Economics


Selected Publications:

“Out of the Darkness and Into the Light? Development Effects of Rural Electrification.” (with Fiona
Burlig). Accepted at Journal of Political Economy. [ link ]

“MPAs and Aspatial Policies in Artisanal Fisheries” (with Heidi J. Albers, Madison Ashworth, Tabaré Capitán,and Róger Madrigal-Ballestero). 2021. Marine Resource Economics 36(4): 341–367. [ link ]

“Optimal Siting, Sizing, and Enforcement of Marine Protected Areas” (with H.J. Albers, T. Capitán, E.J.Z. Robinson, and R. Madrigal-Ballestero). 2020. Environmental and Resource Economics 77(1): 229–269. [ link ]

“Panel Data and Experimental Design” (with Fiona Burlig and Matt Woerman). 2020. Journal of Development Economics 144: 102548. [ link ] [ ungated pdf ]

“Environmental and Technology Policy Options in the Electricity Sector: Are We Deploying Too Many?” (with Carolyn Fischer and Richard Newell). 2017. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 4(4): 959–984. [ link ]

“Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less Than the Sum of Its Parts?” (with Carolyn Fischer). 2010. International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics 4(1): 51–92. [ link ]