Terry Anderson

John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow

Terry Anderson is the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the executive director of PERC (the Property and Environment Research Center), a think tank in Bozeman, Montana, that focuses on market solutions to environmental problems. His research helped launch the idea of free-market environmentalism and has prompted public debate over the proper role of government in managing natural resources. He was the cochair of Hoover's Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity Task Force.

Anderson is the author or editor of thirty-seven books. Among these, Free Market Environmentalism, coauthored with Donald Leal, received the 1992 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. A revised edition was published in 2001.

His most recent publication is Tapping Water Markets (RFF Press, 2012). Other books include Greener Than Thou: Are You Really an Environmentalist? (Hoover Institution Press, 2008) and Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity (Hoover Institution Press, 2003), both coauthored with Laura Huggins. His book, with Peter J. Hill, The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (Stanford University Press), was awarded the 2005 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Anderson’s research, which has also focused on Native American economies, recently resulted in a coedited volume, Self-Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans (Stanford University Press, 2006). He has published widely in both professional journals and the popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and Fly Fisherman.

In March 2011, Anderson received the Liberalni Institute Annual Award in Prague in the Czech Republic for his "Contribution to the Proliferation of Liberal Thinking, and Making Ideas of Liberty, Private Property, Competition, and the Rule of Law Come True.” Previous recipients include Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, and Vernon Smith.

Anderson received his BS degree from the University of Montana in 1968 and his PhD degree in economics from the University of Washington in 1972, after which he began his teaching career at Montana State University, where he won several teaching awards.

Anderson is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys fishing, hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and archery hunting, especially in Africa.

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Recent Commentary

Featured Commentary

How Taxing Organic Products Could Solve California’s Water Shortage

by Terry Anderson, Henry I. Millervia National Review
Monday, May 18, 2015

California is in the fourth year of record-setting dearth of rain, with virtually the entire state experiencing “exceptional drought.” In response, Governor Jerry Brown has mandated a 25 percent reduction in the state’s water use. Nowhere to be found are increases in water prices to induce conservation.

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Free Market Environmentalism For The Next Generation

by Terry Andersonvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Free Market Environmentalism for the Next Generation provides an optimistic way of thinking about how to link dynamic environments to dynamic economies.

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Featured Commentary

How Republicans Can Win Environmentally-Friendly Millennials

by Terry Andersonvia Daily Caller (DC)
Friday, March 13, 2015

If the Republican Party wishes to take the White House in 2016, it will not just need to win the minds of Gen X and Gen Y.

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Free Market Environmentalism

by Terry Andersonvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, February 19, 2015

Green entrepreneurs are a win for our economy and our environment. 

If Hayek and Coase Were Environmentalists: Linking Economics and Ecology

by Terry Andersonvia Working Group on Economic Policy
Thursday, February 5, 2015

Working Group on Economic Policy: WP15102 - This essay argues that the focus of ecology and economics on equilibria and externalities misses the dynamic connection between humans and nature and that there is a better alternative for linking ecology with economics, one that builds on the teachings of Nobel laureates Friedrich Hayek and Ronald Coase.

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The Fires Next Time

by Terry Anderson, Daniel Botkinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Drought, heat, bigger fires: forest management has to keep up.

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When Environmental Policy Backfires

by Terry Andersonvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The better way to save endangered species is by relying on private actors and property rights rather than the federal government.  

Railroading the Environment

by Terry Andersonvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Block the construction of pipelines and more oil gets shipped by train. That will make spills and accidents more likely, not less.

Featured Commentary

When the Endangered Species Act Threatens Wildlife

by Terry Andersonvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, October 20, 2014

Heavy-handed enforcement of the law has discouraged private conservation efforts.

Featured Commentary

Why Ducks Quack for Obama: The boom in gun sales has created a revenue gusher for wildlife restoration

by Terry Andersonvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gun owners may view President Obama as public enemy No. 1, but wildlife have reason to cheer. Thanks to gun control policies supported by the president and leading Democrats, gun and ammunition sales have skyrocketed and so have excise tax revenues. Those revenues are earmarked for wildlife restoration.