United States Air Force Academy

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Professor Katherine Silz-Carson

Professor of Economics

Department of Economics & Geosciences

Katherine Sliz-Carson
Contact Information

(719) 333-2597




Dr. Silz-Carson is a professor of economics whose work focuses on the intersection of experimental, public, and environmental economics. She uses economics experiments to study the effect of incentive compatibility (or the lack thereof) on decision-making in individual and group environments. Her work has applications to environmental and other public policies, as well as the design of systems in financial markets.

Currently, Dr. Silz-Carson teaches courses in microeconomics, econometrics and game theory, although during her tenure at the U.S. Air Force Academy, she has taught a variety of courses, including Principles of Economics (Econ 200/201), Development of Economic Thought (Econ 240), Comparative Economic Systems (Econ 351), Economics of Latin America (Econ 459), and International Economics for non-majors (Econ 374). She has also taught the Scholars’ program version of introductory economics (Econ 201S).

In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. Silz-Carson currently serves as the Chair of the U.S. Air Force Academy Institutional Review Board (IRB), the committee that oversees all human subjects research conducted at the Air Force Academy, and as a board member for the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, a standing committee of the American Economic Association.


Ph.D., Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder (1997)

Master of Arts, Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder (1995)

Bachelor of Science, Applied Mathematics and Economics (Summa cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)(minor Biology), University of New Mexico (1993)

Professional Experience

Professor, Department of Economics and Geosciences, U.S. Air Force Academy (2009–present)

Research Fellow, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University (2013–2014)

Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Geography, U.S. Air Force Academy (2003-2008)

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Geography, U.S. Air Force Academy (1997-2003)

Graduate Fellow, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/National Science Foundation Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program (1995-1997)

Research Assistant, Center for Economic Analysis, University of Colorado-Boulder (1994-1995)

Research Assistant/Instructor, RCG Hagler-Bailly, Inc., Colorado (1994)

Assistant Manager for Aquatics, University of Colorado Student Recreation Center, Colorado (1994-1997)

Teaching Assistant, Department of Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder (1993-1994)

Summer Science Intern, Environment and Waste Management Technical Support Division, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico (1992 & 1993)

Honors & Awards

Certificate of Achievement, Committee on Economic Education of the American Economic Association Teaching Innovation Program (2008)

Sponsored scholar, Faculty Resource Network Winter Seminar, “The Puerto Rican Identity,” San Juan, Puerto Rico (2007)

Sponsored scholar, American Economic Association/National Science Foundation Teaching Innovations Program, New Mexico (2006)

Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar Abroad, Southern Cone Exploration (2004)

Experimental Investigations of Value Elicitation Mechanisms, National Science Foundation, Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences and Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Divisions (SES-0351946), April 1 2004-March 31, 2008, $62,286 (Principal Investigator).

A Comparison of Behavior in Referenda, National Science Foundation, Social and Economic Sciences Directorate, Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Division (SES-9986407), February 2000 – February 2002, $12,000. (Principal Investigator, funded at 120% of requested level.)

Discrete Choice Modeling of Environmental Security, Institute for National Security Studies, March 1998 – November 1998, $2900 (Principal Investigator).

Operationalizing Incentive Compatible Mechanisms, EPA/NSF STAR Dissertation Fellowship, United States Environmental Protection Agency, August 1995-May 1997, $56,000 (Graduate Fellow).

Research and Scholarly Interests

Experimental economics

Incentive compatibility

Public goods

Environmental economics

Nonmarket valuation



Incentive compatibility and institutional corruption, Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics 14(3), 10-22, 2017.

Incentive compatible mechanisms for providing environmental public goods, in Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, eds. J.A. List and M. Price (Edward Elgar Publishing), 2013.

Formative assessment in economics courses, (with W. Walstad, M. Curme, and I. Ghosh) in Results of the American Economics Associations Teaching Innovations Program, eds. M. Salemi and W. Walstad (Edward Elgar Publishing), 2010.

Why do people non-demand reveal in hypothetical double referenda for public goods? (with A.C. Burton, S.M. Chilton, and W.G. Hutchinson), Applied Economics, 41(27): 3561-3569, 2009.

Necessary conditions for demand revelation in double referenda, (with S.M. Chilton and W.G. Hutchinson), Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 57(2): 219-225, 2009.

Consequentiality and demand revelation in double referenda,” (with S.M. Chilton and W.G. Hutchinson) in Environmental Economics, Experimental Methods, eds. T.L. Cherry, S. Kroll, and J.F. Shogren (Oxford, UK: Routledge Press), pp. 407-423, 2008.

Resolving questions about bias in real and hypothetical referenda,” (with A.C. Burton, S.M. Chilton, and W.G. Hutchinson) Environmental and Resource Economics 38(4): 513-525, 2007.

An experimental investigation of explanations for Inconsistencies in responses to second offers in double referenda” (with A.C. Burton, S.M.Chilton, and W.G. Hutchinson) Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 46(3): 472-489, 2003.


Impact of the Air Force Selective Reenlistment Bonus Program on Retention, (with N. Wozny, J. Joffrion, N. Mastronardi and S. Carrell), Final Report prepared for HQ USAF/A1PF, July 2013.

Foreign Language Incentive Pay: Effectiveness Research and Analysis, (with N. Janssen, J. Lowe, and N. Mastronardi), Final Report prepared for HQ USAF/A1DG, October 2011.


Using choice experiments to value public goods: theory and experimental evidence (with S.M. Chilton, W.G Hutchinson, and R. Scarpa), under review at Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Modeling career success of USAFA graduates (with J. Rodriguez, presented at the Southern Economic Association 2016 Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 19-21 November 2016)

The effect of team-based learning on outcomes in intermediate microeconomics (presented at the American Economic Association 6th Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education (CTREE), Atlanta, GA, 1-3 June 2016)