Informed by stakeholder engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration, my research blends theoretical and empirical economic modeling to inform policy discussions on issues relevant to California’s agriculture and natural resources. My research centers on evaluating policies to improve the allocation of water across users in the face of a changing climate. Current work in progress includes estimating growers’ willingness to pay for improvements in groundwater quality and evaluating the impacts of a groundwater tax on agricultural land use. 


Rupiper, Amanda, Joaquim Weill, Ellen M. Bruno, Katrina Jessoe, and Frank Loge. (2022). “Untapped Potential: Leak Reduction is the Most Cost-Effective Urban Water Management Tool.” Environmental Research Letters 17.3: 4021.

Ellen M. Bruno and Katrina Jessoe. (2021). “Using Price Elasticities of Water Demand to Inform Policy.Annual Review of Resource Economics 13.9: 1-15.

Ellen M. Bruno and Katrina Jessoe. (2021). “Missing Markets: Evidence on Agricultural Water Demand from Volumetric Pricing.” Journal of Public Economics 196: 104374.

Mishra, Ashok, Ellen M. Bruno, and David Zilberman. (2020). “Compound Natural and Human Disasters: Managing Drought and COVID-19 to Sustain Global Agriculture and Food Sectors.Science of the Total Environment 754: 142210.

Ellen M. Bruno and Richard J. Sexton. (2020). “The Gains from Agricultural Groundwater Trade and the Potential for Market Power: Theory and ApplicationAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics 102.3: 884-910.

Alyssa J. DeVincentis, Sam Sandoval Solis, Ellen M. Bruno, Amber Leavitt, Anna Gomes, Sloane Rice, and Daniele Zaccaria. (2020). “Using Cost-Benefit Analysis to Understand Adoption of Winter Cover Cropping in California’s Specialty Crop Systems.” Journal of Environmental Management 261: 110025.

Tina L. Saitone and Ellen M. Bruno. (2020). “Cost Effectiveness of Livestock Guardian Dogs for Predator Control.Wildlife Society Bulletin 44.1: 101-109.

Working Papers

“Strawberry Fields Forever: Willingness-to-Pay for Groundwater Quality in Agriculture” with Molly Sears and W. Michael Hanemann.

“The Dynamic Impacts of Pricing Groundwater Externalities” with Katrina Jessoe and W. Michael Hanemann.

“The Political Economy of Groundwater Management: Descriptive Evidence from California” with Arthur R. Wardle and Nick Hagerty.


2022 CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant: “Assessing the Potential of Regenerative Agriculture to Support Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration” (with C. Lazcano, Lead PI)

2021 Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) New Innovator Award: “Advancing Water Policy for Agricultural Sustainability”

2021 USDA NIFA Sustainable Agricultural Systems: “Securing a Climate Resilient Water Future for Agriculture and Ecosystems through Innovation in Measurement, Management, and Markets” (with J. Viers, Lead PI)

2020 Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics: “Assessing Measurement Error in Remotely Sensed Land Use Data for Economic Applications”

2020 National Science Foundation RAPID: “Compounding Human and Natural Disasters: Implications for the Agricultural Sector” (With David Zilberman and Ashok Mishra)

2018 California Institute for Water Resources and U.S. Geological Survey: “Groundwater Regulation and Land Fallowing: How Does Water Scarcity Impact Land Use?”

2018 California Water Resources Control Board: “Life Cycle Cost and Economic Analysis for Water Loss Performance Standards” (with K. Jessoe and F. Loge)

2018 Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics: “The Economics of Groundwater Quality in California Agriculture”

2017 – 2018 UC Water Challenge: “Sustainable Groundwater in California: Managing Water Use with Economic Instruments” (with Katrina K. Jessoe, Richard J. Sexton, and W. Michael Hanemann)

2014 – 2016 National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education & Research Traineeship in Climate Change, Water, and Society


2019 Award for Most Downloaded Article in the 2018-2019 Issue of ARE Update

2019 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, Agricultural & Applied Economics Association

2019 Gordon A. King Award for Best Dissertation, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis

2017 Award for Most Downloads of an Article in the 2016-2017 Issue of ARE Update

2017 Outstanding Graduate Paper Award, Western Agricultural Economics Association

2013 Joel Dean Award for Excellence in Management Science, UC San Diego

Photograph of the California Delta by Olena Sambucci.