Kurt Semm

Ecological Economist


A pleasure to meet you!

I am an ecological economist with expertise in natural resources, political economy, and climate change economics. 

Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate at the New School for Social Research and a Junior Economist at the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). My research analyzes the complex relationship between economic growth and water management. Through the political economy theory of rents, my analysis incorporates social and cultural specificity into water analysis. Traditional economic methods for water–marginal pricing and game theoretic models—cannot capture the institutional, historical, and cultural nuances implicit in managing water. 

A key theme of my work is that water security is as much a social relation between communities and water management institutions as it is a hydrological, geological definition. Adopting this framework with greater explanatory power than traditional methods allows economists to advise policymakers and government officials more effectively as they design and shape policies for managing water.