Robert H. Nelson: The Independent Institute

The Power of Independent Thinking


Stay Connected
Get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

Robert H. Nelson

Robert H. Nelson (1944–2018) was a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of Environmental Policy in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center.

Professor Nelson had been Staff Economist for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs; Visiting Senior Fellow, Marine Policy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Member of Economics Staff, Office of Policy Analysis, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, U.S. Department of the Interior; Senior Research Manager of President's Commission on Privatization; Visiting Scholar and Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Visiting Scholar at the Property and Environment Research Center; Chairman of Interior Department Task Force on Indian Economic Development; Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute; Senior Economist of the Commission on Fair Market Value Policy for Federal Coal Leasing; Staff Economist, Twentieth Century Fund; Assistant Professor of Economics, City College of the City University of New York; and Consultant to the Puerto Rico Planning Board.

A contributing author to many scholarly volumes, his articles appeared such journals as the Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Political Economy, Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Journal of Markets and Morality, Case Western Reserve Law Review, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Natural Resources Journal, Review of Faith and International Affairs, Ecological Economics, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Review of Policy Research, Ocean Development and International Law, Politics and the Life Sciences, Journal of Forestry, Southern Economic Journal, and University of Colorado Law Review.

Professor Nelson authored of the Independent Institute book, The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America, as well as the books, Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government; Zoning and Property Rights; The Making of Federal Coal Policy; Reaching for Heaven on Earth: The Theological Meaning of Economics; Economics as Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond; and Public Lands and Private Rights: The Failure of Scientific Management.

His popular articles appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Reason, Society, Baltimore Sun, Liberty, Financial Times, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, Policy Review, Federal Times, Sacramento Bee, The Freeman, Denver Post, Urban Land, and other newspapers and magazines.

He received his B.A. in mathematics from Brandeis University and Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

  • Catalyst