Peter Howley
Senior Lecturer



Peter joined the Environment Department as a Lecturer in Environmental Economics in 2012 having previously worked as a research officer for Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority) in Ireland. Prior to this he obtained his PhD from the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. Peter's research interests are broadly in the field of applied microeconometrics with a particular focus on issues related to health and well-being, environmental valuation, farmers’ decision-making and urban and regional planning.

Research interests

Much of my recent research has been aimed at appying econometric and spatial modelling techniques to better understand the drivers of population health and well-being. This involves looking at the role of social (e.g. social networks, neighbouring) and physical capital (e.g. neighbourhood disamenities, air pollution, geohazards) on individuals overall quality of life.  My work in agriculture seeks to provide a rationale for the prevalence of inefficient farm practices such as relatively low rates of uptake of efficiency-enhancing technologies and more generally sub-optimal financial behaviours.  This work shows the importance of considering non-pecuniary benefits, productivist attitudes and risk aversion when analysing farmers’ behaviourI have also a strong background in applied environmental economics research.  Specifically, I have applied a variety of non-market valuation methods to value changes in the provision of environmental goods and services. Finally, following on from my PhD related research, I maintain an active research interest in issues related to urban renewal and residential mobility across the life-cycle.  

Selected Recent publications (Please see York Research Database above for a more complete list)

Howley, P (2017) Less money or better health: Evaluating individual's willingness to make trade-offs using life satisfaction data. Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation. In press. 

Howley, P., Dillon, E., Heanue, K. and Meredith, D. (2016) Worth the risk? The behavioral path to well-being. Journal of Agricultural Economics, In press.

Marr, E., Howley, P. and Burns, C. (2016) Sparing or sharing? Differing approaches to managing agricultural and environmental spaces in England and Ontario. Journal of Rural Studies, 48, 77-91.

Howley, P. (2015) The happy farmer: The effect of nonpecuniary benefits on behavior. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 97(4), 1072-1086.

Howley, P., O Neill, S. and Atkinson, R. (2015) Who needs good neighbors? Environment and Planning A, 47, 939-956

Howley, P., Buckley, C., Donoghue, C. and Ryan, M. (2015) Explaining the economic ‘irrationality’ of farmers’ land use behaviour: the role of productivist attitudes and non-pecuniary benefits. Ecological Economics, 109, 186-193.

PhD supervision

I am interested in hearing from PhD students with research interests broadly in the areas of health and well-being, environmental and natural resource economics, farmers’ decision-making and urban and regional planning. 

Current PhD students

- Eric Marr: Food Production or Biodiversity Protection: Competition for Agricultural Land in the United Kingdom and Canada. 

- Sarah Knight: Examining the impact of environmental disamenities on health and well-being - co-supervised with Dr. Colin McClean Environment Department

- Juan C. Trujillo: Extreme weather events, health and well-being

- Jenifer Chapman: Balancing benefits and risks of veterinary medicinal products - co-supervised with Professor Alistair Boxall

- Alda Tomo (co-supervised with Jon Ensor): Ecosystem based adaptation to climate change.

- Arianna Escalente (co-supervised with Joshua Kirschner): Economic Development and Environmental sustainability in Mexico




Howley, Peter 

Contact details

Dr Peter Howley
Senior Lecturer
Environment Department
University of York
YO10 5NG

Tel: 01904 324058
Fax: 01904 322998




Applied Economics for the Environment

Resource Economics


Economic Theory for Environmental Management

Other teaching

Contributor to Introduction to Environment, Economics and Ecology and Tools and Techniques for Studying the Environment (1st years)