John Livernois | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

John Livernois

Professor Emeritus
Department of Economics and Finance
Phone number: 
ext. 52166
Mack 710

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John Livernois’ research interests are in the economics of natural resources and the environment with a focus on issues related to benefits and cost assessment, taxation, regulation and enforcement.  He received a BA (Honours) from the University of Toronto (1976) and MA (1978) and PhD (1984) from the University of British Columbia.  He has published in leading journals, served on the editorial boards of the journals for the American Association of Resource and Environmental Economists and the Canadian Economics Association, and has co-authored a senior undergraduate textbook published by the MIT Press.  In addition, he founded the Canadian Resource and Environmental Economics study group and organized its founding conference in 1991.  He is a member of the Science Advisory Board for the International Joint Commission and has worked with and advised public agencies such as the National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment, the Walkerton Inquiry, the federal Department of Finance and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.  He served as the University’s Associate Vice-President, Research from 2012 to 2018 and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance from 2003 to December 2011. 

Selected Publications:


Livernois, John and R. Uhler, “Extraction Costs and the Economics of Non-Renewable Resources”, Journal of Political Economy, February 1987, pp. 195-203

Livernois, J. and D.L. Ryan, “Testing for Non-Jointness in Oil and Gas Exploration: A Variable Profit Function Approach”,International Economic Review, 30(2), May 1989, pp. 479-504

Livernois, J. and C.J. McKenna, “Truth or Consequences: Enforcing Pollution Standards with Self-Reporting”, Journal of Public EconomicsVol. 73 No. 3, 1999: 415- 40

Livernois, J. and P. Martin, “Price, Scarcity Rent, and a Modified r-Percent Rule for Nonrenewable Resources”, Canadian Journal of Economics Vol 34 No. 3, 2001: 827-45.

Livernois, J., H. Thille and X. Zhang, “A Test of the Hotelling Rule using Old-Growth Timber Data”, Canadian Journal of Economics, February 2006, vol 39 Issue 1: 163-186.

Livernois, J. “The Empirical Significance of the Hotelling Rule”, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy Winter 2009 Vol. 3: 22 – 41

Livernois, J. “The Economics of Ending Canada’s Commercial Harp Seal Hunt”, Marine Policy 2010, Vol 34, No. 1: 42- 53.

Livernois, J. and Arian K. Moghadam, “The Abatement Cost Function for a Representative Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program”, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 15, Issue 5, July 2010: 285-297

Livernois, J. and H. Thille, “Empirical Evidence on the Theory on Nonrenewable Resource Economics”, in Halvorsen, Robert and D. Layton, Handbook on the Economics of Natural Resources, 2015, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.  

Dr. John Livernois is a professor emeritus in the Department of Economics and Finance. His recent collaborative work, "Environmental DNA (eDNA) Applications in Freshwater Fisheries Management and Conservation in Canada: Overview of Current Challenges and Opportunities," published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, examines the potential of eDNA monitoring methods to enhance fisheries management decisions in Canada. The study highlights the technical challenges of eDNA such as false positive and false negative detections, and identifies geographical, political, and cultural complexities that hinder the adoption of reliable eDNA monitoring tools. 

The research discusses the broad and heterogeneous geography of Canada, with many regions far from densely populated areas, as well as the complex political landscape and cultural diversity that complicate the design and implementation of eDNA monitoring tools. To promote broader use of eDNA, the paper outlines several action items aimed at facilitating its adoption at a national scale. These recommendations emphasize the need to address Canada's unique challenges, ensuring that eDNA tools are designed to accommodate the diverse and remote regions of the country. 

Dr. Livernois’s contributions to this study provide critical insights into the economic and environmental dimensions of fisheries management. By advocating for more effective and widespread use of eDNA in conservation practices, his work underscores the importance of integrating advanced monitoring methods to inform management and conservation decisions, practices, and policies in Canada. This research is part of Dr. Livernois's broader focus on the economics of natural resources and the environment, including benefit-cost assessment, taxation, regulation, and enforcement. 

Through his work, Dr. Livernois continues to advance understanding of the economic and environmental challenges in natural resource management, providing valuable contributions to both academic scholarship and practical policymaking in Canada. 


Bernos, T. A., Yates, M. C., Docker, M. F., Fitzgerald, A., Hanner, R., Heath, D., Imrit, A., Livernois, J., Myler, E., Patel, K., Sharma, S., Young, R., & Mandrak, N. E. (2023). Environmental DNA (eDNA) applications in freshwater fisheries management and conservation in Canada: overview of current challenges and opportunities. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 80(7), 1170–1186.