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Dr.King has more than 30 years experience as a professor of Economics and economic consultant. He specializes in analyzing the impact of interventions, climate change adaptation, and recently has become passionate about increasing coastal access, in line with the aims of the 1976 California Coastal Act. 

Alongside his coastal work, Dr.King has extensive experience working with legal teams.

Adapting to Sea Level Rise

Dr. King research has focused on sea level rise for over a decade, beginning with two of the first studies of the economic consequences of sea level rise in California:

Can California Coastal Managers plan for sea level rise in a cost-effective way? 

Estimating the potential impacts of climate change on Southern California Beaches


More recently Dr. King has provided the economic analysis for several Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) in coastal cities in California. These LCPs are designed to help communities adapt to sea level rise. Dr. King’s analysis quantifies the benefits and costs of different adaptation pathways. Typically, these pathways favor nature-based solutions.


Nature-based solutions provide many“non-market values”—the value of coastal ecosystems that often are overlooked, including coastal recreation, other ecological functions, goods and services (EFGS) besides recreation.  These solutions are often overlooked or underestimated in typical economic analyses.

He is currently working for the City of Santa Cruz and Humboldt County.

Beaches and coastal access

For the past 25 years Dr. King has been one of the leading beach economists in the State of California.  He has prepared numerous reports for the State of California as well as coastal communities estimating and analyzing the economic value and impact of beaches and beach preservation.

Most recently Dr.King worked on two reports centered on access issues to the California Coast, specifically on the lack of affordability, concerns of inland populations, and potential solutions to the lack of Lower Cost Coastal Accommodations (LCCAs). 

His early work focused on estimating the recreational value (both non-market value and economic/fiscal impacts) of beaches and beach preservation, mostly in southern California. He worked on San Clemente , King/Symes, Fiscal Impact of Beaches, and Sandag.

Economic and Fiscal Impact analysis 

Dr. King has prepared numerous studies analyzing fiscal and economic impact. These include a number of studies analyzing the economic and fiscal impact of beaches for local jurisdictions. This type of analysis if vital for strategic decision making, drawing on data to better understand efficiencies and financial feasibility.

Past Projects, analyzing hospital economic impacts


Dr. King has also estimated the economic and fiscal impact of multi-family housing projects, in Santa Clara (pdf) and Novato (pdf) , California.  Given the structure of California’s local finance, multi-family housing is often difficult to justify from a fiscal perspective. 


Legal Consulting

Dr. King has provided expert testimony in over 40 legal cases in California as well as Washington State.  His past legal work can generally be divided into three areas of expertise:

Economic and Fiscal Impacts

Dr.King has conducted the analysis of the fiscal impact of beaches, hospitals and other projects to facilitate strategic decision making.

Urban Decay

In various cases Dr.King worked to demonstrate the impact of big box stores on the economies of towns in the Central Valley.

Multifamily Housing

Dr.King analyzed the potential for multifamily housing in Santa Clara and Novato. 

Academic Work

Dr King received his PhD in Economics from Cornell is 1987 and has been an economics professor at San Francisco State for over 30 years; he was Department Chair from 2002-2005. Dr. King also served as chair of the SF State Foundation’s Finance and Investment committee and implemented their divestment from fossil fuel stocks.

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