John F. Raffensperger

Photo of John Raffensperger
Operations Researcher, Adjunct; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in business, University of Chicago; M.B.A., University of Chicago; B.S. in industrial engineering, Northwestern University


John F. Raffensperger is an adjunct operations researcher at the RAND Corporation, Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and Visiting Professor of Operations Management at Simon Business School, University of Rochester, NY. 

Born and raised in Chicago, Raffensperger obtained a B.S. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University, later attending the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business for an M.B.A. and Ph.D., studying U.S. Army training readiness. He was a RAND Summer Associate in 1990. From 1998 to 2012, he was a senior lecturer in management science at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he focused on auction theory, environmental economics, and markets for water resources.

In 2013, he returned to RAND, where he worked on problems of national security and emergency preparedness, including disaster recovery and military readiness and logistics. His research interests include logistics, process improvement, risk analysis, scheduling, water allocation, and climate change.

Selected Publications

Raffensperger, John F., and Mark W. Milke, Smart Markets for Water Resources: A Manual for Implementation, Springer, 2017


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    Keep the Vaccine Moving to Save the Most Lives

    The United States is waiting to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and millions of doses wait for arms. Policymakers at the national, state, and local levels have been stockpiling the shots for many reasons. While supply ramps up, policymakers could push to deliver vaccine to people instead of freezers.

    Jan 19, 2021 The RAND Blog

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    Regulating Drone Airspace Using 'Smart Markets'

    With commercially operated autonomous drones potentially on the horizon, a policy problem is likely to emerge: allocation of scarce airspace and preferred flight paths. 'Smart markets' could help.

    Apr 19, 2016 TechCrunch

  • The San Antonio Reservoir, near San Francisco, California

    Creating a Smart Market for California Water

    A smart market approach could reduce the transaction costs of trading water in California, allow the price of water to better match its value, and bring that value to the state.

    Sep 13, 2015 Orange County Register