Bobby McCormick's earliest memories as a child are being raised in a property rights oriented household by an outdoorsy, farming, lumber/logging family; he remembers always thinking about "who owns what." McCormick views the environment as an asset and environmental failures as the result of ambiguous environmental ownership. To redress these failures, McCormick thinks that ownership assets need to be clearly marked and defined. He says that "good fences make good neighbors" is both good poetry and good policy.
McCormick attended Clemson University and received his bachelor's degree in economics in 1972. Then in 1974, he received his master's degree in environmental economics from Clemson. Later, he earned his Ph.D. in economics at Texas A&M University in 1978.
In 1997, McCormick received the award for Innovative Teacher of the Year, nominated by the students at Clemson University. The following year he received the Alumni Master Teacher of the Year from Clemson University. McCormick has also been a Professor Visitante at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1990. He is a fellow at Consortium International MBA, CIMBA, which is an Italian program for MBA students, and he lectures annually during the spring in Italy to these students. Currently, McCormick is an economics professor at Clemson and the BB&T scholar in the John E. Walker Department of Economics. He is also senior research associate in the Arthur M. Spiro Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Since 2002, McCormick has been a senior fellow and directed program at PERC for environmental entrepreneurs who want to have a better understanding of how business and economic principles can be applied to environmental problems. In 2001, he was a Julian Simon Fellow at PERC. He is heavily engaged in the research of carbon sequestration and its impact on global warming. In this research, McCormick is investigating how income affects carbon sequestration as a solution for global warming.
McCormick resides in Clemson with his family. He has two sons, both of whom are heavily involved in athletics. McCormick enjoys spending his free time woodworking, hunting, and roaming his property on his tractor. He spends summers in Bozeman, where he is involved in remodeling a house from the 1880s.
Since 2001, McCormick's main focus and ongoing research involves the analysis of carbon sequestration and how it interacts with global warming. His particular interest is how income impacts carbon sequestration as a solution for global warming. He is also engaged in research with a PERC research associate, Frank Limehouse, in measuring the price people are willing to pay for a golf course that has been assessed and certified by Audubon International. He is also conducting research on golf courses as green space.