Anderson is the author or editor of thirty-seven books. Among these, Free Market Environmentalism, coauthored with Donald Leal, received the 1992 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. A revised edition was published in 2001.
His most recent publication is Tapping Water Markets (RFF Press, 2012). Other books include Greener Than Thou: Are You Really an Environmentalist? (Hoover Institution Press, 2008) and Property Rights: A Practical Guide to Freedom and Prosperity (Hoover Institution Press, 2003), both coauthored with Laura Huggins. His book, with Peter J. Hill, The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (Stanford University Press), was awarded the 2005 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Anderson’s research, which has also focused on Native American economies, recently resulted in a coedited volume, Self-Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans (Stanford University Press, 2006). He has published widely in both professional journals and the popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and Fly Fisherman.
Anderson has published widely in both professional journals, including the Journal of Law and Economics and Economic Inquiry and the popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and Fly Fisherman. During his career at Montana State University, Anderson won several outstanding teaching awards and is now professor emeritus of economics. He received his B.S. from the University of Montana in 1968. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington in 1972, after which he began his teaching career at Montana State University, where he won several teaching awards.
In March 2011, Anderson received the Liberalni Institute Annual Award in Prague in the Czech Republic for his "Contribution to the Proliferation of Liberal Thinking, and Making Ideas of Liberty, Private Property, Competition, and the Rule of Law Come True.” Previous recipients include Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, and Vernon Smith.
Anderson's pioneering work on free market environmentalism and case studies of enviro-capitalists continue to be a focal point of his research. Water markets, public land management, and the economics of property rights remain important parts of his research agenda. He is also doing work on what drives economic growth on American Indian reservations.