Matthew  Fienup

Matthew Fienup, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Center for Economic Research & Forecasting; Assistant Professor, Economics


Matthew is the Executive Director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at California Lutheran University. He is also Assistant Professor of Economics in the school's Master of Quantitative Economics program. Matthew is an applied economist who specializes in econometrics, economic policy analysis, land use, and environmental markets. Matthew is a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey. He was the recipient of 2019 and 2020 Crystal Ball Awards for the Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey (formerly the Case-Schiller Home Price Survey). CERF's U.S. home price forecast received multiple top-3 rankings among more than 100 forecasts included in the survey.

Since its inception in 2014, Matthew has been integral to the design and implementation of the Fox Canyon Water Market, the first groundwater market to be implemented in California under SGMA. Matthew led grassroots outreach among growers before being chosen to chair the Fox Canyon Water Market Group, a formal stakeholder group chartered by the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency (FCGMA) to design the rules, structures, and operating mechanisms for a water market to be implemented under the basins’ Groundwater Sustainability Plans. Matthew was subsequently chosen by FCGMA to serve as exchange administrator for the Fox Canyon Water Market, a role that he has reprised for the past 5 years.

Matthew returned to school to pursue his PhD after running a small business in Ventura County for more than a decade. His other specialties include California Natural History, technical rock climbing and photography. Matthew graduated summa cum laude from the Brooks Institute of Photography and has spent more than 15 years working as a professional climbing guide.

Matthew completed his doctorate in environmental economics at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara.