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Departmental Seminars

All Seminars are in Cook Office Building 55 Dudley Rd, room 118 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM , unless noted.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Via in person and ZOOM,
Meeting ID: 980 5520 5089
Password: 804942

Incorporating Endogenous Attitudinal Factors in Discrete Choice Experiments: An Integrated Choice and Latent Variable Model Approach
Dr. Xuan Wei's seminar at DAFRE, Rutgers

Abstract: The importance of psychological factors such as consumer attitudes and perceptions in driving preference heterogeneity has been increasingly acknowledged in recent choice experimental research. In this study, we extend the integrated choice and latent variable (ICLV) framework to elicit consumer preferences for ornamental plants grown with or without controversial neonicotinoids with additional pollinator-related information provided. The endogeneity of individual attitudes is explicitly considered, and their influences on plant choices are jointly modeled under information treatment. We identify a significantly positive impact of information on shaping individuals’ attitudes toward pollinator health. Additional information on neonicotinoids increases individual environmental concerns and their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for labels disclosing the absence of neonicotinoids. Further, individual plant choices are compared to a counterfactual situation where pollinator conservation practices are mandatory. We find significant improvements in the probability of choosing neonic-free plants across all demographic segments of informed consumers.

About the Speaker: Dr. Xuan Wei is a Research Assistant Scientist in the Food and Resource Economics Department and Mid-Florida Research and Education Center at the University of Florida. Her research program utilizes horticultural producer and consumer surveys, controlled experiments, biometric data (e.g., eye-tracking technology) and economic models to examining the relationships between consumer behavior, horticultural production, and the marketing of horticultural products. Her current research focuses on consumer preference for environmentally friendly plant production practices (such as pollinator-friendly labeling) in the ornamental horticulture industry. She held a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, and Economics (dual degree program) from Michigan State University.

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Past Seminars

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 • 12:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 947 9806 4736 Password: 544311

Effect of minimum wage increase on food safety in the restaurant industry
Bhagyashree Katare's seminar at DAFRE, Rutgers

Abstract: This paper studies the effect of minimum wage increases on food safety in the restaurant industry as measured by food safety inspection violations. There is a recent debate among lawmakers about increasing the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $15 an hour. However, several state and local governments have minimum wage ordinances that are higher than the federal minimum wage. Recent studies have focused on the effect of minimum wage increase on employee wage distribution (Cengiz et al. 2019), retail price adjustment (Renkin et al. 2020; Leung 2021), and employment (Clemens and Wither 2019). However, considerably less attention has been paid to the effect of minimum wage increase on consumer welfare. In this paper, we study the impact of minimum wage increase on consumer welfare by evaluating the effect that minimum wage increase has on service quality in the restaurant industry. We use a unique dataset of restaurant level food safety violations to study the effect of minimum wage on employee- and employer-related violations. Our hypothesis is that number of employee-related food safety violations decrease, and the employer-related food safety violations increase in response to the increase in minimum wage. We find that increase in wages significantly increases the number of employer-related food safety violations, such as restaurant maintenance, workplace design, equipment, and supplies violations. On the other hand, the increase in wages significantly decreases the number of employee-related food safety violations, including cooking, food handling, food storage, and cleaning violations.

About the Speaker: Dr. Bhagyashree Katare is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. She is a health and labor economist, and her research program studies the effect of policies, behavioral nudges, and economic interventions on individual health, education, and labor outcomes. Dr. Katare’s current work includes the effect of recent changes in governmental assistance programs and governmental policies on food insecurity, food safety, and labor outcomes. Dr. Katare’s discoveries are published in high impact peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, and American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Her research program has received funding from several agencies including United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 • 12:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 936 9884 4675 Password: 896962

Intergroup Differences in Extended Family Mental Health Issues and Wealth
Jermaine Toney, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Bloustein School

Abstract: Stock market participation is a critical component of long-run wealth building. Yet, many studies find that black households are less prone, while white households are more likely, to be directly invested in the stock market. Previous research also exposes how a household’s wealth building is dampened by extended family mental health issues (psychological distress). Additionally, past research finds that black adults are more likely than white adults to experience persistent mental health issues. Here, we merge the three literatures by investigating how racial differences in extended family mental health issues affect portfolio allocation (stocks, mutual funds). We use an eldest sibling sample that is between the ages of 34 and 71 from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). We demonstrate that having a younger sibling with a mental health issue is (significantly) associated with decreases in stock ownership, decreases in stocks as a proportion of financial assets, and decreases in total stock value; especially disadvantaging the wealth of black households compared to their white counterparts.

About the Speaker: Jermaine Toney, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Bloustein School. Prior to joining the Bloustein School faculty, he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. Currently, Professor Toney is a research fellow with the Institute for Behavioral and Household Finance at Cornell University. Dr. Toney’s research focuses on finance, family, and health. An overarching focus of his research is the distribution and stratification of various socio-economic indicators, such as wealth and income.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 • 12:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 966 5339 5146 Password: 632953

Appointments: A More Effective Commitment Device for Health Behaviors
Dr. Jason Kerwin, Assistant Professor - University of Minnesota 

Abstract: Health behaviors are plagued by self-control problems, and commitment devices are frequently proposed as a solution. We show that a simple alternative works even better: appointments. We randomly offer HIV testing appointments and financial commitment devices to high-risk men in Malawi. Appointments are much more effective than financial commitment devices, more that doubling testing rates. In contrast, most men who take up financial commitment devices lose their investments. Appointments address procrastination without potential drawback of monnitment failure, and also address limited memory problems. Appointments have the potential to increast demand for healthcare in the developing world.

About the Speaker: Dr. Jason Kerwin currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota and an Affiliated Professor at J-PAL. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan, where he was also an Economic Demography Trainee at Michigan's Population Studies Center. His research focuses on understanding the choices people in developing countried make about health, education, employment, and savings, with a specific focus on Malawi, Uganda, and India.    


Wednesday, March 10, 2021 • 12:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Via ZOOM, please email Yanhong Jin at for password.

Pollution and the Decline in Human Cognition: Evidence from China
Prof. Maoyong Fan

Maoyong Fan is a professor of Economics at Ball State University. His research interests include environmental economics, health economics and policy, labor economics and development economics. The research projects he has done covers (1) the health effects of environmental pollution; (2) health insurance designs and outcomes; (3) labor migration; (4) public health policies and demographics; and (5) the causes of obesity. Other facets of his research fall into development, industrial organization, and applied econometrics. Maoyong is currently an academic editor of PLOS ONE. Maoyong received many awards and recognition for his research including university research award and CHAMPS best paper award. See PDF

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 • 12:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Via ZOOM, please email Yanhong Jin at for password
Dr. Kajal Gulati, Purdue University

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 • 12:30pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Putting Agricultural History to Work Today: A Global Blueprint from the Jewish Past
Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Co-hosted with The Allan and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life

This presentation follows the publication of a scholarly forum in the Fall 2020 issue in Agricultural History based on my proposal to mobilize lessons from the long history of Jewish agrarian resettlement to assist in the relief and local inte-gration of large, displaced ethnic minority migrant communities today. The organizational and practical blueprint has at its center the global arc of modern Jewish agrarianization from the nineteenth into the mid-twentieth centuries, which at its height encompassed hundreds of thousands of farmers settled on millions of acres. From this aggregated history of reset-tlement projects in a variety of regions and political conditions comes a set of applied “lessons.” I then suggest how these “lessons” might be used to construct a upscaleable, working model for reconstruction programs in the service of endan-gered refugee communities today in Europe, the Near East, and elsewhere.

This history can inform us about how refugee communities might be economically and socially empowered today in what might seem unlikely, nationalist environments. To that end, the presentation explores the significance of coopera-tive institutions, political advocacy, transnational philanthropic engagement, and the application of agro-technical expertise in the successful empowerment of new, ethnically “other” farmers in the midst of complex, at times hostile, local environ-ments. The presentation will account for comments and criticisms made on the original article by the respondents in the Agricultural History forum (R. Douglas Hurt, Ben Nobbs-Thiessen and Nahum Karlinsky). Finally, my hope is that the work-shop at Rutgers can help to craft a more concrete action plan for this proposal or other ideas that may emerge, particularly given the results of the November 2020 Presidential elections in the U.S., which seem to suggest that more significant in-ternational cooperative efforts are now possible.

Professor Jonathan Dekel-Chen is the Rabbi Edward Sandrow Chair in Soviet & East European Jewry at the Hebrew University. He holds a dual appointment in the Department of Jewish History and in the Department of General History. He also serves as the Academic Chairman of the Leo-nid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry and is Chairman of the Rus-sian Studies Department. Prof. Dekel-Chen has held visiting professorships and research fellow-ships at the University of Pennsylvania (2008-2009) and at Columbia University (2015-2016). His research and publications deal with transnational philanthropy and advocacy, non-state diplomacy, agrarian history and migration. In 2014 he co-founded the Bikurim Youth Village for the Arts in Eshkol, which provides world-class artistic training for gifted, under-served high school students from throughout Israel.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 @ 1PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Via ZOOM, please email Yanhong Jin at for password.

Digital Technologies for the Transformation of the Global Agri-food System
By Dr. Julian A. Lampietti
Manager, Global Agriculture Practice

Dr. Lampietti is the Manager for Global Engagement in the Agriculture and Food Global Practice. His responsibilities include strategic planning, donor outreach, and oversight for global knowledge and advisory programs. Previously, he managed the Agriculture and Food program in the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Julian used to be based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and he has published books and journal articles on a broad range of topics including poverty, economics, agriculture, food security, logistics, and energy. He has a PhD in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master’s in Natural Resources Economics from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture, Rutgers University.

ABSTRACT: The world’s agri-food system has the potential to help reduce poverty, improve nutrition, and provide vast environmental benefits. But it is off course in achieving these aspirational goals. The global food supply is plentiful, yet undernourishment has been rising since 2014. Poverty rates are on the rise with most of the world poor living in rural areas. Foodborne diseases continue taking a toll on human life and public budgets. And agriculture remains a major contributor to negative environmental outcomes. This presentation will examine the pathways through which digital technologies can accelerate the transformation of the agrifood system and outline the role public policy and investment can play in maximizing the positive and minimizing the negative impact of digital technologies on this transformation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 @ 12:30pm

The Welfare Impact of Subsidizing Grocery Stores into Food Deserts
Dr. LinLin Fan, PhD

Dr. LinLin Fan studies the impact of government subsidies for grocery stores to enter the most severe food de-serts (low-income communities with limited access to grocery stores) on consumer and producer welfare in the U.S. Dr. Fan uses detailed, geocoded, store sales and consumer store choice data to (1) estimate a discrete choice demand system for food stores with consumer heterogeneity, (2) estimate a supply side profit maximiza-tion function based on Nash-Bertrand price competition model (3) simulate the welfare impact of a low-cost gro-cery store to enter the most severe food deserts. Dr. Fan finds that although consumers gain significantly from this policy, the new low-cost grocery stores would find it unprofitable to operate in the most severe food deserts, thus casting doubt on the effectiveness of this policy.


Cook Campus in the MCS Building, Alampi Lecture Room

Speaker:    Soji Adelaja, PhD
John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy, Michigan State University
Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC

Title: “Conflict and Development: What we Know and What We Don’t  Based on Recent Research in Africa”.

Conflict has recently emerged as a key barrier to development in developing countries.  Unlike other well-understood barriers that development policies have historically sought to address, the role of conflict in development is not well understood. Conflicts range from simple (e.g., protests, demonstrations, riots & electoral violence), complex (e.g., kidnappings, ethnic violence, & pastoral violence) and wicked (e.g. battles, domestic terrorism, trans-national terrorism, etc.) conflicts, and depending on their complexity and virulence, they can result in a vicious cycle of destruction and poverty, thereby reversing advancements from past development investments. For example, as reported by the FAO, those countries that have not met their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are mainly those that are struggling with conflict, violence and fragility (FAO et al. 2017).

Based on recent research, Dr. Adelaja will review what we know and what we don’t about conflict in Africa, particularly highlighting his recent research on domestic and transnational terrorism, transhumance-related violence, battles, demonstrations and riots and their impacts on agriculture, food security and land use decisions. He will also review his efforts to predict various forms of conflict and the impacts of food insecurity on the fomentation of conflict. He will further present recommendations about future priority research and policy needs to address the growing wave of violence in developing countries.

February 12, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00PM
Esendugue Greg Fonsah
African Food Policy:  A Focus on Sustainable Banana Production Value Chain

Bananas and Plantains are the 4th most important crops in the world in terms of consumption, after wheat, corn and rice.  The crop is grown in 170 countries worldwide, more than any other fruit crop.  Uganda, is ranked as the 2nd world banana producing country while Cameroon and Tanzania are ranked 9th and 10th respectively.  Nigeria is one of the largest banana and plantain growing countries in Africa and the largest plantain producing country in West Africa.  Yet, none of these countries are major exporters except Cameroon. Although these crops are amongst the most important source of staple food supply in the entire continent, it is also the most neglected farming system in the continent due to the following challenges: lack of private and government capital investment, pests and diseases, lack of experience, insufficient agricultural research, financial constraints, lack of appropriate storage facilities, lack of farm inputs, lack of infrastructure and lack of market knowledge and penetration strategies.  With the anticipated exponential population explosion growth rate in Africa and the presence of Tropical race  (TR4) disease capable of destroying the banana and plantain industry, there is need to derive proactive agricultural policies that would enable the continent to contain and feed the additional two billion inhabitants forecasted by 2050.  This presentation will unravel the multifaceted missing links in the standard operation procedures, needed for sustainable banana and plantain production value chain (farm-to-fork), in Africa.

Esendugue Greg Fonsah is a Professor and the Research, Extension and Instruction (REI) Coordinator and Agribusiness Extension Economist, Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, University of Georgia, Tifton Campus.  He is also the Extra-Ordinary Professor of North West University Business School, Republic of South Africa, the External Examiner of the University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, West Africa, and the External Examiner of the University of West Indies, Jamaica, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada and Auburn University, Alabama. He is a veteran with 32 year of experience in all aspects of agricultural production, farm management, agribusiness, agricultural marketing, international trade and policy of the fresh food industry (fruits, vegetables, pecans included).  He is also a banana veteran with 32 years of experience serving in various executive managerial positions with multinational companies around the world including Del Monte Fresh Produce, Cameroon Division, Lapanday Food Co., Philippines, and Aloha Banana Farm Inc., Hawaii, USA respectively.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 @ 12:30 pm

Member Participation and Satisfaction in Agricultural Cooperatives:
A Pilot Study of the Largest Dairy Cooperative in Northeast India

Presenter: Dipanjan Kashyap

Member-owned business organizations, such as cooperatives (or co-ops), are engaged in various eco-nomic activities that touch our everyday lives. Agricultural cooperatives are common in the agricultural sector in India and these cooperatives provide various advantages to small and medium farmers, such as lowering their marketing costs, production costs (input costs), improve their bargaining abilities, etc.

Dr. Dipanjan Kashyap, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics (MBA- Agri Business) at the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) in Jorhat, Assam, India. Mr. Kashyap has completed his first MBA from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai in 2011, and his second MBA in Marketing Management from Pondicherry University in 2018. He also holds Post Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Extension Management from MANAGE, Hyderabad, India (2018).

Wednesday, November 13, 12-1PM

Financial Wellness: Twelve Timeless Tips

Food Science building, Cook Campus. Rm to be assigned.

Abstract: In a “farewell seminar” after 41 years of service to Rutgers University as a county Extension educator in Sussex County and Specialist in Financial Resource Management, Dr. Barbara O’Neill will discuss 12 “evergreen” financial recommendations that apply to all ages and stages of life. Topics to be covered include managing cash flow, financial goal-setting, income taxes, net worth, insurance, and saving and investing. Handouts will be distributed and time will be available at the end of the seminar for questions and answers.

Please RSVP for this event via email with Danelle Miley @


Wednesday, October 30, 2019 · 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Did the Reform of China's Agricultural Commodity Support Policy Affect Grain Production: The Case of Corn?
Shuang Liu, Visiting Student from Renmin University of China

Agricultural commodity support policies play an important role for agricultural production, farmer income, and food security in both developed and developing countries. Recognizing the resultant significant distortions to production, supply and prices from the price support for agricultural commodities implemented in 2000s, China initiated reforms of the agricultural support policy for two major non-staple commodities (soybean and cotton) in 2014, and then for staple commodities (corn) in 2016. The reform for corn was piloted in four major corn-production provinces. Specially, in April 2016 the government decided not to purchase corn surplus anymore; in June 2016 the government announced to provide income subsidy to corn farmers based on their acreage and called the four provinces for detailed subsidy plans. A total of 6,106 farm households in 2015-2017 were analyzed in addition to the provincial data in 2010-2017.

We find that the removal of surplus purchase by the government caused a statistically significant reduction in total production, acreage, and cost of input per mu for corn in 2016. The income subsidy based on the price difference and acreage took effect for the 2017 corn production. As we expected, total production and acreage increased in 2017. No statistical yield change was found in both 2016 and 2017, suggesting the production reduction in 2016 and the production increase in 2017 were mainly due to the acreage change rather than the yield change. The results from the robustness The causal effects of the policy reform on corn production are robust based on the four different robustness checks based on a) the estimated policy effects for wheat and paddy that were not directly exposed to the reform; b) a placebo test by assuming the policy reform took place in 2015; c) a falsification test by using neighboring provinces without the policy reform as a treatment group instead of the four pilot provinces.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 · 12:30 - 2:00pm

M.S. Thesis Lightning Presentations
Our Food and Business Economics graduate students will each have an opportunity to present their thesis ideas and progress during a “lightning” presentation. This is the perfect opportunity for each student to receive assistance and direction prior to their final submission and defense.
Please plan to attend and provide our students with beneficial feedback.

The proposed topics of research for each student is below. Biofuel Farming Marketing Opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic United States
By: Maria Ramos

Assessing the Potential of Reducing Malnutrition in Kenya by Improving the Productivity and Nutritional Quality of AIV (African Indigenous Vegetables)
By: Stacy Lopez

Food Consumption Behavior of American Adults (at home and away from home) Nationally and the Implications on their Health
By: Daniel Berlin

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 · 12:30 - 2:00pm

M.S. Thesis Lightning Presentations
Our Food and Business Economics graduate students will each have an opportunity to present their thesis ideas and progress during a “lightning” presentation. This is the perfect opportunity for each student to receive assistance and direction prior to their final submission and defense.

The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act: Environmental Policy and its Effect on the Supply of Affordable Housing
By: John Borrmann

How the Legalization of Marijuana affects Use and Its Potential Connection to the Opioid Crisis
By: Katie Postle

Wednesday Sept 25, 2019 @ 12:30-1:30pm
Does Digital Inclusive Finance Improve Income and Reduce Income Disparity in China?
Dan Liu and Yanhong Jin

Dan Liu: Visiting scholar from the School of Finance at Nanjing Agricultural University;
Yanhong Jin: Professor in Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Rutgers; Yanhong.Jin@Rutgers.Edu

China has an unprecedented economic growth in the last three decade, which lifted millions of population out of poverty and improved wellbeing for both rural and urban households.  However, income disparity is pronounced between rural and urban, which created challenges for further economic growth and social development. Digital Inclusive Finance (DIF), taking advantage of digital technology and the emerge of fintech and financial companies along with the evolution of traditional financial institutes, provides a range of financial services to those who have no access to or lack of financial services. Especially, DIF enables rural households to be included in the financial system in a responsible, affordable and sustainable way. This study uses three different data sources, including provincial DIF index released by the Digital Finance Research Center of Peking University, the China Household Financial Survey (CHFS) data provided by the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, and various statistical yearbooks. This study employs panel data analyses to examine 1) whether DIF improved household income and reduced income disparity within rural and urban as well as between urban and rural; and 2) pathways through DIF impacted household income level and distribution.  

Wednesday April 24, 12:30pm
Location: Alampi Room, Marine Sciences Building, 7 Dudley Rd
Tom Daniels, Professor
City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania
"Different Ways of Measuring Success in Farmland Preservation."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 · 12:00 pm
Food Science Building, Room 120, 65 Dudley Road, SEBS
"April is National Social Security Month:
What Everyone Needs to Know About Social Security
Mr. Everett Lo, Deputy Regional Communication Director, Social Security Administration

Abstract: An overview of the Social Security Program, including retirement, disabil-ity, and survivor benefits, as well as a brief discussion about enrolling in traditional Medicare, Parts A (Hospital) and B (Medical), Supplemental Se-curity Income, a program based on need, and what you can do online to prepare for retirement.
About the Speaker: Everett Lo is Deputy Regional Communication Director, Social Security Administration (SSA) – New York Region, responsible for community, intergovernmental, and media en-gagement. Throughout his 25-year career with Social Security, Mr. Lo has worked closely with the staff of federal, state, and local elected officials and agencies, community-based or-ganizations, advocacy and affinity groups, employers, attorneys, and media outlets to pro-mote public awareness of Social Security’s programs, benefits, and services. He was ap-pointed SSA’s designee to the Interagency Working Group of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) and chair of WHIAAPI’s New York/New Jersey Regional Network, leading the outreach and engagement efforts of 32 partici-pating federal agencies. Mr. Lo is a long time member of the regional chapter of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and other federal interagency working groups, as well as the Organization of Chinese Americans, and the Asian American Journalists Associa-tion.

Location: Alampi Room, Marine Sciences Building, SEBS
Wednesday at 12:30pm on April 24th.
Tom Daniels, Professor, City and Regional Planning University of Pennsylvania
"Different Ways of Measuring Success in Farmland Preservation."

Abstract: Preserving large farming landscapes is one of the main goals of farmland preservation programs. Creating large blocks of preserved farmland take time, however, because of the hefty funding requirements and the detailed process of preserving farmland through the acquisition of conservation easements by purchase or donation. The standard measures of dollars spent and farmland acres preserved do not give an accurate picture of the spatial outcomes of preservation and preservation effectiveness. Three other measures better reflect the spatial effectiveness of farmland preservation: the acreage and percentage of preserved farm parcels located in agricultural zones, the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels in large contiguous blocks, and the number and acreage of preserved farm parcels along growth boundaries. Scattered preserved farms and preserved farms not located in agricultural zones are likely to face more non-farm development nearby as well as problems with non-farm neighbors. The farmland preservation effort in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, provides an important case study of the pattern of farmland preservation over time. Other counties and land trusts can employ the geographic information systems (GIS) methods in this study to monitor and evaluate the progress of their farmland preservation efforts.

Friday, February 22, 2019 · 12:30 pm

Investigating the Grape Wine Industry of Ningxia, China: Impacts, Competitiveness, Marketing Strategies, Technology,
and Policy Support

Dr. Carl Pray, Distinguished Professor, DAFRE
Dr. Yanhong Jin, Associate Professor, DAFRE

Ningxia Hui autonomous region was poverty-stricken and in a danger of desertifica-tion in the recent history. The Chinse government began to invest heavily in its infra-structure, in particularly the irrigating system connecting the Yellow River and the Helan Mountains in the 1900s. A few years ago, Ningxia received the government support to build a “wine route” through the region, similar to Bordeaux’s Route des Vins. Now Ningxia has more than 40,000 hectares of vineyards and has been expand-ing its wine industry in an unprecedented pace. It also gradually gains international recognition winning tasting contests in London and Paris. Ningxia’s emergence as a wine region is a source of regional and national pride.
Based on the field interviews in Ningxia in August 2018 and January 2019 with the local government officials, vinery owners and wine makers, and industry experts, this talk will present some preliminary findings on 1) the impacts of the wine industry to Ningxia’s economy and environment; 2) supply chain and marketing strategies used to promote awareness and consumption of Ningxia wine; 3) competitiveness of Ning-xia wine compared with wine from other regions in China as well as those imported from other countries; and 4) the importance of government research and technology support.
The talk and feedback that we receive will go into a proposal to the Ningxia govern-ment for funding to conduct more in depth research on these issues.

Nov. 30th @3:30pm

Fair Trade Wide Prices: Premium, Dispersion and Markups
Karl Storchmann, NYU

Similar to bananas, coffee, or sugar, Fairtrade standards for wine are designed to improve employment conditions and protect the rights of workers on wine grape plantations and to support small wine grape farmers. South Africa is the largest producer of Fairtrade wine globally, accounting for approximately two-third of all sales (others come from Chile, Argentina, and Lebanon).

It is a central idea of all Fairtrade products that the higher production costs are passed on along the supply chain and that the final consumer is willing to pay a price premium to support the noble cause.

This paper will analyze three related issues.

First, drawing on Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade retail wine prices of South-African wine in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and a few other European countries, I examine the size of the Fairtrade price premium. I will compare the results of an Instrumental variable (IV) model and a Propensity Score Matching approach.

Second, I analyze the price dispersion of Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade wines in the UK and in Germany. If consumers add social value to the Fairtrade logo, one may assume that, due to less intensive searching (for the lowest price), Fairtrade wines exhibit greater price dispersion than comparable non-Fairtrade wines.

Third, drawing on import, wholesale, and retail prices of selected South African (Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade) wines in the U.S., I am particularly interested in the question if the Fairtrade price premium is profit-neutral and passed on along the entire supply chain to the final consumer.

Substitutability of Freshwater and Non-Freshwater Sources in Irrigation: An Economic Analysis
Friday, October 5, 2018 3:30 PM
We develop a structural econometric framework to assess whether the pros or cons of non-freshwater sources dominate from the farmers perspective. Cook Office Building

Genetically Modified Maize Adoption in Southern Vietnam
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 12:30 PM
This paper compares costs and returns between GM and non-GM maize production and identify determinants of GM maize adoption in Southern Vietnam. Cook Office Building

Monday June 4, 2018
12:00 PM, 55 Dudley Rd, room 118

"Exploring Further Avenues for Collaboration Between the World Vegetable Center and Rutgers University "
Victor Afari-Sefa, World Vegetable Center, Cotonou, Benin Republic

Abstract: Vegetables are high value compared to staple crops and generate significant incomes from a range of fresh and processed products. Production in developing countries is often mediated by women from small plots of rural and urban land and during relatively short growing seasons. However, vegetable production is knowledge intensive and technology dependent. Further, value chains are often informal, involving several actors along the value chain resulting in persistent post harvest losses that affect both the quantity and quality of produce vegetables. Technological solutions include selection of vegetable varieties adapted to environments and markets, availability of high quality seed, sustainable production across sites and seasons, efficient storage and transport, plus novel processing methods. These offer opportunities for engagement of agri-business entrepreneurs and youth. Perpetual linkage of producers to markets requires support from breeding programs, community and commercial seed production, grafting enterprises, protected cultivation and postharvest technologies. Market demand is facilitated through awareness of the benefit of nutritious vegetables and recipes to ensure nutrient availability in order to mitigate malnutrition. This is where an R4D Center such as the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) plays a critical role in conducting research to realize the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods.

WorldVeg ( is a unique International Agricultural Research Center, headquartered in Shanhua, Taiwan with 5 regional research centers located in Thailand, India, Mali and Tanzania and more recently Benin. WorldVeg has been collaborating with Rutgers University over several years in implementing bilateral projects. The most recent project is the 5-year (2015-2020) “Improving Nutrition and Income of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Africa using a Market Driven Approach to Enhance Value Chain Production of African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs)” led by Rutgers and funded by USAID via the horticultural innovation Labs and implemented in Kenya and Zambia. The goals of this project is to improve the production and increase consumption of AIVs. Activities implemented in this project so far include: baseline surveys on production and consumption of AIVs, cross country multi-location trials to help assess the stability of breeding lines and accessions, establishment and management of breeding trials with genetic materials from Rutgers and WorldVeg, capacity of famers and extension officers through training and field assessments of the status of AIV production, consumption, marketing and awareness using socio-economic tools.

Bio:Victor, a citizen of Ghana holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany and has been managing the World Vegetable Center’s operations in West and Central Africa – Coastal and Humid Regions from his base in Cotonou, Benin since early 2017. From 2011 to 2016, he was the Center’s Global Theme Leader for its defunct Consumption R&D Theme that comprised of produce postharvest, marketing, nutrition and M&E. He is a successful author and co-author of several grant proposals and has extensive experience in performance monitoring and impact assessment of horticultural value chains on smallholder livelihoods. He also has expertise in managing multi-country projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where he emphasizes on proactive planning processes to attain set deliverables. His current research and project management experiences focuses on assessing opportunities and challenges in vegetable production systems, analysing constraints in the value chain, and policy in interdisciplinary context. He also has international experience in integrated economic-biophysical optimization modeling of agricultural water use in Africa and Nova scotia, Canada. Prior to joining the Center in 2010, he worked as the Monitoring, Evaluation (M&E) and Impact Specialist for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ghana, where he implemented the M&E framework of the closed Sustainable Tree Crops Program in 5 West African countries. Victor transitioned into his research career position from an academic background where he taught and researched diverse courses in agricultural and economic development thinking and practice. He remains connected to academia as an adjunct Professor at the University of Applied Management in Ghana where teaches courses in International Cooperation & Development and Project Management. Victor has published over 50 peer reviewed articles in international scholarly journals.

Friday April 27, 2018

"Managerial Incentives for Environmental Protection in Chinese-Style Federalism"

Yuanyuan Yi, PhD, World Bank’s Development Research Group

Abstract: China's fast economic growth has come at the expense of environmental quality and the degradation of natural resources such as forests. In this paper, we identify career concerns by managers of state-owned enterprises that manage natural resources, and asymmetric information between managers and their superiors regarding the enterprises' environmental performance, as sources of environmental degradation. A manager of such an enterprise is the agent of two principals: national and sub-national governments. As well as needing to meet ecological targets imposed by the national government, a manager wants to be promoted into the ranks of the sub-national government. We develop three hypotheses based on a theoretical model with two principals and one agent. We then empirically test these hypotheses for the case of China's northeastern state-owned forests, combining satellite imagery data on deforestation with economic survey data. Our findings suggest that managers of state forests that have a larger area and volume, and are thus more difficult to monitor with respect to ecological targets, log more timber and are more likely to deforest. The same holds true for managers who share a larger percentage of profits with the local government. In turn, we  find that sharing more revenue with the local government increases the likelihood of getting promoted.

Bio: Yuanyuan Yi currently works at the World Bank’s Development Research Group. She holds her PhD in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research interests include Environmental and Resource Economics, Development Economics, and Applied Econometrics. Her previous and current work include impact evaluation on China’s forest devolution reform in collective forest areas, China’s state-owned forest management, and impact evaluation on Zambia’s Climate Smart Agriculture project. Link to webpage:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 (Note the new date.)
12:30- 1:15 pm, 65 Dudley Rd. (Food Science Building)

"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Personal and Professional Implications for Rutgers Faculty and Staff
A Lunch and Learn Seminar"

Barbara O'Neill, Distinguished Professor Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Abstract: With the 2017 income tax filing season coming to a close, it is time to turn our attention to 2018 income tax planning and the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The TCJA is the most comprehensive tax overhaul in 30 years and impacts income tax withholding and workers’ net income, itemized deductions, charitable contributions, housing values, divorce settlements, out-of-pocket business expenses, and more. This webinar will include a basic overview of income taxation followed by an overview of the TCJA, a discussion of its impacts on individuals, tax planning strategies, and resources (e.g., tax law calculators) for personal income tax planning. Please Register here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
12:30, 55 Dudley Rd, room 118

"OPEC members' incentives for abiding or violating quotas"

Hamed Ghoddusi, Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology

Abstract: Over the last decades quota violations have become a norm for OPEC countries. However, the academic literature on OPEC focuses more on its production behavior than on analyzing the quota allocation process or characterizing quota violation patterns. This paper offers a theoretical model with empirical evidence to explain OPEC members' incentives for abiding or violating quotas. We first offer a cartel model with a quota allocation rule and an endogenous capacity choice. The model highlights the trade-off between building spare capacity to bargain for a higher legitimate quota versus risking quota violation punishment. Using the quarterly data from 1995 to 2007, we empirically support the main results and intuitions for the model. Our empirical evidence is consistent with a theoretical framing in which capacity constraints work as an enforcement mechanism in good times and OPEC's quota system disciplining its members in bad times.

Bio: Hamed Ghoddusi is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology. Before joining Stevens he was a postdoctoral associate at MIT's Engineering Systems Division (ESD). He has received his Ph.D. from the Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF) and holds degrees in Quantitative Economics, Management Science, and Industrial Engineering from the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) and Sharif University of Technology (Tehran).  His research interests include Resource and Energy Economics, Real Options, Sustainability, and Risk Management. He has published more than 10 papers on topics related to energy and resource economics. Hamed has been a visiting scholar/consultant at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), UT Austin, UC Berkeley, UNDP, and UNIDO.

12noon - 2pm Friday, March 23rd

Technology and Innovation in Agriculture

Prof. Pardey at the University of Minnesota and
Prof. Manish Parashar of Rutgers

Thursday, March 22, 2018 • 9:00 am

MahindiMaster: A Virtual Learning Platform to Enable Maize Farmers to UDiscover Soil-Optimized Inputs

Dr. Travis Lybbert, PhD, Professor
Agricultural and Resources Economics
University of California, Davis

Industry Relatedness, FDI Liberalization and the
Indigenous Innovation Process in China

Anthony Howell
School of Economics, Peking University