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AAEA News | Friday, November 17, 2017
AAEA Member Profile

“Musicals tell stories, and many of the stories contain economic lessons. While most PhDs probably don’t need a song to learn an economic concept, there is a significant amount of research that shows that people learn much better if a concept is reinforced through music.”

Matthew Rousu

Susquehanna University
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President's Message

Scott Swinton
AAEA President

November 2017

This month’s column looks back at applied economists honored at the World Food Prize and forward to AAEA meetings ahead.

World Food Prize.  It is truly humbling to see how members of our profession can creatively apply the economics of constraint alleviation, incentive design, and technology development to make the world a better place. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, received the 2017 World Food Prize (WFP) in October. With the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, Adesina found ways to partner with banks to extend credit to smallholder farmers. Later, as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, he created the E-Wallet program that made personalized fertilizer vouchers available via cellphone, expanding smallholder access while circumventing corrupt middlemen. Last year, agricultural economist Jan Low co-won the 2016 World Food Prize for her survey research to inform plant breeding and diffusion of the biofortified, orange-fleshed sweet potato and later to measure its economic impact. Previous applied economists to win the WFP are Per Pinstrup-Andersen (2001) and Muhammad Yunus (1994).

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