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Christopher B. Barrett

Christopher Barrett, the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, is a prolific scholar and a leader in the field of agricultural and development economics. His fundamental research objective is to help reduce unnecessary human suffering, albeit indirectly, by generating useful new knowledge on which people and organizations can act to reduce poverty and food insecurity and to improve the human condition. Barrett has successfully followed his objective through his teaching, research and outreach.

Barrett’s research has had a major impact on the understanding of food insecurity, how markets actually function in low-income countries, how market liberalization changed the structure and behavior of the food marketing sector, how traders and farmers respond to changing price signals, spatial and intertemporal price transmission, how market performance might be improved for the benefit of the rural poor, the economics of poverty traps, global food aid policy, and the conservation of natural resources in regions of endemic poverty. His research projects are solidly grounded in field work and primary data collected through surveys in many countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Zimbabwe.

Barrett has published more that 215 journal articles, books and book chapters since he earned his Ph.D. He and his coauthors have won multiple outstanding research awards from various journals and professional associations. He also has been recognized as an educator, twice being recognized as an Outstanding Educator in Influencing a Merrill Presidential Scholar, one of Cornell’s most prized undergraduate teaching and student mentoring awards.

He has served in many leadership positions, including the President, Vice President and board member of the Association of Christian Economists, Chair of the CGIAR’s Social Science Stripe Review Panel, member of advisory boards of several international organizations and an editorial board member or guest editor for 14 different journals. He also served as Editor of AJAE from 2003–2008.