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Robert J. Myers

Robert J. Myers is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, and Senior Fellow at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy in Washington DC. He grew up in rural Australia and studied agricultural and applied economics at the Universities of New England and Minnesota, where he received his Ph.D. in 1986. Myers’ career has focused on contributions in research, graduate education, service, and outreach. He has produced over 100 publications with over 3,900 Google Scholar citations. Recognition for his work includes the AAEA Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award; a Millennium award from the J. Futures Markets for best journal papers published during its first 20 years; selection as co-author of the article on 100 years of research on agricultural markets for the special AJAE issue commemorating the AAEA centenary; an Australian Agricultural & Resource Economics Society award for best journal article; an AAEA-AFM section award for article of enduring quality; and appointment to University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University. He has served as AJAE co-editor (2001–2004) as well as in associate editor roles with the AJAE and Review of Agricultural Economics.

Myers’ research has centered on the economics of food price instability and risk, crop insurance, quantitative policy evaluation, and the time series properties of commodity prices. His early work was among the first studies to examine the welfare implications of incomplete risk markets in agriculture. His work on optimal hedging changed how the profession approaches estimation and evaluation of futures market hedging strategies, and his work on crop insurance was one of the first efforts to formalize how catastrophic risk can increase crop insurance premiums, reduce coverage levels, and perhaps cause market breakdown. Myers’ research has a reputation for being based on sound theoretical foundations and state-of-the-art econometric techniques, while demonstrating awareness of the relevant institutional setting and policy implications.

Myers has taught agricultural risk management, commodity price analysis, and econometrics to a generation of graduate students at Michigan State. In the past 15 years he has chaired or co-chaired over 25 PhD dissertations and been a committee member for 50 others. He has received both teaching and advising awards, and his courses are in high demand and receive outstanding student evaluations. He is also in high demand as a graduate student advisor and many of his students have gone on to successful careers in the profession.

Myers’ scholarship has extended into a variety of service contributions. In addition to his editorial roles, his service to AAEA includes the Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Committee, the Communications & Publications Committee, and the Quality of Research Discovery Awards Committee. Myers has also used his expertise to serve the broader needs of the agricultural community, such as collaborative development of a commodity outlook webpage that focuses on agricultural market outlook information and decision support tools. He has also served as a consultant to the World Bank, the World Food Program, the U.S. Farm Credit System, the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, and a number of private businesses.