Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr. is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. Dr. Nayga’s research interests include the economics of food consumption, policy, and health. He has focused his work on critical issues such as poverty, nutrition, obesity, and novel food technologies. He has examined issues related to how people comprehend and use food and nutritional labels and how these would then influence a number of important health related outcomes such as diet quality and obesity. He has also analyzed the effects of important federal food programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program on food consumption and obesity. Another strand of his research is on the application of stated and revealed preference elicitation methods to study how people would value novel food products, food programs, and policies. This research is crucial in determining whether a proposed food program or policy would be valued by the public or target population. This information is used by policy analysts and policy makers not only for benefit-cost analysis but also to assess the public’s propensity to support the proposed food program or policy.
Prior to rejoining Texas A&M University in 2021, Dr. Nayga was Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics at the University of Arkansas. He also was a faculty member at Rutgers University and at Massey University, New Zealand. He has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, adjunct professor at Korea University and Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research, NBER research economist, and senior research fellow of the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study in Tokyo and the University of Verona, Italy. He also was executive board member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast.
He has published in several economics, behavioral science, marketing, and public health journals. He has received research grants and contracts from USDA, NIH, USAID, FAO, National Bureau of Economic Research, EU Research Framework, Norway’s National Research Council, Korea’s National Research Foundation, and WK Kellogg Institute. He has been as associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and was co-Editor of Choices. He has also been an expert evaluator and/or member of panels/boards organized by various national and international organizations.