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Behavioral Agricultural Economics

AAEA members and Past President release new research in AEPP

Agricultural economics has often been ahead of the curve and quite early identified interesting behavioral patterns that contributed to improving theory and policies. Being in the field gave agricultural economists an edge, and essential behavioral discoveries in agricultural economics affected the economic literature. Agricultural economists identified that farmers frequently rely on rules of thumb a long time ago and discovered time-inconsistent and non-standard risk preferences early on. Recent research emphasizes the importance of soft skills, personality, and culture.

In the new article “Behavioral Agricultural Economics” released in the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, David Quepper from the Humboldt University Berlin, David just from Cornell University, Shira Bukchin-Peles from Hebrew University, and David Zilberman from the University of California, Berkeley, examine how agricultural economics has contributed over time to the emerging field of behavioral economis and how it continues to expand the frontier of the field.

The authors say, “The discovered behavioral patterns are essential for improving policies. For example, if policymakers create policies based on the assumption of stable risk preferences when they change, the policy can be inefficient or possibly even backfire. Sometimes, an understanding of behavioral biases can also be actively used to make policies considerably more effective. There is, for example, evidence that agri-environmental auctions can be improved by almost 50% by simply choosing a high instead of a low starting value.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications & Membership Manager
(414) 918-3190