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Invited Paper Sessions

Invited Paper sessions are selected by the AAEA President and two additional Board members based on proposals submitted by AAEA members. These sessions are chosen because they may appeal to a broad spectrum of meeting attendees, further the development and dissemination of systematic knowledge in the field of agricultural and applied economics, and/or generate meaningful conversation. Invited Paper sessions generally involve 2-3 paper presentations and ample opportunity for discussion.  Invited papers may also be published in the proceedings issue of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Invited Paper Sessions are concurrent sessions. Each concurrent session is 90 minutes in duration. Other concurrent sessions include, Selected Paper Sessions, Lightning Sessions, Organized Symposia, Track Sessions, and Invited Case Study Session.


2019 Invited Paper Sessions

(Click on the below titles to jump to that session information)

  1. Getting food taxes right
  2. USDA Forecast Quality: Current State and Paths for Improvement
  3. New directions in research on agrifood standards and rural poverty
  4. The Implications of a Farm Financial Downturn on Supply and Demand for Credit
  5. Novel experimental approaches exploring factors influencing consumer choices of healthier food options
  6. International Agri-Food Trade Shocks: Assessment, Measurement, and Impact

Getting food taxes right

Research is lacking in the investigation of taxes, subsidies, and green labeling (a surrogate for information programs addressing external cost of unhealthy or excessive food consumption) based on an economic-theoretical foundation. Such a theoretical foundation provides a framework for determining households’ and the agricultural sector’s response to government mechanisms designed for internalizing food-consumption external costs. The unique contribution is to provide such a foundation. All three papers contribute to the literature by illustrating the joint dependence of mechanisms in developing optimal government policy solutions for internalizing food-consumption external costs. They develop the theoretical and empirical estimates of household responsiveness toward optimal food taxes and subsidies. This is in conjunction with programs for changing household preferences with particular focus on obesity and food security. The papers also contribute to the emerging literature in demand systems, which estimates household’s responsiveness to consumption by income, food security, and health outcomes.

Organizers: Bhagyashree Katare, Purdue University; Timothy Park, USDA Economic Research Service; Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University; H. Holly Wang, Purdue University; Michael Wetzstein, Purdue University; Chen Zhen, University of Georgia; and Yuqing Zheng, University of Kentucky
Moderator: Timothy Park, USDA Economic Research Service
Discussant: Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University

  • Toward optimal meat consumption
    Michael Wetzstein, Purdue University; Jonathan Lawing, Purdue University; Bhagyashree Katare, Purdue University; Timothy Park, USDA Economic Research Service; Na Hao, Beijing Technology and Business University; H. Holly Wang, Purdue University
  • Are obese consumers less responsive to price (dis)incentives?
    Chen Zhen, University of Georgia; Biing-Hwan Lin, USDA Economic Research Service; Yu Chen, University of Georgia; Lisa Mancino, USDA Economic Research Service; Shelly Ver Ploeg, USDA Economic Research Service
  • Food tax and food insecurity: What is the connection?
    Yuqing Zheng, University of Kentucky; Jason Zhao, Cornell University; Shaheer Burney, University of Wisconsin, River Falls; Harry Kaiser, Cornell University; Norbert Wilson, Tufts University; Steve Buck, University of Kentucky

USDA Forecast Quality: Current State and Paths for Improvement

This session is designed to examine the quality of USDA forecasts and offer suggestions for their improvement. First, USDA crop acreage and production forecast accuracy is examined and compared to that of the private analysts’ forecasts. Second, sources of errors in USDA net cash income forecasts and balance sheet forecasts are identified and potential implications are discussed. Third, a new methodology for developing USDA price forecasts is proposed and assessed. Attendees of this session will gain a better understanding of how various USDA forecasts are currently calculated, learn about the problems with the accuracy and efficiency in these forecasts and likely sources of these problems, and explore innovative methods for addressing these problems. This session will be of particular interest to USDA forecast users, providers, and other forecasters.

Organizer: Berna Karali, University of Georgia
Discussant: Joseph W. Glauber, International Food Policy Research Institute
Moderator: Suzanne Thornsbury, USDA Economic Research Service

  • Relative Accuracy of USDA Crop Acreage and Production Forecasts
    Olga Isengildina-Massa, Virginia Tech; Berna Karali, University of Georgia; and Scott H. Irwin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Evaluating USDA Forecasts of Farm Sector Accounts
    Olga Isengildina-Massa, Virginia Tech; Berna Karali, University of Georgia; Todd H. Kuethe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Ani L. Katchova, The Ohio State University
  • Improving USDA Commodity Price Forecasts
    Michael K. Adjemian, USDA Economic Research Service; Valentina G. Bruno, American University; and Michel A. Robe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

New directions in research on agrifood standards and rural poverty

Standards related to food safety, quality, and sustainability have recently gained in importance in national and international agrifood markets, with profound implications for supply chain organization and social welfare. From a development perspective, effects on smallholder farmers in developing countries are of particular interest, because smallholders are especially vulnerable to poverty. Many case studies have analyzed effects of standards in specific situations, but much of this research is not representative and has limited external validity. The goal of this session is to synthesize the evidence and show how broader and deeper insights can be gained with new survey designs and better data.

Organizer: Matin Qaim, University of Goettingen
Moderator: Christopher Barrett, Cornell University
Discussant: Thomas Reardon, Michigan State University

  • Do smallholder farmers benefit from sustainability standards? A systematic review and meta-analysis
    Eva-Marie Meemken, Cornell University and University of Minnesota
  • Do sustainability standards benefit smallholder farmers also when accounting for cooperative effects? Evidence from Cote d’Ivoire
    Jorge Sellare, University of Goettingen; Eva-Marie Meemken, Cornell University; Christophe Kouamé, World Agroforestry Center; Matin Qaim, University of Goettingen
  • Regulations, value chains, and implementation of food standards in developing countries: Panel data evidence from India
    Johan Swinnen, University of Leuven; Saule Burkitbayeva, University of Leuven; Emma Janssen, University of Leuven

The Implications of a Farm Financial Downturn on Supply and Demand for Credit

Net farm income variability across and within years is a constant faced by producers and input providers, especially agricultural lenders. Over the past 40 years, the agricultural economy has adjusted from the farm financial crisis of the 1980s to a period of relative economic stability during the 1990s and early 2000s to a boom from 2007 through 2013. The economic conditions of the last four years have been a stark contrast to that boom with net farm income for many Midwestern and Great Plains farmers at or below zero.

Organizer: Nick Paulson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Discussant: Robert DeYoung, University of Kansas

  • Farm Financial Health and the Demand for Credit
    Allen Featherstone, Kansas State University; Mykel Taylor, Kansas State University; Nick Paulson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Madhav Regmi, Kansas State University
  • Regional Analysis of Agricultural Bank Liquidity and Implications for Credit Availability
    Cortney Cowley, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; and Nathan Kaufman
  • Structural Changes in the Supply Bank Supply of Credit to Agriculture: A Differential Approach
    Charles Moss, University of Florida; and Dong Suh

Novel experimental approaches exploring factors influencing consumer choices of healthier food options

Rising obesity rates and associated non-communicable diseases, call for development of measures aimed at promoting healthier food choices. Novel food products as well as novel communication strategies can be used to improve dietary patterns. Novel food products include modified foods with e.g. lower calorie content. Novel experimental approaches include using ICT-based devices to communicate with consumers or use meal-based choices that bring food decisions closer to reality. Studying these novel aspects of choice can help uncovering additional evidence on the process of consumer decision-making and help economists and policy makers in developing measures for fighting obesity. This session will be devoted to the discussion of the following three main topics: (1) a meal-based experimental approach, where consumer demand is elicited through a novel experimental setting; (2) consumer acceptance of burgers with substituted meat under different information scenarios; and (3) the influence of dynamic feedback on fast food choices. Given the novelty of experimental approaches and food products discussed during this session, we appeal to a wide audience of attendees, who is interested in consumer food choices, nutrition, food policies, experimental and behavioral economics.

Organizers: Giovanni Sogari, University of Parma; Irina Dolgopolova, Technical University of Munich
Moderator: Jutta Roosen, Technical University of Munich
Discussant: Bradley Rickard, Cornell University

  • Assessing consumer demand for plant versus meat-based foods: A meal-based food choice experiment approach
    Vincenzina Caputo, Michigan State University; Jayson Lusk, Purdue University
  • The healthy tasty burger: consumers’ acceptance of new meat-mushroom burger and the role of information
    Giovanni Sogari, University of Parma; Jie Li, Cornell University; Michele Lefebvre, Cornell University; Shihua Huang, Cornell University; Cristina Mora, University of Parma; Miguel I. Gómez, Cornell University
  • See What You Eat: Investigating fast-food choices of young adults in an experiment using online ordering screen with dynamic feedback
    Irina Dolgopolova, Technical University of Munich; Jutta Roosen, Technical University of Munich

International Agri-Food Trade Shocks: Assessment, Measurement, and Impact

International trade in agricultural products is vital to the prosperity of agriculture and food industries and likewise to the well-being of food consumers. Producers gain access to foreign markets, expand their sales, and support prices and income. Consumers benefit from lower prices and a greater variety and more consistent supplies throughout the year. Since 1995, world agricultural and food trade has increased over three-fold to nearly $1.6
trillion in 2016. In agriculture, trade has become of paramount importance to markets and farm income.

Organizers: Jason Grant, Virginia Tech; and Shawn Arita, USDA Office of the Chief Economist
Moderator: Shawn Arita, USDA Office of the Chief Economist
Discussant: Joseph Glauber, International Food Policy Research Institute

  • A hybrid model approach to estimating impacts of China’s tariffs on U.S. soybeans
    Patrick Westhoff, University of Missouri-Columbia; Tracy Davids, University of Pretoria; Byung Min Soon, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute and University of Missouri-Columbia
  • The Impact of 2018 Trade War Retaliation on U.S. Commodity Prices
    Michael K. Adjemian, USDA Economic Research Service; Shawn Arita, USDA Office of the Chief Economist; and Aaron Smith, University of California, Davis
  • Global Agri-Food Trade Shocks: A Historical Econometric Assessment
    Jason Grant, Virginia Tech; Shawn Arita, USDA Office of the Chief Economist; and Charlotte Emlinger, Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations 

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