2017 Year End Review

Today is the last day of 2017, and keeping with tradition, it's time to look back over the past year.

After 12 great years at Oklahoma State University, it was time to move on.  Since this summer, I've had the pleasure to serve as Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University.  This year, I wrapped up my term as president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), had the opportunity to participate in a couple programs at the National Academies in Washington DC, attend the presentation of the World Food Prize in Des Moines, and travel and give talks in Grenoble France, Parma Italy, Guelph Canada, West Texas A&M, Texas Tech University, San Francisco, Reno, Boston, Chicago, and more.  My coauthors and I published 15 articles published in peer reviewed journals in 2017 and have a half dozen or so are already forthcoming for 2018.  I was particularly happy to finally see this paper on the distributional impacts of fat taxes and thin subsidies with Laurent Muller, Anne Lacroix, and Bernard Ruffieux finally appear in the Economic Journal.

On the blog, there were about 115 posts garnering more than 86,000 page views in 2017.  Here are a few of the most viewed posts of the year.

Why Large Scale Organic Requires Large Scale Non-Organic (discusses the origin of nitrogen fertilizer on organic farms)

How Risk Averse Are You? (discusses a paper I wrote with Andreas Drichoutis where we point out some problems with popular experimental economic methods used to measure risk preferences and where we introduce a new method)

Where Do People Eat the Most Meat? (using data from the Food Demand Survey (FooDS), I show how demand for various meat cuts varies geographically across the US)

How Food Spending Varies with Income (also using data from the Food Demand Survey (FooDS), I show how spending on food at home and away from home varies with household income)

When Consumers Don't Want to Know (describes the phenomenon of "information avoidance" with focus on some animal welfare research with Eryn Bell and Bailey Norwood)

The Great Bacon Freak-out of 2017 (debunks a popular news story that we were going to run out of bacon)

Costs and Benefits of Local Food Policies (here I discuss a paper by Jason Winfree and Philip Watson showing that only under highly unusual conditions will we expect popular local foods policies to produce more in benefits than costs)

The Adoption of Genetically Engineered Corn and Yield (discusses an NBER working paper I wrote with Jesse Tack and Nathan Hendricks showing that adoption of GMO corn increased yields by about 17%)

Does Everybody Prefer Organic? (short answer, "no")

Redefining Agricultural Yields (here I critique the interpretation of research results arguing that yield should be measured not as bushels or tons per acre but by the number of people fed per acre).

Food Values of the Rich and Poor (data from the Food Demand Survey (FooDS) shows the relative importance of different factors when buying food for the rich and poor)


Here are some posts written in previous years that continued to be popular in 2017.