California is the leading agricultural state in the United States, producing more than 250 crops and leading nationally in the production of some 75 crops. Therefore, California provides an ideal laboratory for the development and application of innovative methods to analyze contemporary issues in the economics of the food and fiber sector and related government policies.
The development field emphasizes empirical microeconomic research, and students and faculty often visit the country under study to collect data directly. Geographically, faculty research projects cover nearly all regions of the globe, including Africa, East Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South America.
Natural Resource and Environmental Economics
Because California faces some of the more pressing conflicts between agriculture, urban growth, and the natural environment, UC Davis provides an ideal physical location to study resource and environmental issues. With the long tradition of excellence in the applied biological sciences on the Davis campus, faculty and students in the department often contribute to interdisciplinary projects.
In each research area in the department, faculty and students apply state-of-the-art quantitative and econometric tools. Accordingly, the graduate and undergraduate programs emphasize quantitative skills and draw not only from faculty within the department, but also from faculty in the Departments of Economics, Statistics, and the Graduate School of Management.
In addition to the regular faculty, the department has five Cooperative Extension Specialists who conduct a range of applied research projects related to the economics of California agriculture, natural resources and the environment, and economic development. Graduate students often work with CE Specialists on these projects, sometimes for MS thesis or dissertation research.