I am an applied economist whose primary research interests center on food systems, food choice, and food policy. With research experience in experimental methods and choice modeling, emerging markets, and evaluating regulatory landscapes, my long-term research portfolio will center on assessing the effect of food and beverage policies on consumer behavior, supply chain development and total welfare.

My dissertation, titled “Three Essays on U.S. Food, Beverage, and Drug Markets,” explores the development of local food systems, the effectiveness of COVID-19 relief programs, and the effects of marijuana legalization. In the first chapter, titled “Hopping on the Localness Craze: Breweries, Hops, & Local Beer Supply Chains,” I use survey data from Michigan breweries to determine what drives their decision to purchase state-grown hops. In the study, I evaluate the limiting factors constraining the development of local hop markets and explore potential opportunities within the industry. My second chapter, titled “The Paycheck Protection Program and Small Business Performance: Evidence from Craft Breweries,” explores the relationship between receiving PPP funding on the probability of business survival and year-over-year performance. By merging craft brewery data with Small Business Administration data on PPP loan recipients, I show that receiving a PPP loan is associated with a higher probability of survival and a smaller decline in brewery production (measured in barrels of beer per year). The final chapter of my dissertation is titled “The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Alcohol and Marijuana Use: Comparing Primary and Secondary Data.” Here, I use difference-in-differences methods on governmental data and a basket-based choice experiment from a survey of U.S. households to determine whether alcohol and marijuana are complements or substitutes.

My pipeline of research projects includes:

  • Assessing the impact of the transition to cage-free eggs on U.S. egg producers, retailers, and consumers (with Dr. Vincenzina Caputo, Dr. Jayson Lusk, and Dr. Glynn Tonsor)
  • Calculating the effect of PPP funding on employee retention using data from the Small Business Administration and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (with Dr. Trey Malone, Dr. Craig Carpenter, and Dr. Kristopher Deming)
  • Exploring halo effects in the U.S. alcohol market (with Dr. Vincenzina Caputo, Dr. Trey Malone, and Dr. Brenna Ellison
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