McFadden, Dawn Thilmany

By: Cleary, Rebecca; Goetz, Stephan J.; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany; Ge, Houtian
Food hubs offer a novel solution to connect small and mid-sized local farms, which individually lack the scale to profitably market their products. Because many food hubs rely on grants and philanthropy to provide services and are not necessarily profit-driven, markets may unintentionally oversaturate due to overinvestment.We use a firm-entry model to estimate the average U.S. county population necessary for one, two, and three food hubs to break even. Our findings suggest that policy makers and philanthropists need to consider the carrying capacity of the local food environment and population prior to supporting additional food hubs.
By: Jablonski, Becca B.R.; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany; Sullins, Martha; Curtis, Kynda R.
This research explores the determinants of effective beginning farmer programming and implications for emerging and established programs. We use responses from 100 interviews with participants in the Building Farmers in the West Program, one of the longest-standing beginning farmer training programs in the United States, to understand how key course principles predict improved farm profitability. Results show that specific production changes after taking the course—including the number of cultivated varieties (negative), number of farm enterprises (positive), and length of production season (positive)—are correlated with improved farm profitability. We make recommendations for future beginning farmer programming based on these results.
By: Deselnicu, Oana C.; Costanigro, Marco; Souza-Monteiro, Diogo M.; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany
We conduct a meta-analysis of studies estimating price premiums for agricultural products differentiated by Geographical Indication (GI). Models accounting for differences across product characteristics (food categories) and institutions (PDO, PGI, trademarks) explain a large portion of the variance in estimated premiums. Specifically, GIs capture the highest percentage premium in markets for products with short supply chains and relatively low added value (e.g., agricultural commodities). The premium is lower for wine and olive oil, where alternative means of product differentiation (e.g., branding) exist. Controlling for product characteristics, GIs adopting stricter regulations (PDO) yield larger premiums than less regulated ones (PGI).
By: Bond, Craig A.; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany; Bond, Jennifer Keeling
We examine consumer response to label information using a hypothetical choice experiment on red leaf lettuce attribute bundles. Using survey responses, several mixed logit models with random parameters and varying correlation assumptions are estimated that provide estimated of marginal utilities ( and marginal values) of various attributes related to general health claims, specific nutrition and health claims, certification logos, and certified organic claims (relative to the conventional reference group) for this fresh produce product. We find that consumers distinguish between labeling claims, and that attribute bundling effects are present, suggesting the results from main effects (linear) models may be misleading. Furthermore, the results imply that consumers may value both privately and publicly appropriable benefits of alternative technologies, such as organic production.
By: Padilla-Bernal, Luz E.; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany; Loureiro, Maria L.
Fresh tomato trade between the United States and Mexico grew significantly during the 1990s. Moreover, major structural changes in U.S. produce marketing channels increase the complexity of conducting analyses to delineate the impact of liberalized trade. Following the work of Barrett, Li, and Bailey, this study implements a mixed distribution to examine spatial-price relationships between major shipping points and terminal markets for Mexican imported, and Florida and California tomatoes. Although markets are often efficiently integrated, results suggest strategic pricing and product shipments may exist and vary among terminal markets in Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago.
By: Espey, Molly; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany
Previous research on farm labor demand is reviewed to empirically explore what has been learned over the past 50 years. Following the example of Hamermesh, studies were differentiated by numerous factors. A meta-regression analysis of estimated demand wage elasticities was conducted to more clearly identify any systematic factors that influence such estimates. Results of the analysis show that the magnitudes of own-price demand elasticities are affected by differences including type and area of labor market, methodology, and the time period covered by the data. Understanding variations due to model specification is important when interpreting current and future agricultural labor and policy research.