Schaefer, K. Aleks

September, 2023

By: Graven, Atticus; Schaefer, K. Aleks
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) was unique in that it was the first US farm support program that allowed producers to enroll through an online portal rather than in person through a local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. This research investigates the extent to which broadband connectivity affected access to US government farm support under CFAP. We find that a 1-percentage-point increase in county-level broadband availability is associated with a $2.13 increase in county payments per capita under CFAP. However, this relationship is inherently nonlinear along the rural--urban divide.

May, 2023

By: Gao, Yixuan; Malone, Trey; Schaefer, K. Aleks; Myers, Robert J.
Using a data-modified version of the relative-price-of-a-substitute method, we distinguish the consequences of the sharp decline in US automotive fuel demand from the consequences of nonethanol demand changes in the US corn market. Our results suggest thatÑdue to the renewable fuel standard and ethanol-gas price linkagesÑthe COVID-19 pandemic affected corn markets more than it affected other agricultural commodities. The onset of the pandemic reduced Illinois cash prices for corn by approximately 18%. The majority of this impact (approximately 16%) was driven by pandemic-induced reductions in ethanol demand. Ethanol-driven and total impacts were greater in locations farther from terminal markets.