Chris Barrett is an agricultural and development economist on faculty at Cornell University. He is the Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and an International Professor of Agriculture at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, as well as a Professor in the Department of Economics, in the Department of Global Development, and in the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, as well as a Fellow of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and the Cornell Institute for Food Systems. He is co-editor-in-chief of the journal Food Policy, edits the Palgrave Macmillan book series Agricultural Economics and Food Policy, and previously was editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. He is an elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and the African Association of Agricultural Economists. He has held senior leadership roles at Cornell, including as the Deputy Dean and Dean of Academic Affairs of the SC Johnson College of Business, and as the David J. Nolan Director of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, as well as externally as President of the Association of Christian Economists. He earned degrees from Princeton University, the University of Oxford, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and previously served on faculty at Utah State University and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard, Melbourne, Monash, Notre Dame, Stanford, and UC-San Diego.

Research Interests

Chris Barrett's fundamental research objective is to use economics to help reduce unnecessary human suffering manifest in ill health, malnutrition, poverty, vulnerability to manmade and natural disasters, and the degradation of the natural resources that support many poor people's future well-being. Applications range broadly, mostly focused on rural populations in African and Asia but we increasingly work in the United States as well. My group works extensively on the dynamics of poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, and ill health, on resilience to shocks and stressors, on the functioning of agri-food value chains and systems, on policy, innovation and technological change to facilitate the structural transformation of low-income agrarian economies, and on the interrelationship between human well-being and stresses on the natural environment and climate. While I have done some theoretical work, most of our research is empirical, developing and applying methods to better identify the nature and causes of unnecessary human suffering and effective interventions to reduce it.

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Primary Section

Section 64: Human Environmental Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 54: Economic Sciences