Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Area of Expertise:
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
M.I.A., Columbia University
Diplôme, Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales, Université de Nice
B.A., Claremont Men's College
Tom Reardon is a Professor in the Tenure System. He holds masters degrees from the Université de Nice and from Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. From 1984-1986 he was Rockefeller Post-Doctoral Fellow with IFPRI posted to Burkina Faso with the University of Ouagadougou and ICRISAT. Tom was Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC 1986-1991. He joined MSU in 1992.
Tom has a global reputation. He was elected in 2014 Fellow of the AAEA, and the first agricultural economist selected for the 1000 Talents Program in China affiliated with Renmin University 2012-2014. He was a personal invitee to the World Economic Forum in Davos and featured on the front page of the New York Times, both based on his frontier work on the “supermarket revolution”. His more than 200 publications have been cited in Google Scholar 27,330 times (with an H index of 77) by November 11, 2018, placing him globally ranked number 2 or 3 ranked in agricultural economics, 1 in Food Policy, 8 in development economics, 7 in poverty. He is ranked in the top 2.3% among 55,000 economists globally followed by REPEC, and in the top 10 globally among agricultural economists in the ISI Web of Science.
Tom has published many articles on structural transformation of agricultural and food markets and global value chains in economics journals (e.g., AJAE, EDCC, Annual Review of Resource Economics, Journal of Economic Geography, Food Policy, and others) and general journals (e.g., Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science/PNAS, World Development, Obesity Reviews, and JDS). His 2003 AJAE article on supermarkets in developing countries is one of the top five cited AJAE articles since 1980.
Tom has spent 21 years with “feet on the ground” in Africa, Asia, and Latin America since taking his Ph.D. 34 years ago at Berkeley. With colleagues Tom has raised more than $30 million in extramural research grants from foundations and government agencies focused on fieldwork in those regions. He has supervised or been on the committees of more than 100 graduate students, many of whom are professors and research economists worldwide.
Tom’s research focus is on the links between international development and agribusiness/food industry. He researches the transformation of agrifood systems (supermarkets, processing firms, wholesale and logistics, and agricultural support services) and their effects on farmer incomes, technology, and rural employment, and agrifood business strategies implementation of innovations via design of supply chains. He has researched value chains in Africa, Asia, and Latin America covering horticulture, fish, dairy, poultry, and grains. He has researched rural nonfarm employment and its links to food systems and agricultural technology adoption.
Tom’s recent and ongoing research is on value chains, markets, and linkages with farmers in poultry, fish, horticulture, and grain sectors, outsourced farm services, and food consumption and nutrition in Africa (Senegal, Nigeria, Tanzania), Asia, (Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, and Indonesia), and Latin America (Colombia).
Tom taught the capstone international agricultural development course in AFRE for 20 years, and now teaches a graduate course, AFRE 841, in Analysis of Food System Organization, and an upper level undergraduate course, ABM/FIM 427, in International Agrifood Markets and Industries. Both are taught in the Fall semester. Tom is also active in advising doctoral and masters students.
As part of his international research Tom is working on several projects of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy:
- Feed The Future Innovation Lab For Food Security Policy: Nigeria
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy: Senegal
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security: Myanmar
- Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security: Tanzania