Thomas Reardon

Thomas Reardon

Contact Me

University Distinguished Professor
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics


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

CV: File Download

Publications on Google Scholar

Thomas Reardon is a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University. Tom has been at MSU since 1992; IFPRI Research Fellow 1986-1991; Rockefeller Foundation Post-Doc with IFPRI in Burkina Faso 1984-1986; Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1984, and masters from the Université de Nice and Columbia University.

Tom researches the transformation of food value chains: (1) the e-commerce and food delivery intermediaries; (2) the “supermarket revolution” and the "food service revolution" (3) the “Quiet Revolution” (the diffusion of SMEs in the midstream of value chains); and (4) R&D and farm inputs supply chain transformation. He studies the impacts of these transformations on food industry business strategies, on farms, consumption/nutrition, and employment.

Tom works mainly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and has stayed 21 years in those regions. His current field survey projects and primary data analysis are in Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya, and survey data analysis in Bangladesh, China, Colombia, India, and Myanmar.

Tom is Fellow of Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) and Honorary Life Member (equivalent of Fellow) of International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). He has more than 39,000 citations in Google Scholar with an H index of 91 as of January 2022. He ranks in the top 1.5% of 67,000 economists globally tracked by IDEAS/REPEC. Tom is in Who’s Who in Economics; was featured on the front page of the New York Times; was the first agrifood economist invitee to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Tom teaches a graduate class on food systems organization (AFRE 841) and an undergraduate class on international agrifood markets (AFRE 327) in fall semesters; he mentors doctoral and masters students (100 since 1992). 

Recent highly downloaded blogs of Reardon:

A dozen selected recent publications (with the full publication list in CV File Download and in Publications on Google Scholar)

Barrett, C.B., T. Reardon, J. Swinnen, D. Zilberman. forthcoming 2022. Structural Transformation and Economic Development: Insights from the Agri-food Value Chain Revolution. Journal of Economic Literature. Accepted December 2020;

Reardon, T., L.S.O. Liverpool-Tasie, B. Minten. 2021. Quiet Revolution by SMEs in the midstream of value chains in developing regions: wholesale markets, wholesalers, logistics, and processing. Food Security

Sauer, C.M., T. Reardon, D. Tschirley, S. Liverpool-Tasie, T. Awokuse, R. Alphonce, D. Ndyetabula, & B. Waized.  2021. Consumption of processed food & food away from home in big cities, small towns, and rural areas of Tanzania. Agricultural Economics, 1-22.

Reardon, T., A. Heiman, L. Lu, CSR Nuthalapati, R. Vos, D. Zilberman. 2021. “Pivoting” by food industry firms to cope with COVID-19 in developing regions:  e-commerce and “co-pivoting” delivery-intermediaries. Agricultural Economics. 52(3), June.

Reardon, T., B. Belton, LSO Liverpool-Tasie, L. Lu, CSR Nuthalapati, O. Tasie, D. Zilberman. 2021. E-Commerce’s Fast-Tracking Diffusion and Adaptation in Developing Countries. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. 02 March.

Liverpool-Tasie, S.L.O., A. Sanou, T. Reardon, B. Belton. 2021. Demand for Imported versus Domestic Fish in Nigeria: Panel Data Evidence. Journal of Agricultural Economics. 1-23.

Reardon, T., D. Tschirley, L.S.O. Liverpool-Tasie, T. Awokuse, J. Fanzo, B. Minten, R. Vos, M. Dolislager, C. Sauer, R. Dhar, C. Vargas, A. Lartey, A. Raza, B.M. Popkin 2021. The processed food revolution in African food systems and the double burden of malnutrition. Global Food Security 28: 100466.

Liverpool-Tasie, L.S.O, T. Reardon, B. Belton. 2020. “Essential non-essentials”: COVID-19 policy missteps in Nigeria rooted in persistent myths about African food value chains. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. Published online Dec28 2020.

Liverpool-Tasie, L.S.O., A. Wineman, S. Young, J. Tambo, C. Vargas, T. Reardon, G.S. Adjognon, J. Porciello, N. Gathoni, L. Bizikova, A. Galiè, A. Celestin. 2020. A scoping review of market links between value chain actors and small-scale producers in developing regions. Nature Sustainability. October.  Open access

Dolislager, M., Reardon, T., Arslan, A., Fox, L., Liverpool-Tasie, S., Sauer, C., Tschirley, D., 2020. Youth and adult agrifood system employment in developing regions: Rural (Peri-urban to hinterland) vs urban. Journal of Development Studies. Published online Sept14. 

Belton, B., T. Reardon, D. Zilberman. 2020. Sustainable commoditization in seafood. Nature Sustainability. May 18.

Reardon, T., R. Echeverría, J. Berdegué, B. Minten, S. Liverpool-Tasie, D. Tschirley, D. Zilberman. 2019. Rapid transformation of Food Systems in Developing Regions: Highlighting the role of agricultural research & innovations. Agricultural Systems. 172 (June): 47-59.