Thomas Reardon

Thomas Reardon

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Co-Principal Investigator


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

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Publications on Google Scholar

Tom 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 is also Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI since 2022.

Tom researches the transformation of food value chains: (1) the “supermarket revolution” and the "food service revolution" (2) the “Quiet Revolution” in the “Hidden Middle”, a term coined by him for SMEs in the midstream of value chains; (3) R&D and farm inputs supply chain transformation; (4) e-commerce and food delivery intermediaries. He studies the impacts of these transformations on food industry business strategies, on farms, consumption/nutrition, and employment. Tom also researches “Rural Nonfarm Employment” inside and outside of food systems. 

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, and Tanzania, and survey data analysis in Bangladesh, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, 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 nearly 44,000 citations in Google Scholar with an H index of 96 as of March 2023. He ranks in the top 1.6% 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), a graduate class on agriculture in international development (AFRE 861), and an undergraduate class on international agrifood markets (AFRE 327) in fall semesters; he mentors doctoral and masters students (100 since 1992).

Selection of Articles: 2021/2022 through March 2023

Zilberman, D., A. Huang, L. Goldberg, T. Reardon. 2023. The evolution of symbiotic innovation, water, and agricultural supply chains. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. Published online March11.  

Liverpool-Tasie, L.S.O., T. Reardon, C. Parkhi, M. Dolislager. 2023. Nigerians in poverty consume little wheat and wheat self-sufficiency programmes will not protect them from price shocks related to the Russia–Ukraine conflict. Nature Food. Accepted Feb2023.

Faye, N.F., T. Fall, T. Reardon, V. Theriault, Y. Ngom, M.B. Barry, M.R. Sy. 2023. Consumption of fruits and vegetables by types and sources across urban and rural Senegal. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies. Published online March11.  

Reardon, T, R. Vos. 2023. How resilience innovations in food supply chains are revolutionizing logistics, wholesale trade, and farm services in developing countries. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. Published in press February 2023.    

Naziri, D., B. Belton, S.A. Loison, T. Reardon, K.M. Shikuku, W. Kaguongo, K. Maina, E. Ogello, K. Obiero. 2023. COVID-19 disruptions and pivoting in SMEs in the hidden middle of Kenya’s potato and fish value chains. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. Accepted Feb2023.

Barrett, C.B., T. Reardon, J. Swinnen, D. Zilberman. 2022. Agri-food Value Chain Revolutions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Journal of Economic Literature. 60(4): 1316-1377.  

Macchiavello, R., T. Reardon, T. Richards. 2022. Empirical Industrial Organization Economics to Analyze Developing Country Food Value Chains. Annual Review of Resource Economics. 14, October: 193-220.  

Parkhi, C.M., LSO Liverpool-Tasie, T. Reardon. 2022. Do smaller chicken farms use more antibiotics? Evidence on antibiotics diffusion from Nigeria. Agribusiness: An International Journal. September.

Meemken, E-M., M.F. Bellemare, T. Reardon, C.M. Vargas. 2022. Research and policy for the food-delivery revolution. Science. 377(6608), August: 810-813.  

Dolislager, M. LSO Liverpool-Tasie, N.M. Mason, T. Reardon, D. Tschirley. 2022. Consumption of healthy and unhealthy foods by the African poor: evidence from Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Agricultural Economics. August. 

Zilberman, D., T. Reardon, J. Silver, L. Lu, A. Heiman. 2022. From the Lab to the Consumer: Innovation, Supply Chain, and Adoption with Applications to Natural Resources. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA (PNAS). 119(23)e2115880119. Published online June1.  

Maredia, M.K., Adenikinju, A., Belton, B., Chapoto, A., Faye, N.F., Liverpool-Tasie, S., Olwande, J., Reardon, T., Theriault, V., Tschirley, D. 2022. COVID-19's impacts on incomes and food consumption in urban and rural areas are surprisingly similar: Evidence from five African countries, Global Food Security. 33, 100633.  

Heiman, A., T. Reardon, D. Zilberman. 2022. The effects of COVID-19 on the adoption of “on-the-shelf technologies”: Virtual dressing room software and the expected rise of third-party reverse-logistics firms. Service Science. Published online March 8.  

Zimmerer, K.S., C.S. Duvall, E.C. Jaenicke, L.M. Minaker, T. Reardon, K.C. Seto. 2021. Urbanization and agrobiodiversity: Leveraging a key nexus for sustainable development. One Earth. (Cell Press) Perspective. 4(11) November 19: 1557-1568.  

Meyer, F., T. Reardon, T., M. van der Merwe, D. Jordaan, M. Delport, G. van der Burgh. 2021. Hotspots of vulnerability: Analysis of food value chain disruptions by COVID-19 policies in South Africa. Agrekon, 60(4), December.    

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.  

Meemken, E-M., C.B. Barrett, H.C. Michelson, M. Qaim, T. Reardon, J. Sellare. 2021.  Sustainability standards in global agrifood supply chains. Nature Food. 2: 758-765.  

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. 2021. “Essential non-essentials”: COVID-19 policy missteps in Nigeria rooted in persistent myths about African food value chains. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. 43(1), March: 205-224.