David L. Tschirley

David Tschirley

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Director and Professor, MSU/AFRE



Ph.D., Michigan State University
M.S., Michigan State University
B.S., Colorado State University

Publications on Google Scholar

David Tschirley is fixed-term Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics.  He serves as co-Director of AFRE’s Food Security Group (FSG) and Director of its flagship USAID-funded Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Policy and Influence (PRCI).  He has over 30 years of experience in applied food security research, mentoring of developing country researchers, and active policy outreach. 

David’s work emphasizes three main areas: 1) agrifood system transformation in Africa focusing on the impacts of changing diets, the evolving roles of “modern” and “traditional” marketing channels, and implications for public-private investment in these systems, 2) the intersection of food aid, staple food markets, and emergency response, including extensive work on monetization, local and regional food aid procurement, and the role of food trade and government policy in emergency response, and 3) institutional approaches to linking smallholder farmers to cash crop markets such as cotton and fresh produce.  Most recently Dr. Tschirley’s research has focused increasingly on issues regarding diet change and agrifood system transformation in Africa and Asia.  He is author or co-author of over 40 journal articles, multiple book chapters and dozens of working papers. 

Dr.  Tschirley has served as the Lead External Author for IFAD’s 2019 Rural Development Report, was a member of the World Food Program’s Technical Review Panel for its Purchase for Progress (P4P) program, and has been a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the CGIAR system, USAID, World Food Program (WFP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO).  In 2022, he received the Ralph Smuckler Award for Advancing International Studies and Programs at MSU, in recognition of his long-term distinguished achievement in the promotion of international activities (research, teaching, and outreach) at Michigan State University.

Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Dr. Tschirley has had long-term assignments in Ecuador (1987-1990) and Mozambique (1995-98).  

Publications (since 2010)

Dolislager, M, LSO Liverpool‐Tasie, NM Mason, T Reardon, D Tschirley (2022).  “Consumption of healthy and unhealthy foods by the African poor: Evidence from Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.”  Agricultural Economics, 53(6).

Maredia, MK, NA Adenikinju, B Belton, A Chapoto, Ndèye Fatou Faye, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, John Olwande, Thomas Reardon, Veronique Theriault, David Tschirley (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(June). 

Sauer, C., T. Reardon, D. Tschirley, S. Liverpool-Tasie, T. Awokuse (2021).  “Consumption of processed food & food away from home in big cities, small towns, and rural areas of Tanzania.” Agricultural Economics.  First published:  10 July 2021.  https://doi.org/10.1111/agec.12652.

Olabisi, M., D. Tschirley, D. Nyange, and T. Awokuse (2021).  “Does trade protectionism promote domestic food security? Evidence from Tanzanian edible oil imports.”  Global Food Security, 28 (March 2021).

Reardon, T., D. Tschirley, Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie, Titus Awokuse, Jessica Fanzo, Bart Minten, Rob Vos, Michael Dolislager, Christine Sauer, Rahul Dhar, Carolina Vargas, Anna Lartey, Ahmed Raza, Barry M. Popkin (2021).  “The processed food revolution in African food systems and the double burden of malnutrition.”  Global Food Security, 28 (March 2021).

Arslan, Aslihan, David Tschirley, Constanza Di Nucci and Paul Winters (2021).  “Introduction to the JDS special section on Youth Inclusion in Rural Transformation.” Journal of Development Studies, 57(4). 

Arslan, Aslihan, David Tschirley, and Eva Maria Egger (2020). “Rural Youth Welfare along the Rural-Urban Gradient: An Empirical Analysis across the Developing World.”  Journal of Development Studies, 57(4).

Dolislager, Michael, Thomas Reardon, Aslihan Arslan, Louise Fox, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Christine Sauer, David Tschirley (2020).  “Youth and adult agrifood system employment in developing regions: rural (peri-urban to hinterland) vs. urban.”  Journal of Development Studies, 57(4).

Cairns Smart, Jennifer, David Tschirley, and Francis Smart (2020). “Diet Quality and Urbanization in Mozambique.”  Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 41(3).

Goeb, J., Dillon, A., Lupi, F., & Tschirley, D. (2020). Pesticides: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists 7(5), 801-836.

Fanzo, J., Haddad, L., McLaren, R., Tschirley, D., et al. (2020). The Food Systems Dashboard is a new tool to inform better food policy. Nature Food 1, 243–246

Reardon, Thomas, Ruben Echeverria, Julio Berdegué, Bart Minten, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, David Tschirley, and David Zilberman (2019).  “Rapid transformation of Food Systems in Developing Regions: implications for agricultural research strategies.” Agricultural Systems, 172(June), 47-59.

Olabisi, M, DL Tschirley, D Nyange, and T Awokuse (2019). “Energy demand substitution from biomass to imported kerosene: Evidence from Tanzania”.  Energy Policy, 130. pp. 243-252.

Andam, Kwaw, David Tschirley, Seth Asante, Ramatu Al-Hassan, Xinshen Diao (2018). “The transformation of urban food systems in Ghana: Findings from inventories of processed products.”  Outlook on Agriculture, 37(3), 233-243.

Sitko, Nicholas, Brian Chisanga, David Tschirley, Thomas Jayne (2018). “An evolution in the middle: examining the rise of multinational investment in smallholder grain trading in Zambia.” Food Security, 10(2), 473-488.

Dzanja, Joseph, Mirriam Matita, Henry Kankwamba, Michael Dolislager and David Tschirley (2017).  “Assessing market prospects for grain legumes in Malawi.” African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 12(3), 204-216.

Tschirley, David (2017).  “Engaging the Agribusiness Sector in Inclusive Value Chain Development: Opportunities and Challenges.” Chapter 3 in Africa Agriculture Status Report 2017: The business of smallholder agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.  AGRA. 

Ortega, D. and D. Tschirley (2016).  "Demand for Food Safety in Emerging and Developing Countries: A Research Agenda for Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa”.  Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, 6(1).

Reardon, T., D. Boughton, D. Tschirley, S. Haggblade, M. Dolislager, B. Minten, and R. Hernandez (2015).  “Urbanization, Diet Change, & Transformation of the Downstream and Midstream of the Agrifood System: Effects on the Poor in Africa and Asia.” Faith & Economics, 66, Fall.

Tschirley, David and Thomas Reardon (2015).  “Impact on Employment and Migration of Structural and Rural Transformation.”  Paper prepared for IFAD 2016 Rural Development Report.

Tschirley, D., J. Snyder, J. Goeb, M. Dolislager, T. Reardon, S. Haggblade, L.  Traub, F. Ejobi, F. Meyer (2015).  “Africa’s Unfolding Diet Transformation: Implications for Agrifood System Employment.”  Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, 5(2).

Kaneene, J., S. Haggblade and D. Tschirley (2015). “Special issue introduction: Sub-Saharan Africa’s agri-food system in transition”.  Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, 5(2).

Tschirley, David, Michael Dolislager, Thomas Reardon, and Jason Snyder (2015). “The Rise of the African Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation.”  Journal of International Development, 27(5). 

Reardon, Thomas, David Tschirley, Steve Haggblade, Bart Minten, Peter Timmer, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie (2015).  “Five Inter-Linked Transformations in the African Agrifood Economy: Food Security Implications.”  Under review at Global Food Security.

Mathenge, M. and D. Tschirley (2015).  “Off-farm labor market decisions and agricultural shocks among rural households in Kenya.”  Agricultural Economics, (46)5: 603–616.

Mathenge, M., M. Smale, and D. Tschirley (2015).  “Off-farm Employment and Input Intensification among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Kenya.”  Journal of Agricultural Economics, (66 2: 519–536.

Reardon, Thomas, David Tschirley, Bart Minten, Steven Haggblade, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Michael Dolislager, Jason Snyder, and Claire Ijumba (2014).  “Transformation of African Agrifood Systems in the New Era of Rapid Urbanization and the Emergence of a Middle Class.” Chapter 4 in Badiane and Makombe, Eds., Beyond a middle income Africa: Transforming African Economies for Sustained Growth with Rising Employment and Incomes.  ReSAKSS Annual Trends and Outlook Report. 

Theriault, Veronique and David Tschirley (2014). “How Institutions Mediate the Impact of Cash Cropping on Food Crop Intensification: An Application to Cotton in Sub-Saharan Africa.”  World Development, 64(12), pp. 298-310.

Chapoto, Antony, Steven Haggblade, Munguzwe Hichaambwa, Stephen Kabwe, Steven Longabaugh, Nicholas Sitko and David Tschirley (2013).  “Institutional Models for Accelerating Agricultural Commercialization: Evidence from Maize, Cotton and Horticulture in Zambia, 1965 to 2012”.  Forthcoming in Ellen Hillbom and Patrick Svensson, eds., Agricultural Transformation in a Global History Perspective.  Routledge Press.

Fernandez, Ana, Robert Richardson, David Tschirley, and Gelson Tembo (2012).  “Wildlife conservation in Zambia: impacts on rural household welfare.”  World Development, 40(5).

Tschirley, David, Munguzwe Hichaambwa, and Mukwiti Mwiinga (2011).  “Comparative assessment of the marketing structure and price behavior of three staple vegetables in Lusaka, Zambia”, in Mithöfer & Waibel, Eds. Vegetable Production and Marketing in Africa: Socio-economic  Research. CABI.

Tschirley, David, Colin Poulton, Nicolas Gergely, Patrick Labaste, John Baffes, Duncan Boughton and Gerald Estur (2010).  “Institutional Diversity and Performance in African Cotton Sectors”.  Development Policy Review, 28(3).

Tschirley, David and T.S. Jayne (2010).  Exploring the logic behind southern Africa’s food crises.  World Development, 38(1).