Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching

I currently teach graduate level courses in development microeconomics (AEM 7650/ECON 7650) and an undergraduate writing-in-the-majors course, Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy (AEM 2000).

Previously, I taught undergraduate and Masters level econometrics and poverty reduction policy courses, undergraduate and graduate international economics, undergraduate macroeconomics courses, as well as graduate business statistics, development economics, and food systems and poverty reduction courses.

From 2001-2008 I co-directed the Rockefeller Foundation-funded African Food Security and Natural Resources Management program, which trained 10 natural and social science Ph.D. students from eastern and southern Africa, spread across two cohorts. From 2009-2013 I directed the National Science Foundation-funded Food System and Poverty Reduction IGERT interdisciplinary Ph.D. training program that coupled interdisciplinary courses to supplement students’ core disciplinary training with 4-8 months of field-based research in rural east Africa. Cumulatively, we trained 27 very talented Ph.D. students. I currently direct the Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) mentoring programs for young African applied economists. I have served as chair or minor member on more than 100 graduate students’ thesis committees and supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate research assistants.

Teaching/Mentoring Presentations:

Current Courses

AEM 2000

Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy

Aims to stimulate critical thinking and cogent writing and speaking about contemporary controversies that attract regular attention in the international press and among key private- and public-sector decision makers. Students read and discuss competing arguments about current issues such as patenting and pricing of pharmaceuticals worldwide, controls on commercial and humanitarian distribution of genetically modified foods, and immigration restrictions. Students write a series of short briefing papers and give regular oral briefs, which are evaluated for quality of communication and content.

AEM 7650 / ECON 7650

Development Microeconomics Graduate Research Seminar

A graduate student seminar offered both semesters.

Graduate students and the instructor present draft research proposals, papers, and preliminary thesis results for group review and discussion. Students who actively participate by offering written and oral comments on others’ work receive 1 credit. Students who also present their own proposal or paper receive 2 credits. Presentations last 75 minutes and thus represent a substantial investment of time. Students who present a second proposal or paper receive 3 credits.

Co-taught with John Hoddinott.

Insurance for development

in The Business & Management Collection

Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London (online)

Topics covered:

  • The general economic case for insurance
  • Insurance for economic development
  • The challenges of offering insurance to the poor
  • The potential of index insurance
  • Case study: index-based livestock insurance
  • IBLI case study

Courses on Hiatus

AEM 4551 / CRP 6490 / SOC 4450

Comparative Perspectives in Poverty Reduction Policy

A trial course offered spring 2010 and co-taught with Susan Christopherson (City & Regional Planning).

AEM 6040 / IARD 6040

Food Systems and Poverty Reduction: Concepts and Themes

Co-taught with Rebecca Nelson.

Download Syllabus »

AEM 6940

Special Topics: Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis (MIFIRA) Framework

A one-time 2 credit course Erin Lentz and I offered in the first half of spring semester 2010. This course is not presently scheduled to be taught again.

AEM 7620 / ECON 7660

Microeconomics of International Development

A graduate course taught Fall 2013.

Focuses on models of individual, household, firm/farm, and market behavior in low- and middle-income developing economies. Topics include agricultural land, labor, and financial institutions; technology adoption; food security and nutrition; risk management; intra-household analysis; reciprocity networks; and product/factor markets analysis. Emphasizes empirical research.

  • Outcome 1: Students will master the specification, estimation and interpretation of models of individual, household, firm/farm, and market behavior in low-income communities, especially related to agriculture.
  • Outcome 2: Students will develop an aptitude for writing insightful, constructive reviews of current working papers.
  • Outcome 3: Students will develop the capacity to write an original, journal article length manuscript for publication in the area of development economics.

Download Syllabus »