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Xi He

Assistant Professor of Computational Economics
Xi He
219 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Xi He’s research focuses on understanding how agricultural and food policies are formed and how they affect food security and public health at global, national, regional, and micro levels. Her current research focuses on three areas: 1) the political and economic determinants of agricultural trade policies, such as non-tariff barriers, and how these policies shape the multilateral and bilateral trade system, and 2) outreach and extension work on the evolution of China’s agricultural import demand and how that shapes global trade patterns; and 3) how climate change affects global food trade, food insecurity, and nutrition in developing countries.


Agricultural trade policy analysis; food and health economics


  • Ph.D., Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut, 2019
  •  M.A., Economics, Beihang University, 2014
  •  B.A., Economics, Beihang University, 2011

I have multiple ongoing projects in agricultural trade and food policy analysis.

The first line of projects assesses the impacts of agricultural trade policies, including the impacts of regional trade agreements on countries’ use of non-tariff measures and the impacts of non-tariff measures on import evasion in agriculture.

The second line of projects utilizes partial equilibrium and general-equilibrium models to analyze the impacts of agricultural and food policies. An example project is that we calibrate the CARD International Agricultural Commodity Market model using 2019/20 marketing year crop data and 2020 calendar year livestock and biofuel data to project China’s agricultural imports under six scenarios.

The third line of projects explores how climate change affects food trade and food insecurity in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

For more information about my research program, visit my personal website:

Current teaching

  • Scheduled: AAEC 3024 – Global & Monetary Issues in Applied Economics (Spring 2023)

Previously taught classes

  • Vertical Relations in U.S. Agricultural and Food Industries, Guest lecturer; Spring 2018
  • Business Strategies and Policy in Food Industries, Teaching Assistant; Spring 2018
  • Business Organization and Labor Markets, Teaching Assistant; Fall 2017, Fall 2018
  • International Commodity Trade, Teaching Assistant; Fall 2016

Postdoctoral research associate

  • Iowa State University, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), April 2020–August 2022


  • 2021 AAEA Food Safety and Nutrition Best Economics Paper “Medicaid expansion and non-alcoholic beverage choices by low-income households”
  • 2021 AAEA Health Economics Section Best Paper Award “Medicaid expansion and non-alcoholic beverage choices by low-income households” 

He, X., Carriquiry, M., Elobeid, A., Hayes, D., Li, M., and Zhang, W. (2022). China’s Corn and Biofuel Policies and Agricultural Trade: Projections from the CARD International. Agribusiness: an International Journal. Forthcoming.

He, X., Balistreri, E. J., Kim, G. H., & Zhang, W. (2022). A general equilibrium assessment of COVID-19’s labor productivity impacts on China’s regional economies. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 1-22.

He, X. (2022). Political and economic determinants of export restrictions in the agricultural and food sector. Agricultural Economics.

He, X., & Chen, Z. (2022). Weather, cropland expansion, and deforestation in Ethiopia. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 111, 102586.

He, X. (2022). Regional trade agreements and excluded countries. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 104(1), 428-449.

He, X., Lopez, R. A., & Boehm, R. (2020). Medicaid expansion and non‐alcoholic beverage choices by low‐income households. Health Economics, 29(11), 1327-1342.

Lopez, R. A., He, X., & Azzam, A. (2018). Stochastic frontier estimation of market power in the food industries. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 69(1), 3-17.

Fiala, N., & He, X. (2017). Unitary or noncooperative intrahousehold model? Evidence from couples in Uganda. The World Bank Economic Review, 30(Supplement_1), S77-S85.

Lopez, R. A., He, X., & De Falcis, E. (2017). What drives China’s new agricultural subsidies? World Development, 93, 279-292.