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Wei Zhang

Asst Professor AY
  • Assistant Professor
Wei Zhang headshot
250 Drillfield Dr.
314 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Wei Zhang's research focuses on the environmental and resource-use implications of agricultural production and the design of agri-environmental policy. She has also conducted research on environmental and agricultural issues in China and other developing countries. 


Agricultural economics; environmental and natural resource economics


  • Ph.D., Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, 2013
  • M.S., Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2008
  • B.S., Nankai University, China, 2005

Current Projects

Benefits and costs of the USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Nature reserves and households in rural China

Measures of biological capital in the form of living trees and vines

Climate change and agricultural productivity growth

On-farm loss and waste of vegetables in the United States

Courses Taught

  • AAEC 3324: Environment and Sustainable Development Economics
  • AAEC 6554: Panel Data Econometrics
  • AAEC 6524: Environmental Economic Theory and Policy Analysis


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, 2019-present
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Connecticut College, 2014-2019
  • Post-doctoral Researcher, University of California Agricultural Issues Center, 2013-2014



  • GAP Initiative Faculty Research Fellowship, Virginia Tech CALS Global, 2021
  • ISCE Scholars Program, Virginia Tech, 2020

Liu, Pengfei, Yu Wang, and Wei Zhang. 2022. The Influence of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program on Local Water Quality. forthcoming, American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Zhang, Wei. 2022. Economic Analysis of the Environmental Sustainability of Agriculture: Recent Studies using Quasi-Experimental Methods. in print, China Agricultural Economic Review.

Zhang, Wei. 2021. California’s Climate Policy and the Dairy Manufacturing Industry: How Does a Federal Milk Marketing Order Matter? Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 46(3):401-424.

Bovay, John and Wei Zhang. 2020 A Century of Profligacy? The Measurement and Evolution of Food Waste. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 49(3): 375-409.

Zhang, Wei. 2018. Costs of A Practice-Based Air Quality Regulation: Dairy Farms in the San Joaquin Valley. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 100(3): 762–785.

Zhang, Wei and Julian M. Alston. 2018. The Demand for Inputs and Technical Change in the U.S. Dairy Manufacturing Industry. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 47(3): 533–567.

Zhang, Wei, C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell, and Victoria I. Umanskaya. 2017. The Effects of License Plate- Based Driving Restrictions on Air Quality: Theory and Empirical Evidence. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 82: 181–220.

Zhang, Wei and C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell. 2017. Market Power in Nonrenewable Resource Markets: An Empirical Dynamic Model. Land Economics, 93 (1): 74–86.

Stranlund, John and Wei Zhang. 2009. Bankruptcy Risk, Limited Liability and Imperfectly Enforced Emissions Taxes. Economics Bulletin, 29(4): 3134–3146.

Stranlund, John and Wei Zhang. 2008. Bankruptcy Risk and the Performance of Tradable Permit Markets. Economics Bulletin, 17(9): 1–9.