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Jeffrey Alwang

Jeffrey Alwang
221 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Jeffrey Alwang has taught and conducted research on agricultural and rural development at Virginia Tech since 1989.  His research focuses on policies to alleviate poverty in rural areas, development of rural economies, and assessment of impacts of technologies, policies, and programs on rural residents.  Recent international research projects have focused on assessment of impacts of new agricultural technologies (Bangladesh, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Peru, Rwanda, Uganda among others); strategies to engage poor producers in modern value chains (Ecuador, Jordan, Indonesia, Paraguay); use of information and communications technologies to promote technology adoption (Ecuador, Rwanda, Mozambique); and child labor, schooling and poverty (Jordan, Sudan, Zimbabwe). 


Development economics; international development economics; rural and regional economic development


Ph.D., Department of Agricultural Economics, Cornell University, 1989

M.S., Department of Agricultural Economics, Pennsylvania State University, 1985

B.A., Department of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, 1978

Role of Graduate Students

Most of my grants are used to support graduate students. I have advised more than 70 graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) to completion of their degree during my tenure at Virginia Tech. Recent Ph.D. advisees have taken faculty positions at Arizona State University, Central Illinois University, the University of Tehran, the University of Adelaide (Australia), Universidad Central del Ecuador, and Virginia Tech. Many of my graduate student advisees travel oversees to conduct their research and collect data. I have also supported and led travel of many undergraduate students to developing countries to conduct research on agricultural development.

Current Projects

Private and public strategies for success in modern agri-food markets (3/20-2/21)

Part of a series of studies funded by the Interamerican Development Bank to examine success stories in agri-food markets.  Analyzing the following cases: Yerba mate (Paraguay); Cacao, Dragon fruit and Blackberry (Ecuador).

Strengthening knowledge management for greater development effectiveness in the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe (9/19-5/22)

Project being led by ICARDA (funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development) to improve the functioning of information systems related to agriculture, labor markets and rural youth.  I am leading a component designed to demonstrate to decision makers the value of knowledge management systems.  The project has activities in Moldova, Morocco and Sudan.

Building Analytical and Global Competencies through Agricultural Research Internships in Ecuador (12/18-12/23)

Research program for undergraduates; some graduate students have supported it.  Involves coursework at Virginia Tech and a six-week research internship in Ecuador, collecting farm/household data with our Ecuadorean partners.

Courses Taught

  • AAEC 4324: Rural and regional development policy
  • AAEC 4334: Rural development applications
  • AAEC 4984: Undergraduate research internship program
  • AAEC 5244: Economics of rural development
  • AAEC 6314: Applied development economics
  • AAEC 5154: International agricultural development and trade (Past class)
  • AAEC 6454: Topics in dynamic analysis for applied economics (Past class)

Other Teaching and Advising

I have a teaching/research appointment with major responsibilities in advising and supporting graduate students. My teaching responsibilities are in the areas of domestic rural development, and economics of international agricultural and rural development. As a part of my undergraduate and graduate teaching, I strive to involve students in my research program; I lead an undergraduate research internship program; support international travel for graduate students; and engage undergraduate students in applied research projects. Recent studies conducted with undergraduate students include: Analysis of the Floyd County Retail Sector (2019) and Economic Impact of the Virginia Coalfields Economic Development Authority (2020-2021).


  • Assistant-Associate- Full Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Virginia Tech,  May 1989 - Present
  • External Adivsor, Zimbabwe Research Study Fund (2020-present)
  • Visiting Dingying Guest Professor, College of Economics and Management, South China Agricultural University, 2017-2019
  • Consultant, Government of El Salvador (Comisión Nacional del Desarrollo), August 2008 - July 2009
  • Technical Advisor, Government of Zimbabwe (Central Statistical Office and Social Development Fund,. August 1997 - July 1998
  • U. S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Paraguay,  April 1979 - July 1982


Virginia Tech +Policy Research Fellow, 2022, Virginia Tech Institute for Society, Culture and Environment.

Virginia Tech CALS Excellence in Applied Research Award, 2021

Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in International Programming, 2021. 

Lifetime achievement award, 2019.  Presented by Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP), Ecuador, for lifetime support for mentorship and research excellence, May 2019.

First place award, 2nd competition in agricultural research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ecuador, 2017. Award was for paper entitled "Mejoras en la cadena de valor de los productores de mora de Ecuador y sus impactos en los precios recibidos", co-authored by Victor Hugo Barrera Mosquera, Graciela Andrango, Juan Dominguez, Luis Escudero and Anibal Martinez.

Virginia Tech Outstanding Dissertation Advisor, 2012

Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach and Research, 2006

Poverty Analysis for Government of Zimbabwe. 2006. Government of Zimbabwe/United Nations Development Programme

World Bank SPOT Award for Research Excellence, 2005

International Food Policy Research Institute, International Essay Competition on Measuring the Value of Social Science Research, first place, 1997

Invited lecturer, Christiann Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway, January 1997

American Agricultural Economics Association, Quality of Research Finding Honorable Mention, 1994, for article "Welfare Analysis when Budget Constraints are Non-linear:  The Case of Flood Hazard Reduction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

American Agricultural Economics Association, Quality of Communication Award, 1993, for book Introduction to Economics of Agricultural Development

Books or monographs authored

George W. Norton, Jeffrey Alwang and William A. Masters. Economics of Agricultural Development. 4th Edition. New York: Routledge Press, 2021.

Victor Hugo Barrera Mosquera, Jorge Delgado, Jeffrey Alwang, Luis Escudero, Juan Arévalo, Yamil Cartagena. 2020. Prácticas de agricultura de conservación que promueven la productividad y sostenibilidad del sistema de producción papa-pastos en la microcuenca del río Illangama, Ecuador. Boletín Divulgativo No. 448. Editorial ARCOIRIS Producción Gráfica. Quito, Ecuador. 38 pp

Victor Hugo Barrera Mosquera, Jeffrey Alwang, T Casanova, Juan Manuel Dominguez, Luis Orlando Escudero, G Loor, G Pena, J. Parraga, J. Arevalo, J. Quiroz. 2018. La cadena de valor del cacao y el bienestar de los productores en la provincia de Manabí-Ecuador. Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP). Libro Técnico No. 173, ARCOIRIS Producciones Graficas, Quito, Ecuador,160 pp.

Victor Barrera, Jeffrey Alwang, Graciela Andrango, Juan Manuel Domínguez, Luis Escudero, Anibal Martínez, Rosendo Jácome, and Juan Arévalo. La cadena de valor de la mora y sus impactos en la Región Andina del Ecuador. Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP). Boletin Tecnico No. 171, ARCOIRIS Producciones Graficas, Quito, Ecuador, 2017.

Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang, Improved varieties of food crops in sub-saharan Africa,  Great Britain: CAB International (CABI) Press, 2015.

Walker, T. and Alwang, J. (eds) 2015, Crop Improvement, Adoption, and Impact of Improved Varieties in Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa, CGIAR and CAB International, Boston.

George W. Norton, Jeffrey Alwang and William A. Masters. Economics of Agricultural Development. 3rd Edition. New York: Routledge Press, 2015.

Book chapters

George W. Norton, Jeffrey Alwang, Menale Kassie and R. Muniappan. 2019.  Economic Impacts of Integrated Pest Management Practices in Developing Countries.  In Economics of Integrated Pest Management of Insects, ed. D. Onstad and P. Crain, Boston: CABI International: 140-154.

Jose Ochoa, Corina Clements, Victor Barrera, Juan Manuel Dominguez, Mike Ellis and Jeffrey Alwang. 2016. “IPM Packages for Naranjilla—Sustainable Production in an Environmentally Fragile  Region”, Chapter 9 in Rangaswamy Muniappan & E. A. Heinrichs, eds, Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable Crops, Dordrecht: Springer-Business.

Vanessa Carrion, Patricio Gallegos, Victor Barrera, George W. Norton and Jeffrey Alwang. 2016. “IPM technologies for potato producers in highland Ecuador”,  Chapter 10 in Rangaswamy Muniappan & E. A. Heinrichs, eds, Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable Crops, Dordrecht: Springer-Business.

George W. Norton, Jeffrey Alwang, and Majdeddin Sayed Issa. 2016. “Impacts of IPM on Vegetable Production in the Tropics”, Chapter 14 in Rangaswamy Muniappan & E. A. Heinrichs, eds, Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Vegetable Crops, Dordrecht: Springer-Business.

Jeffrey Alwang. 2015 “Investments in and impacts of crop improvement research in Africa”, Chapter 2 in Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang (eds.), Improved varieties of food crops in sub-saharan Africa.

Jeffrey Alwang. 2015 “Implications for monitoring progress and assessing impacts”, Chapter 19 in Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang (eds.), Improved varieties of food crops in sub-saharan Africa.

Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang. 2015 “Synthesis of Findings”, Chapter 21 in Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang (eds.), Improved varieties of food crops in sub-saharan Africa.

Di Zeng, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton, Bekele Shiferaw, Moti Jaleta and Chilot Yirga. 2015. “Maize technologies and rural poverty reduction in Ethiopia”, Chapter 15 in Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang (eds.), Improved varieties of food crops in sub-saharan Africa.

Catherine Larochelle, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton, Enid Katungi, and Ricardo A. Labarta. 2015. “Impacts of Improved Bean Varieties on Poverty and Food Security in Uganda and Rwanda”, Chapter 16 in Thomas S. Walker and Jeffrey Alwang (eds.), Improved varieties of food crops in sub-saharan Africa.

George W. Norton and Jeffrey Alwang. 2015.  The Role of Impact Assessment in Evaluating Agricultural R & D. Chapter 11 in Agricultural Research in Africa:  Investing in Future Harvests.  Washington, DC: IFPRI/ASTI.

Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton, Victor Barrera and Ruben Botello. 2013. Conservation Agriculture in the Andean Highlands: Promise and Precautions.  Chapter 3 in S. Mann (ed.), The Future of Mountain Agriculture, Springer Geography, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-33584-6_3, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Refereed journal articles

Garber, Ben, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton and John Bovay. 2022. Beef and the Bottom Line: The Effect of Value-Added Certification on Feeder Cattle Profitability.  Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 54: 157-174.

Barrera, Victor, Jorge Delgado, and Jeffrey Alwang. 2021. Conservation Agriculture Can Help the South American Andean Region Achieve Food Security. Agronomy Journal, 113: 4494-4509.

Cai, Chaohua, Quinying He and Jeffrey Alwang 2021. Money is Time: Geographical Distance and Intergenerational Support to Aging Parents in Rural China. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja.

Villacis-Aveiga, Alexis, Jeffrey Alwang and Victor Barrera. 2022. Prices, Specialty Varieties, and Post-Harvest Practices: Insights from Cacao Value Chains in Ecuador. Agribusiness. DOI: 10.1002/agr.21730

Yigezu Yigezu, Zewdie Bishaw, Abdoul Aziz Niane, Jeffrey Alwang, Tamer El-Shater, Mohamed Boughala, Aden Aw-Hassan, Wuletaw Tadesse, Filippo M. Bassi, Ahmed Amri and Michael Baum. 2021. Institutional and farm-level challenges limiting the diffusion of new varieties from public and CGIAR centers: A Moroccan case study. Food Security,13: 1359-1377.

Villacis-Aveiga, Alexis, Jeffrey Alwang and Victor Barrera. 2021.  Linking risk preferences and risk perceptions of climate change: A prospect theory approach.  Agricultural Economics, pp. 1–15. DOI: 10.1111/agec.12659

Myrick, Stephanie, Willy Pradel, Canhui Li, Victor Suarez, Guy Hareau, Catherine Larochelle, George W. Norton, and Jeffrey Alwang. 2021. The curious case of C-88:  Impacts of a potato variety on farmers in Yunnan, China. CABI Agriculture and Bioscience, 2(3), online.

Larochelle, Catherine and Jeffrey Alwang. 2021 Impacts of improved bean variety adoption on dietary diversity and food security in Rwanda. The European Journal of Development Research, 34, 1144-1166.

Villacis-Aveiga, Alexis, Ford Ramsey, Jeffrey Alwang and Jorge Delgado. 2021. Estimating Economically Optimal Levels of Nitrogen Fertilizer in No-Tillage Continuous Corn. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, in press.

Bernal-Galeano, Vivian, George W. Norton, David Ellis, Noel Angelin, Guy Hareau, Melinda Smale, Nelissa Jamora, Jeffrey Alwang and Willy Pradel. 2020.  “Andean potato diversity conserved in the International Potato Center genebank helps develop agriculture in Uganda: the example of the variety ‘Victoria’” Food Security, published online May 22, 2020.

Delgado, Jorge, Victor H. Barrera Mosquera, Jeffrey R. Alwang, Alexis Villacis-Aveiga, Yamil E. Cartagena Ayala, Donna Neer, Carlos Monar and Luis O. Escudero Lopez. 2020. “Potential Use of Cover Crops for Soil and Water Conservation, Nutrient Management, and Climate Change Adaptation Across the Tropics.” Advances in Agronomy, in press.

Carrion-Yaguana, Vanessa and Jeffrey Alwang. 2020. "Promoting behavioral change using text messages: A case study of blackberry farmers in Ecuador” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, in press.

Buck, Steven, Yoko Kusunose and Jeffrey Alwang. 2020. Re-visiting trust measurement and predicting financial decisions, Agricultural Finance Review, in press.

Norton, George W. and Jeffrey R. Alwang. 2020. Changes in Agricultural Extension and Implications for Farmer Adoption of New Practices, Applied Economic Policy Perspectives, 42(1), pp. 8-20.

Mosquera, Victor H., Jorge A. Delgado, Jeffrey R. Alwang, Luis Orlando Escudero López, Y.E. C. Ayala, J.M. D. Andrade, and R. D’Adamo. 2019. Conservation Agriculture Increases Yields and Economic Returns of Potato, Forage, and Grain Systems of the Andes. Agronomy Journal. 111:2747-2753. doi:10.2134/agronj2019.04.0280

Jeffrey Alwang, Victor Hugo Barrera, Graciela Andrango, Juan Manuel Dominguez, Anibal Martinez, Luis Escudero and Carlos Montufar. 2019. “Value-chains in the Andes:  Upgrading for Ecuador’s blackberry producers,” Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton and Catherine Larochelle. 2019. “Obstacles to widespread diffusion of IPM in developing countries:  Lessons from the field,Journal of Integrated Pest Management, Volume 10(1). 

Corinna Clements, Jeffrey Alwang and Ramadahni Achdiawan. 2019. Value chain approaches in a stagnant industry:  The case of furniture production in Jepara, Indonesia, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 55(3), pp. 341-365.

Yigezu A. Yigezu, Jeffrey Alwang, M. Wakilur Rahman, M. Bazlur R. Mollah, Tamer El-Shater, Aden Aw-Hassan and Ashutosh Sarker. 2019. Is DNA fingerprinting the gold standard for estimation of adoption and impacts of improved lentil varieties? Food Policy, 83, pp. 48-59.

Jorge A. Delgado, Victor Hugo Barrera, Luis O. Escudero, Yamil E. Cartagenta Ayala, Jeffrey Alwang, Richard C. Stehouwer, Juan C. Arvalo, Robert D’Adamo, Juan Manuel Dominguez, Franklin Valverde & Soraya P. Alvarado. 2019. Conservation Agriculture Increases Profits in an Andean Region of South America, Agrosystems, Geosceinces & Environment, 2:189950.

Ali Reza Oryoie & Jeffrey Alwang. 2018. School attendance and economic shocks: Evidence from rural Zimbabwe, Development Southern Africa, Published online July 2018. DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1496814

Guerci, Michael J., George W. Norton, Malik N. Ba, Ibrahim Baoua, Jeffrey Alwang, Laouali Amadou, Oumou Moumouni, Laouali Karimoune & Rangaswamy  Muniappan. 2018. Economic feasibility of an augmentative biological control industry in Niger. Crop Protection (TSI), 110: 34-40.

Di Zeng, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton, Bekele Shiferaw & Moti Jaleta. 2018. Land ownership and technology adoption revisited: Improved maize varieties in Ethiopia. Land Use Policy 72:270-279. 

Jeffrey Alwang, Samy Sabry, Kamel Shideed, Atef Swelam & Habib Halila. 2018. Economic and food security benefits associated with raised-bed wheat production in Egypt. Food Security.

Larochelle, C., Alwang, J., Travis, E., Barrera, V.H., Dominguez Andrade, J.M., 2017. Did You Really Get the Message? Using Text Reminders to Stimulate Adoption of Agricultural Technologies. The Journal of Development Studies, 1-17.

Alwang, Jeffrey, Catherine Larochelle, Victor Barrera. 2017. “Farm Decision Making and Gender:  Results from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador,” World Development.

Catherine Larochelle and Jeffrey Alwang. 2016.  “Schooling achievement among rural Zimbabwean children during a period of economic turmoil,” Comparative Education Review, 60(2), 311-338. DOI: 10.1086/685582.

Vanessa Carrion, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton and Victor Barrera. 2016. “Does IPM Have Staying Power?  Revisiting a Potato-producing Area Years After,” Journal of Agricultural Economics, in press.

Quentin Stoeffler, Jeffrey Alwang, Bradford F. Mills and Nelson Taruvinga. 2016. “Multidimensional poverty in crisis: Lessons from Zimbabwe,” Journal of Development Studies, 52:3 (2016) 428-446.

Di Zeng, Wen You, Bradford Mills, Jeffrey Alwang, Michael Royster and Rexford Anson-Dwamena. 2015. “A closer look at the rural-urban health disparities: Insights from four major diseases in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Social Science and Medicine 140:62-68.

Kate Vaiknoris, George Norton and Jeffrey Alwang.  2015. “Farmer preferences for attributes of conservation agriculture in Eastern Uganda,” African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 10(2): 158-173.

Di Zeng, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton, Bekele Shiferaw and Moti Jaleta. 2015. “Agricultural technology adoption and child nutrition: Improved maize varieties in rural Ethiopia,” Agricultural Economics, in press.

Catherine Larochelle and Jeffrey Alwang. 2015.  “Explaining marketing  strategies among Bolivian potato farmers,”  Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture.  54(3): 283-306.

Di Zeng, Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton, Bekele Shiferaw and Moti Jaleta. 2015. “Ex-Post Impacts of Improved Maize Varieties on Poverty in Rural Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, 46(4): 515-526. DOI: 10.1111/agec.12178

Ana K. Saavedra, Jorge A. Delgado, Ruben Botello, Pablo Mamani, Jeffrey Alwang. 2014. “A New N Index to Assess Nitrogen Dynamics in Potato Production Systems of Bolivia,” Agrociencia 48(7): 667-678.

Luis Escudero, Jorge Delgado, Carlos Monar, Franklin Valverde, Víctor Barrera, and Jeffrey Alwang. 2014. “A New Nitrogen Index for Assessment of Nitrogen Management of Andean Mountain Cropping Systems of Ecuador,”  Soil Science, 179: 130–140.

Amy Buckmaster, Jeffrey Alwang, Everett Peterson and Mauricio Rivera.  2014.  “Going the Distance:  How does Market Access Affect Demand for IPM Packages?” Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 5(1): B1-B7(7)

Catherine Larochelle, Jeffrey Alwang and Nelson Taruvinga.  2014. “Inter-temporal Changes in Well-being During a Period of Hyperinflation: Evidence from Zimbabwe.” Journal of African Economies, 23 (2): 225-256.doi: 10.1093/jae/ejt028.

Leah M. Harris, George W. Norton, A.N.M. Rezaul Karim, Jeffrey Alwang, and Daniel B. Taylor. 2013. “Bridging the Information Gap with Cost-Effective Dissemination Strategies: The Case of Integrated Pest Management in Bangladesh,” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, v. 5(4):1–16.

Carlos Monar, Ana Karina Saavedra, Luis Escudero, Jorge A. Delgado, Jeffrey Alwang, Victor Barrera  and Ruben Botello. 2013. Positive Impacts in Soil and Water Conservation in an Andean Region of South America: Case Scenarios from a USAID Multidisciplinary Cooperative Project.  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Jan/Feb 2013, v. 68(1): 25A-30A.

John Adam Sparger, George W. Norton, Paul Heisey, and Jeffrey Alwang. 2013. “Is the Share of Agricultural Maintenance Research Rising in the United States?” Food Policy.  38: 126-136.

Abigail Nguema George W. Norton, Jeffrey Alwang, Daniel B. Taylor, Victor Barrera, and Michael Bertelsen. 2013. “Farm-level economic impacts of conservation agriculture in Ecuador,” Experimental Agriculture.  49(1): 134-147.