Jeffrey Alwang




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


My main areas of research are policies to reduce poverty and vulnerability in rural settings, policies to stimulate economic development in disadvantaged and marginal areas, and assessment of impacts of agricultural and rural development programs. I work with international donors to explore means of reducing poverty and vulnerability in rural areas of developing countries and advise local governments in the U.S. on actions they can take to stimulate economic development.

Role of Graduate Students

All my grants are focused on supporting graduate students.  I have advised more than 40 graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) to completion of their degree during my tenure at Virginia Tech.  Recent PhD advisees have taken faculty positions at 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 developmen


Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR (10/2013-6/2016)

Funding source: Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of the CGIAR (SPIA)
Brief description: Work with colleagues at the International Potato Center (CIP) and the International Center for Forestry Research (CIFOR) to systematize the assessment of impacts of selected projects.  Project involves five graduate students who travel to Peru, Indonesia and China to collect data to be used to assess impacts of various research projects.

Measuring Impacts of C-88 in China (4/2015-12/2016)
Funding source: 
Brief description: 
C-88, a Late Blight Resistant Potato, was released in China in 2001 and was widely adopted in Yunnan Province.  To date, it represents one of the most impactful varieties released by CIP.  This project is designed to measure the extent of diffusion and adoption of C-88, the impacts of adoption on farm households in Yunnan, and the aggregate economic impacts of the variety.  As the potato is used as an input into the rapidly expanding potato chip industry, part of the study will evaluate impacts along the potato value chain.

Measuring the Impacts of High-Iron Beans on Farm Operations, Household Well-being and Dietary Diversity in Rwanda (4/2015-12/2017)
Funding source: 
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and SPIA
Brief description: 
Research project in Rwanda examining the household- and market-level impacts of iron-fortified bean varieties released in the country by Harvest Plus. Project involves collecting and analyzing a large household dataset.  Econometric estimates of treatment effects from adoption of new technologies are combined with market-level models to account for impacts on farm operations, yields and farm income, and dietary diversity of  poor producers.

Measuring the Impacts of Improved Lentil Varieties in Bangladesh (4/2015-12/2017)
Funding source: 
International Center Dryland Agricultural Research (ICARDA) and SPIA
Brief description: 
Research project in Bangladesh examining the household- and market-level impacts of improved lentil varieties. Project involves collecting and analyzing a large household dataset.  Econometric estimates of treatment effects from adoption of improved lentils are used to measure impacts on farm operations, yields and farm income.






Courses Taught

  • AAEC 4324: Rural and regional development policy
  • AAEC 4334: Rural development applications
  • AAEC 4984: SANREM 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: lead an undergraduate research internship program, support international travel for graduate students, and support undergraduate research projects.



  • Assistant-Associate- Full Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Virginia Tech,  May 1989 - Present
  • 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 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

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

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

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.















Jeffrey Alwang
  • 540-231-6517
  • 215-I Hutcheson Hall
    Blacksburg, VA 24061