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Jason Grant

W.G. Wysor Professor of Agriculture

Portrait of Jason Grant.

Jason Grant headshot
305 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Jason Grant is the W.G. Wysor Professor of Agriculture and Director of the Center for Agricultural Trade at Virginia Tech.  Grant joined the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in 2007, after completing his Ph.D. at Purdue University. Het has built an internationally recognized program in agricultural markets and trade at Virginia Tech, which includes planning and developing the annual Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade through a partnership with four other State agencies across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Grant is passionate about teaching students to be “job ready” and thinking “globally” as they enter careers in agricultural industries.  

About the program: The program develops innovative empirical methods to evaluate the economic impacts of domestic and international policies affecting economic welfare and the exchange of goods and services between countries. Grant develops and applies these methods to inform national and international policy-makers about the economic costs and benefits of alternative trade policies with a specific focus on institutions such as the World Trade Organization, bilateral and regional free trade agreements, and tariffs and non-tariff measures impacting trade. He maintains an active interest in regional and multilateral trade negotiations and trade disputes and has participated in numerous projects on international trade issues in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and abroad. 


Agricultural economics; agribusiness; agricultural trade policy analysis; international development economics


Ph.D., Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, 2007

M.S., Agricultural Economics & Business, University of Guelph (Canada), 2003

B.A., Agricultural Studies & Economics, University of Lethbridge (Canada), 2000

His research investigates key trends in global markets shaping U.S. commodity production and export, including the impacts of trade disputes, retaliatory trade actions, SPS issues, Codex food safety standards, competitive regionalism, and adaptation to extreme climate events. 

Role of Graduate Students

Graduate students are an integral part of his research program. Grant typically advises or co-advises 3-4 graduate students at any given time. Many of my publications including journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports are co-authored with graduate students.  

Current Projects

New Partners and New Product Varieties: A Decomposition of the Growth of United States and WTO Member Agri-food Trade (09/2011 – 09/2013)
Funding Source:  Economic Research Service, USDA

The Effectiveness of Regional Trade Agreements: Coverage, Depth, and Scope (04/2012 – 09/2013)
Funding Source:  Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research and Competitiveness Network

Ongoing Research

Agricultural Trade Costs: 1975-2010

Elevator Pitch: Trade costs are notoriously difficult to measure. However, through manipulation of the gravity equation an indirect measure of trade costs provides some intriguing clues. Joint with Shuwen Duan

How Significant is the Growth of Regionalism for Global Agricultural Trade?

Elevator Pitch:  The empirical trade literature overwhelmingly supports that regional trade agreements increase members’ trade. However, a finer classification of these agreements based on their trade liberalization ambition reveals that only “deep integration agreements” matter for trade. Joint with Klaus Moeltner and Lera Oscherov

Do Maximum Residue Limits Affect U.S. Trade?

Elevator Pitch: How do SPS-related food safety measures such as maximum residue limits on pesticides influence trade patterns in fresh fruits and vegetables? Joint with Everett Peterson

Evaluating the Trade Restrictiveness of SPS Measures on US Fruit and Vegetable Exports

Elevator Pitch: A novel database on specific pest mitigation SPS treatments is developed to increase understanding about the effects of non-tariff measures. Joint with Everett Peterson

Region and Product Specific Trade Diversion

Elevator Pitch: Trade diversion is always a potential consequence of free trade agreements but how many countries and products are actually affected? Joint with Chris Parmeter

Does the WTO Promote Effective Regional Trade Agreements?

Elevator Pitch: The Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA) is charged with overseeing the compliance of RTAs once an agreement is notified to the WTO. This paper tests whether notification, rather than entry into force, affects trade. Joint with Chris Parmeter

Relative Preference Margins in Agri-Food Trade

Elevator Pitch: Preference margins – usually defined as the difference between the preferential rate and the Most Favored Nation (MFN) rate – are becoming less relevant as most countries benefit from preferential treatment in import markets. A better measure of preferential margins captures the tariff preference relative to the preference rate enjoyed by competing suppliers.

Do International Trade Agreements Increase the Stability of Members’ Agri-Food Trade?

Elevator Pitch: Trade agreements seem to increase members’ agricultural trade, but do they make trade more stable and predictable? Joint with Shahid Talukdar

Courses taught

  • AAEC 6304, International Trade and Finance
  • AAEC 5026, Applied Microeconomics
  • AAEC 3024, Global and Monetary Issues in Applied Economics
  • AAEC 3514, Agricultural Futures and Options
  • AAEC 6004, Graduate Seminar Course


Grant maintains an active role in advising graduate students. During his tenure at Virginia Tech, he has completed 14 students and currently advises or co-advises four Ph.D. students. He also is involved in undergraduate advising and is the director of the CALS Center for Agricultural Trade which educates and advises students on the role of international trade in agriculture, developing their skills to become productive, and influential leaders in the industry.


  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, June 2013-Present
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, August 2007-June 2013
  • Graduate Research Fellow, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, August 2003- August 2007


He has previously served as guest editor of Choices, leading a team of USDA policymakers and academics to assess the economic impacts of the 2018/19 trade dispute and retaliatory trade actions impacting U.S. agriculture. In 2021, this work was recognized by the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) for the profession’s outstanding Choices article award for outreach contribution. In 2020, he was the recipient of USDA’s Bruce Gardner Award for outstanding contributions by an outside Economist shaping U.S. government programs and policies, and has previously been the recipient of the AAEA’s Honorable Mention award for Outstanding Journal Article; the European Agricultural Economics Association’s Quality of Policy Contribution Award for his work on international trade agreements; and the 2018 APEX award from Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics which recognizes outstanding contributions by alumni. Grant currently serves as associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Other selected awards

American Agricultural & Applied Economics Association 2012 Outstanding Journal Article- Honorable Mention

2012 Teacher of the Week, Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research, Virginia Tech

Selected recent publications

Hejazi, Mina, Jason Grant, and Everett Peterson.  “Tariff Changes and the Margins of Trade:  A Case Study of U.S. Agri-Food Imports.” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics:  in press. 

Grant, Jason, Everett Peterson, and Kurt Klein.  “Assessing the Economic Implications of Reduced Water Availability and Better Management Practices on Representative Farms in Southern Alberta.”  Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics:  in press. 

Grant, Jason, Everett Peterson, Radu Ramniceanu.  Assessing the Impact of SPS Regulations on US Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exports.  Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.  40(1)(2015): 144-164. 

Peterson, E., J.H. Grant, D. Roberts, and V. Karov. 2013. “Evaluating the Trade Restrictiveness of Phytosanitary Measures on US Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exports,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, (In Press) 

Grant, J.H. 2013. “Is the Growth of Regionalism as Significant as the Headlines Suggest? Lessons from Agricultural Trade,” Agricultural Economics, 44(1): 93-109. 

Vollrath, Tom, Jason Grant, and Charles Hallahan. 2012. “Reciprocal Trade Agreements: Impacts on U.S. and Foreign Suppliers in Commodity and Manufactured Food Markets,” Economic Research Reports, 138: 1-40. 

Grant, Jason and Kathryn Boys. 2012. “Agricultural Trade and the GATT/WTO: Does Membership Make a Difference?” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 94(1): 1-24. 

Grant, Jason, Dayton Lambert and Kenneth Foster. 2010. “A Seasonal Inverse Demand System for North American Fresh Tomatoes,” Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 58(2): 215-234. 

Grant, Jason, Thomas Hertel, and Thomas Rutherford.  2009. “Contrasting Bilateral and Most Favored Nation Tariff-Quota Reform Options,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 91(3): 673-684. 

Grant, Jason and Dayton Lambert. 2008. “Do Regional Trade Agreements Increase Members’ Agricultural Trade?” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 90(3): 765-782.