Vegtables at a farmers market

Welcome to Oregon State University’s Department of Applied Economics (AEC)!  AEC provides research, education, and outreach to illuminate decision-making and understand its impacts on the environment, agriculture, and society.  Our goal is to create new knowledge founded in applied economic theory and rigorous quantitative analysis that can inform a wide range of choices made by producers, consumers, and policymakers.  We aim to arm students with analytical skills and quantitative tools that will enable them to be leaders in both private and public sectors, and to provide information to support community and business vitality, local decision-making, and policy design in Oregon and beyond. We specialize in natural resource and environmental economics, international trade and development, rural economics, agricultural marketing, and food systems.

  • AEC is home to 25 faculty, 35-40 graduate students, and over 175 undergraduate student majors.
  • Reviews of research productivity have ranked AEC in the top five agricultural and resource economics departments in the nation. The department’s Ph.D. program is among the top ten in the world in resource and agricultural economics.
  • Five emeritus and two current faculty member are fellows of the American Agricultural Economics Association: Rich Adams, John Antle, Paul Barkley, Steve Buccola, JunJie Wu, Emery Castle, and Bruce Weber.
  • The department offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Historically, over half of our Ph.D. degree recipients have been placed in academic positions.  Our master’s students are well-placed in government and private sector positions, as well as continuing into top-ranked Ph.D. programs.
  • We offer undergraduate degrees in Agricultural Business Management and in Environmental Economics and Policy. Both programs offer training in economics and quantitative analysis applied to agricultural, environmental, business, and policy issues. Program graduates are highly qualified employees in both public and private sectors.
  • Faculty conduct applied research and develop outreach/extension education programs focusing on the following areas:

    • Climate change
    • Marine resources
    • Endangered species
    • Biodiversity
    • Land use
    • Water allocation and quality
    • Agricultural competitiveness
    • International trade and development
    • Value-added agricultural products
    • Rural development
    • Poverty and hunger

Please visit our faculty web pages for more information on individual faculty research.