Distinguished Faculty, Michigan State University
Tom is Distinguished Faculty at Michigan State University. He earned his MS from Columbia University in 1979 and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. Between receiving his PhD in 1984 and starting at MSU in 1992, Tom was a Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC, and a Rockefeller Post-Doctoral Fellow in Burkina Faso attached to the University of Ouagadougou and ICRISAT.
Tom’s research focus is on the links between international development and agribusiness/the food industry. He researches the transformation of agrifood systems (supermarkets, processing firms, wholesale and logistics, and agricultural support services) and their effects on farmer incomes, technology, and rural employment. He also investigates the implementation of innovations in agrifood business strategies via the design of supply chains. He has researched value chains in Africa, Asia, and Latin America covering horticulture, fish, dairy, poultry, and grains as well as rural nonfarm employment and its links to food systems and agricultural technology adoption.
Tom’s recent and ongoing research is on rice and millet, poultry and feed, and processed maize value chains in Senegal, Nigeria, and Tanzania; fish value chains in Bangladesh, China, and Myanmar; and mango value chains in Indonesia. He is also researching food consumption transformation in Africa and Asia; outsourced support services in mango and rice in Indonesia, China, Myanmar, and Nigeria; and intermediate cities and rural territorial development in Latin America.
Tom was selected as Fellow of the AAEA in 2014; approximately 250 Fellows have been selected from 30,000 AAEA members since 1957. Tom has one of the highest numbers of Google Scholar citations in the world among agricultural economists (22,284 citations, with an H-index of 70 as of March 12, 2017). He also has over 4000 citations on ISI Web of Science, is ranked in the top 2.3% of 49,500 registered economists worldwide on REPEC, and is listed in Who’s Who in Economics 2003.