New UD research center — ag policy meets economics
A new research center opened up at the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Monday. At the Center for Experimental and Applied Economics, scientists and economists will conduct studies on how consumers value ecosystem services.
Funded by a $750,000 federal grant, the center will serve as USDA’s headquarters for a research consortium called C-BEAR, which stands for the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Policy Research.
They’re focused on using behavioral economics to better understand and execute agri-environmental policy. The new center’s director Kent Messer says that means asking consumers what the dollar value they’d place on ecosystem services provided by, for example, natural flood barriers, pristine beaches or locally harvested oysters. The data is then used to communicate directly with farmers to improve facilitation of agricultural programs.