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Joseph Cooper

Branch Chief


Joseph Cooper is Chief of the Agricultural Policy and Models Branch in ERS's Market and Trade Economics Division. His research focuses largely on farm policy issues.


From July 2005 to July 2006, Joe served as the Senior Economist in charge of agriculture and natural resources issues on the White House's Council of Economic Advisors. This followed a stint as a Deputy Director in the Resource and Rural Economics Division (RRED) at ERS. Before that, Joe was an economist in the RRED Resource and Environmental Policy Branch, where his research covered such topics as the economics of agri-environmental programs, non-market valuation, and the economics of the conservation of agricultural genetic resources. Joe has also worked as an economist for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Joe received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis. He received a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Professional Affiliations:

Joe is a member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He currently serves on the Editorial Council of Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Selected Publications:

Selected Recent Articles in Journals

Joseph Cooper and Daniel Hellerstein. "Do Government Economists Value Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Conferences?," Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 31/4 (December 2009): pp. 914-930.

Joseph Cooper. "The Empirical Distribution of the Costs of Revenue-Based Commodity Support Programs Estimates and Policy Implications," Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 31/2 (Summer 2009): pp. 206-221.

Joseph Cooper. "Distribution of Payments under the Average Crop Revenue Program: Implications for Government Costs and Producer Preferences," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Vol. 38/1 (April 2009): pp. 49-64.

Joseph Cooper, Federico Perali, and Marcella Veronesi. "Incentivi Economici per la Protezione della Biodiversità e degli Ecosistemi di Proprietà Privata," Economia delle Fonti di Energia e dell'Ambiente, Vol. 51/1 (2008): pp. 107-126.

Joseph Cooper and Giovanni Signorello. "Farmer Premiums for the Voluntary Adoption of Conservation Plans," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 51, No. 1 (January 2008): pp. 1-14.

Robert Johansson, Joseph Cooper, and Mark Peters. "An Agri-environmental Assessment of Trade Liberalization," Ecological Economics, Vol. 58 (2006): pp. 37-48.

Robert Johansson, Lisa Mancino, and Joseph Cooper. "The Big Picture: Obesity, Consumption, and Food Production," Agribusiness: An International Journal, Vol. 22/4 (Autumn 2006): pp. 491-503.

Joseph Cooper, Roger Claassen, and Jason Bernstein. "Overview of Agri-Environmental Programs in the European Union and the United States," Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 2/3 (August 2005): pp. 31-41.

Robert Johansson, Joseph Cooper, and Utpal Vasavada. "Greener Acres or Greener Waters? Potential U.S. Impacts of Agricultural Trade Liberalization," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Vol. 34/1 (April 2005): pp. 1-12.

Cooper, Joseph. "Joint Framework for Analysis of Agri-environmental Payment Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, (November 2003): pp. 976-987.

Joseph Cooper, Michael Hanemann, and Giovanni Signorello. "One and One-Half Bound Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation," Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 84 (November 2002): pp. 742-750.

Kelly Giraud, Branka Turcin, John Loomis, and Joseph Cooper. "Economic Benefit of the Protection Program for the Steller Sea Lion," Marine Policy, Vol. 26 (2002): pp. 451-458.

Kelly Giraud, John Loomis, and Joseph Cooper. "A Comparison of Willingness to Pay Estimation Techniques from Referendum Questions: Application to Endangered Fish," Environmental and Resource Economics, Vol. 20 (December 2001): pp. 331-346.

Daniel Mullarkey, Joseph Cooper, and David Skully. "Multifunctionality of Agriculture: Do Mixed Goals Distort Trade," Choices, First Quarter 2001: pp. 31-34.

Joseph Cooper. "Flexible-form and Semi-nonparametric Estimation of Willingness to Pay Using Dichotomous Choice Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 2 (March 2002): pp. 267-279.

Joseph Cooper. "Construction of a Fund for the Sharing of Benefits from the Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture," Environment and Development Economics, Vol. 6 (February 2001): pp. 47-62.

Joseph Cooper. "Nonparametric and Semi-Parametric Travel Cost Methods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 82 (May 2000): pp. 245-259.

Selected Recent Books

Joseph Cooper, Federico Perali, and Marcella Veronesi (eds.). Integrated Assessment and Management of Public Resources, March 2006, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, US. 256 pp.

Joseph Cooper. Global Agricultural Policy Reform and Trade Environmental Gains and Losses, March 2005, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, US. 224 pp.

Joseph Cooper, Leslie Lipper, and David Zilberman (eds.). Agricultural Biodiversity and Biotechnology in Economic Development, 2005, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston/Dordrecht/London, 499 pp.

Selected Recent Bulletins and Reports

Biomass Research and Development Board Feedstock Inter-Agency Working Group. Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels: Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of Research, (Joseph Cooper, lead author chapters 2 and 9), Biomass Research and Development Board, Washington, DC, December 2008.

Joseph Cooper. "The U.S. Agricultural Sector," Chapter 8 in the 2006 Economic Report of the President PDF icon (16x16), Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President, 2006.

Ruben N. Lubowski, Shawn Bucholtz, Roger Claassen, Michael J. Roberts, Joseph C. Cooper, Anna Gueorguieva, and Robert Johansson. Environmental Effects of Agricultural Land-Use Change: The Role of Economics and Policy, Economic Research Report No. (ERR-25), Economic Research Service, USDA, 81 pp., August 2006.

Joseph Cooper, Robert Johansson, and Mark Peters. "Environmental Issues," chapter 7 in U.S. Agriculture and the Free Trade Area of the Americas, M. Burfisher (ed.), Agricultural Economic Report 827, Economic Research Service, USDA, March 2004.

Jason Bernstein, Joseph Cooper, and Roger Claassen. "Agriculture and the Environment," in EU-U.S. Comparison Report, M. Normile (ed.), Agriculture and Trade Report, Economic Research Service, USDA, 2004.

Daniel Hellerstein, Cynthia Nickerson, Joseph Cooper, Peter Feather, Dwight Gadsby, Daniel Mullarkey, Abebayehu Tegene, and Charles Barnard. Farmland Protection: The Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Economic Report No. 815, 2002.

Wesley Nimon, Joseph Cooper, and Mark Smith. "NAFTA, Agricultural Trade, and the Environment," chapter in Effects of North American Free Trade Agreement on Agriculture and the Rural Economy, Steven Zahniser and John Link (eds.), ERS Agriculture and Trade Report No. WRS0201, pp. 43-50, July 2002.

Anna Alberini and Joseph Cooper. Applications of the Contingent Valuation Method in Developing Countries: A Survey, Economic and Social Development Paper No. 146, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Italy, 63 pp., 2000.


Last updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

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