James C. Davis

Research Agricultural Economist


Jim Davis is a research agricultural economist in the Rural Economy Branch of the Resource and Rural Economics Division at the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS).


Jim joined ERS in November 2021. Prior to joining ERS, he was an economist at the U.S. Census Bureau and an administrator for the Boston Federal Statistical Research Data Center. Jim's research activities include studies of rural development; industrial structure; jobs and worker earnings; the spatial organization of economic activity; and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) labor markets.


Jim holds a Ph.D. in Urban Economics and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, both from Brown University.

Professional Affiliations

Jim is a member of the American Economic Association (AEA), NBER Conference on Research in Income and Wealth (CRIW), and the Urban Economics Association (UEA).

Selected Publications

Barth, Erling, James Davis, Richard Freeman and Kristina McElheran. 2022. "Twisting the Demand Curve: Digitalization and the Older Workforce," Journal of Econometrics. 

Barth, Erling, James Davis and Richard Freeman. 2018. "Augmenting the Human Capital Earnings Equation with Measures of Where People Work," Journal of Labor Economics 36(S1), pages S71–S97.

Barth, Erling, Alex Bryson, James Davis, and Richard Freeman. 2016. "It’s Where You Work: Increases in the Dispersion of Earnings across Establishments and Individuals in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics 34(S2), pages S67–S97.

Aarland, Kristin, James Davis, J. Vernon Henderson and Yukako Ono. 2007. "Spatial Organization of Firms: The decision to split production and administration," Rand Journal of Economics 38(2): 480–494.