Michael Smith

Michael D. Smith

Former ERS Staff


Michael D. Smith is an economist with the Food Assistance Branch. His research focuses on the measurement and determinants of food insecurity, as well as examining food assistance program participation and health.



Michael joined the Economic Research Service in June 2013. Prior to ERS, he worked as a statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau in the Research and Development and Innovation Survey Branch. This survey was cosponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and provided Michael with the opportunity to interact and learn from some of the Nation’s leading survey statisticians and experts in survey methodology.


Michael holds a Ph.D. in Economics from American University, an M.A. in economics from California State University, Fullerton, and a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Geophysics, from the University of Hawaii, at Mānoa.


Selected Publications

Smith, M.D., W. Kassa, and P. Winters, "Assessing Food Insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean using FAO’s Food Insecurity Experience Scale," Food Policy, 71: 48–61 (2017).

Ralston, K., E. Beaulieu, J. Hyman, M. Benson, and M.D. Smith. Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals: Key Drivers. USDA, Economic Research Service, EIB-168 (2017).

Frongillo, E.A., H.T. Nguyen, M.D. Smith, and A. Coleman-Jensen, "Food Insecurity Is Associated with Subjective Well-Being among Individuals from 138 Countries in the 2014 Gallup World Poll," The Journal of Nutrition, 147(4): 680-87 (2017).

Smith, M.D., M.P. Rabbitt, and A. Coleman-Jensen, "Who are the World’s Food Insecure? New Evidence from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Insecurity Experience Scale," World Development, 93: 402-412 (2017).

Rabbitt, M.P., M.D. Smith, and A. Coleman-Jensen, Food Security Among Hispanic Adults in the United States, 2011-2014. USDA, Economic Research Service EIB-153 (2016).