Nigel Key is an economist in the Farm Economy Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division. Nigel’s research evaluates how policy, climate, and other factors influence farm structure, income, productivity, and the environment.
Nigel has been an economist at ERS in Resource and Rural Economics Division since 2000. From 2008 to 2009 he served as a Policy Officer at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. Before joining ERS, Nigel was a lecturer in the Program in International Policy Studies, at Stanford University.
Nigel earned a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. in international agricultural development from the University of California at Davis, and a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Key, N., Prager, D, and C. Burns. "The Income Volatility of U.S. Commercial Farm Households." Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. 40(1) (June 2018): 215-239.
Key, N. "Farm Size and Productivity Growth in the United States Corn Belt." Food Policy. Published online 3/29/2018.
Sneeringer, S., Key, N. and S. Pon. "Do Nutrient Management Plans Actually Manage Nutrients? Evidence from a Nationally-Representative Survey of Hog Producers." Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. Published online 2/20/2018.
Ribaudo, M., Key, N. and S. Sneeringer. "The Potential Role for a Nitrogen Compliance Policy in Mitigating Gulf Hypoxia." Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. Published online 12/29/16.
Weber, J., N. Key and E. O'Donoghue. "Does Federal Crop Insurance Make Environmental Externalities from Agriculture Worse?" Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. 3(3) (September 2016): 707-742
Manale, A, S. Hyberg, N. Key, S. Mooney, T. Napier, and M. Ribaudo. "Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture: Opportunities for Conservation to Reduce and Mitigate Emissions and to Support Adaptation to Rapid Change." Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 71(1) (Jan./Feb. 2016): 69-81.
Weber, J. and N. Key. "Leveraging Wealth from Farmland Appreciation: Borrowing, Land Ownership, and Farm Expansion." Land Economics. 91(2) (May 2015): 344-361.
Weber, J. and N. Key. "Do Wealth Gains from Land Appreciation Cause Farmers to Expand Acreage or Buy Land?" American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 96(5) (Oct. 2014): 1334-1348.
Key, N., and S. Sneeringer. 2014. "The Potential Effects of Climate Change on the Productivity of U.S. Dairies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 96(4) (2014): 1136-1156.
Key, N., and W. McBride. 2014. "Sub-therapeutic Antibiotics and the Efficiency of U.S. Hog Farms" American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 96(3) (April 2014): 831-850
Key, N. 2013. "Production Contracts and Farm Business Growth and Survival," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 45(2):277–293, May.
MacDonald, J., and N. Key. 2012. "Market Power in Poultry Production Contracting? Evidence from a Farm Survey," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 44(4):477-490, November.
Key, N., and S. Sneeringer. 2012. "Carbon Emissions, Renewable Electricity and Profits: Comparing Alternative Policies to Promote Anaerobic Digesters on Dairies," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 41(2):139-157, August.
Weber, J., and N. Key. 2012. "How Much Do Decoupled Payments Affect Production? An Instrumental Variable Approach with Panel Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 94(1):52-66.
Key, N., and G. Tallard. 2012. "Mitigating Methane Emissions from Livestock: A Global Analysis of Sectoral Policies," Climatic Change 112(2):387-414.
Key, N., and S. Sneeringer. 2011. "Carbon Markets and Methane Digesters: Potential Implications for the Dairy Sector," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 43(4):1-22, November. Available.
Sneeringer, S., and N. Key. 2011. "Effects of Size-Based Environmental Regulations: Evidence of Regulatory Avoidance." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 93(4):1189-1211.
Key, N. 2011. "Does the Prevalence of Contract Hog Production Influence the Price Received by Independent Hog Producers?" Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization 9(1) Article 2.
Gerber, P., N. Key, F. Portet, and H. Steinfeld. 2010. "Policy Options in Addressing Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change," Animal 4(3):393-406, March.
Key, N., and M. Roberts. 2009. "Nonpecuniary Benefits to Farming: Implications for Supply Response to Decoupled Payments," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91(1):1-18, February.
O'Donoghue, E., M. Roberts, and N. Key. 2009. "Did the Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act Alter Farm Enterprise Diversification?" Journal of Agricultural Economics 60(1):80-104.
Key, N., and W. McBride. 2008. "Do Production Contracts Raise Farm Productivity? An Instrumental Variables Approach," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 37(2):176-187. October.
Roberts, M., and N. Key. 2008. "Agricultural Payments and Land Concentration: A Semi-Parametric Spatial Regression Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 90(3):627-643, August.
McBride, W., N. Key, and K. Mathews. 2008. "Sub-therapeutic Antibiotics and Productivity in U.S. Hog Production," Review of Agricultural Economics 30(2):270-288, Summer.
Key, N., W. McBride, and R. Mosheim. 2008. "Decomposition of Total Factor Productivity Change in the U.S. Hog Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 40(1):137-149, April.
Key, N., and M. Roberts. 2007. "Do Government Payments Influence Farm Size and Survival?" Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 32(2):330-348, August.
Key, N., and J. Kaplan. 2007. "Multiple Environmental Externalities and Manure Management Policy," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 32(1):115-134, April.
Key, N., and M. Roberts. 2006. "Government Payments and Farm Business Survival," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 88(2):382-392, May.
Key, N., M. Roberts, and E. O'Donoghue. 2006. "Risk and Farm Operator Labor Supply," Applied Economics 38:573-586, March.
Roberts, M., N. Key, and E. O'Donoghue. 2006. "Estimating the Extent of Moral Hazard in Crop Insurance Using Administrative Data," Review of Agricultural Economics 28(3):381-390.
Key, N.. "How Much Do Farmers Value Their Independence?" Agricultural Economics. 33(2005): 117-126.
Roberts, M.J. and N. Key. "Losing Under Contract: Transaction-Cost Externalities and Spot Market Disintegration", Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization: 2005 Vol. 3: No. 2, Article 2.
Key, N., R. N. Lubowski, and M. J. Roberts. "Farm-Level Production Effects from Participation in Government Commodity Programs: Did the 1996 Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act Make a Difference?" American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 87(5) (2005): 1211–1219.
Key, N.. "Agricultural Contracting and the Scale of Production," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 33(2) (October 2004): 255-271.
M.J. Roberts and N. Key. "Who Benefits from Government Farm Payments? Relationships between Payments Received and Farm Household Well-being." Choices, August 2003.
Key, N. and W. McBride. "Production Contracts and Productivity in the U.S. Hog Sector." American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 85(1), (February 2003): 121-133.
Warning, M. and N. Key. "The Social Performance and Distributional Impact of Contract Farming: An Equilibrium Analysis of the Arachide de Bouche Program in Senegal" World Development, 30(2), (February 2002): pp255-263.
Key, N., E. Sadoulet and A. de Janvry. "Transactions Costs and Agricultural Household Supply Response." American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 82 (May 2000): 245-259.
Key, N.. "Savings, Credit and the Self-finance of Crop Production in Mexico" Savings and Development 24(2) 2000: 161-174.
Key, N. and D. Runsten. "Contract Farming, Smallholders, and Rural Development in Latin America: The Organization of Agroprocessing Firms and the Scale of Outgrower Production." World Development, 27(2) (February 1999): 381-401.