Patrick W. McLaughlin

Agricultural Economist


Patrick McLaughlin is an agricultural economist in the Diet, Safety, and Health Branch in the Food Economics Division. He is the lead on the household and retail scanner data that ERS acquires from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). Currently, Patrick is engaged in research projects on the WIC Program and policy relevant to aspects of the food retail industry.


Patrick joined ERS in August 2015 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. His dissertation focused on the competitive behavior of food retailers who provide the food assistance component of the WIC Program and implications for the efficient operation of WIC, including cost-containment efforts and food access.


Patrick holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Professional Affiliations

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Selected Publications

McLaughlin, P.W., T.L. Saitone, and R.J. Sexton. 2019. “The Economics of Food Vendors Specialized to Serving the Women, Infants, and Children Program,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 101(1): 20-38.

Saitone, T.L. and P.W. McLaughlin. 2018. “Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Redemptions at California Farmers’ Markets: Making the Program Work for Farmers and Participants,” Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 33(4): 334-346.