Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Reed


This dissertation focuses on topics in areas of agricultural and food policy, international trade, agricultural markets and marketing. The dissertation is structured as three papers. The first paper, Chapter 1, evaluates the impact of agricultural trade policies. Imported shrimp, which comprises nearly ninety percent of all United States shrimp consumption, have become the subject of antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in the past decade. I estimate the import demand for shrimp in the United States from 1999-2014, using the Barten’s synthetic model. I test the hypothesis of possible structural breaks in the import demand introduced by various trade policies: antidumping/countervailing duty investigations and impositions, and import refusals due to safety and environmental issues. Results show that these import-restricting policies have significant effects on the import shrimp demand, indicating that the omission of them would lead to biased estimates.

Chapter 2, the second paper, examines how the burden of state cigarette tax is divided between producers/retailers and consumers, by using the Nielsen store-level scanner data on cigarette prices from convenience stores over the period 2011–2012. Cigarette taxes were found more than fully passed through to retail prices on average, suggesting consumers pay excess burden and market power exists in the cigarette industry. Utilizing information on the attributes of cigarette products, we demonstrated that tax incidence varied by brand and package size: pass-through rates for premium brands and carton-packaged cigarettes are higher than those for discount brands and cigarettes in packs, respectively, indicating possibilities of different demand elasticities across product tiers.

Chapter 3, the third paper, focuses on identifying the demographic characteristics of households buying organic coffee, by examining the factors that influence the probability that a consumer will buy organic coffee, and which factors affect the amount organic coffee purchased. Using nationally representative household level data from 55,470 households over the period of 2011 to 2013 (Nielsen Homescan), and a censored demand model, we find that economic and demographic factors play a crucial role in the household choice of purchasing organic coffee. Furthermore, households are less sensitive to own-price changes in the case of organic coffee versus conventional coffee.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)