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Michael J. Roberts, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Economics


  • PhD Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Berkeley
  • MA Statistics, University of California at Berkeley
  • MS Applied Economics, Montana State University
  • BA Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences, University of California at San Diego

Michael Roberts is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and with UH Sea Grant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He is currently on leave from North Carolina State University, where he was an assistant and then associate professor from Fall 2008 through Spring 2012.  Before joining the faculty at NCSU, he worked for USDA’s Economic Research Service. 

His research is mainly empirical and focuses on the intersection of agricultural and environmental economics.  He has published many reports and articles on the effects of US agricultural policies on production, land use, land values and the size of farms.  Since leaving USDA, his research has focused increasingly on the potential effects of climate change on production, world commodity prices and price volatility of staple food grains, especially through increased exposure to extreme heat.  He is also examining how much biofuel growth has contributed to rising world food prices and food price variability. 

Other current research projects include: 

(i) design of procurement auctions, with an eye toward finding simple and cost-effective ways to buy environmental services like carbon sequestration from farmers and landowners;

(ii) optimal crop planting decisions given rotational benefits and price uncertainty;

(iii) separating moral hazard from adverse selection in government-backed crop insurance;

(iv) market price and consumer welfare impacts of appliance energy efficiency standards;

(v) estimation of risk and uncertainty-adjusted market discount factors for investments in energy conservation.

(vi) combining crop models based on plant physiology with statistical models to disentangle the mechanisms that underly observed associations between extreme heat and crop outcomes.

Check out research by myself and collaborators at our interdisciplinary group:

Global Food, Environment and Economic Dynamics (G-FEED)


Contact Information

(808) 956-6859
(808) 956-3014

2525 Correa Road, HIG 211
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822