When approached about putting together a collection of research papers spanning the course of his 30-year career, Virginia Tech Professor David Orden looked at the opportunity as “both satisfying, humbling, and a little sobering.”  The resulting volume, “Trade-Related Agricultural Policy Analysis,” was recently published by World Scientific, a leading international scientific publisher and the largest in the Asia-Pacific region.

In some ways it seems a bit odd -- in an era of instantaneous Google Search and other digital recovery methods -- to collect such a print volume, “ Orden mused, “ but, then again, none of these more advanced mechanisms offer quite the same opportunity to juxtapose and draw out the interrelationships of the accumulated work.”

For three decades, Orden has engaged in research and public policy education programs on the economics and political economy of domestic support policies; international trade negotiations; and technical barriers to trade. A unique dimension of  “Trade-Related Agricultural Policy Analysis” is its focus on behind-the border measures that reflect the political economy of agriculture as a primary sector in context of its historical roots and relevant issues within each country. Other writings on the topic tend toward traditional border measures like tariffs or export subsidies and restrictions, Orden said.

Orden’s book emphasizes the political economy of policy determination largely in the United States, but several chapters related to other economies are also included. 

While Orden applies diverse methods in his research, most of the 16 selected papers have an empirical focus and address issues that generalize across time and space. The papers are divided into four sections: Macroeconomic Impacts on Agriculture; U.S. Farm Policy in International Perspective, 1900-2020; Policy Interactions; and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Orden joined the Virginia Tech faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1984. Since 2003, he has also held the position of Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in Washington, D.C., where he has served as director of capacity strengthening for the IFPRI Pakistan Strategy Support Program since 2011. In 2007, he was named director of the Global Issues Initiative (GII), located in the National Capital Region, as part of the newly formed Institute for Society, Culture and Environment at Virginia Tech.

Orden wrote the 16 papers included in “Trade-Related Agricultural Policy Analysis” from 1985 to 2015. Among his 15 co-authors are two Virginia Tech professors in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, George W. Norton and Everett B. Peterson;  Caesar Cororaton, a research fellow at the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment; and four Ph.D. students who were working on their dissertations at the time the papers were written: Frederic Bouchet (applied economics ’87); Fuzhi Cheng (economics ’05);  John C. Robertson (economics ’92), and Joachim Schleich (applied economics ’98). Schleich has served as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics since 2004.



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