Hope might seem like the business of philosophers and motivational speakers. But economists, too, are exploring the power of aspirations.
More than 800 million people in the world live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 a day. Interventions usually focus on providing tangible resources, such as access to clean water, nutrition, health care, education and a viable income.
But new research from economists in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences highlights a psychological asset that could be equally important: hope.
For decades, farmers in the United States have depended on people from foreign countries—mostly Mexico—to work in the fields. Only 2 percent of California’s farmworkers were born in the U.S.
But Mexico is changing. Fertility rates are falling, rural education is rising, and fewer young people have the need or interest to come to America to pick crops. California’s farm-labor supply from Mexico has been decreasing for several years. New data from a long-term study by UC Davis researchers suggests that supply will soon disappear.
High-quality agricultural index insurance has shown promise in promoting resilience among small-scale farmers who face a constant risk of drought and other weather-related shocks. However, despite decades of investments this tool has yet to achieve its broadest impact in part because of low-quality contracts that don’t reliably pay farmers for losses and that sometimes pay when there are none.
Faculty and students in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics study the production, distribution, and consumption of food, fiber, and energy in both well-developed and less-developed countries.
Economists and nutritionists advise fortifying nation’s wheat supply
She aspires to provide nutritious food to every malnourished child; he wants to do so as efficiently as possible. Together, they and their UC Davis team and in-country collaborators have won global recognition for their proposals to help boost Haiti out of poverty.