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Welcome! I am a Ph.D. Candidate at UC Berkeley in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. My main fields of interest include agricultural economics and international trade as well as development, remote sensing, and climate change. A connecting theme in my research is that I aim to study the determinants of why regions choose to produce the (primarily agricultural) commodities they do, and the aggregate consequences of those decisions. In my work, I examine a number of factors impacting such production decisions: including access to intermediaries, illicit crop production, historical forces, and the availability of scarce natural resources. Prior to my graduate studies, I earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Economics at the University of Minnesota. In my free time, I enjoy going up and down mountains, either on foot or on skis.

Farm to Firm: Clustering and Returns to Scale in Agricultural Supply Chains
Job market paper.

Commodity Trade Matters
with Thibault Fally
3rd Annual JPMCC International Commodities Symposium Best Paper Award
CEPR Discussion Paper No. 13132 | NBER Working Paper No. 24965
[PDF] [Appendix] [Data] [Summary]

Predicting Maize Yields at Large Scale using Remote Sensing
with Joel Ferguson, Ritvik Iyer, and Victoria Sogomo
Work in progress.

The Impact of Colonization on Crop Choice
with Abdoulaye Cisse
Work in progress.

The Promise of Crop Substitution Programs
Work in progress.
[EEB Blog post]


Developments in the Avocado Sector and their Implications for California Producers and Consumers / Avances en el sector aguacatero y sus repercusiones para los productores y consumidores californianos
ARE Update Vol. 26, No. 2., Nov/Dec. 2022
[PDF] [PDF en español] [Abstract] [Avocado shipments figure]

Does Trade in Primary Commodities Matter?
with Thibault Fally
ARE Update Vol. 23, No. 1., Sep/Oct. 2019
[PDF] [Abstract]

Teaching/Useful Code

Graduate Student Instructor, Economics C181 (International Trade, Undergraduate)
UC Berkeley
Spring 2020 and Spring 2021, Taught by Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Clare
Fall & Spring 2018 and Fall 2020, Taught by Professor Thibault Fally

Graduate Student Instructor, Public Policy 275 (Spatial Data and Analysis, Masters)
UC Berkeley
Fall 2019, Taught by Professor Solomon Hsiang

Pyomo for Economists Workshop

Tools for Planet Imagery

Online appendices
Farm to Firm: Clustering and Returns to Scale in Agricultural Supply Chains

  • Development of the largest Avocado production cluster / El caso de aguacates en Michoacán
    [PDF] [PDF en español]
  • Primer on the FAO GAEZ and EcoCrop indices [PDF]

[Back to research]
Replication data
Farm to Firm: Clustering and Returns to Scale in Agricultural Supply Chains

  • SIAP municipality level agricultural data for Mexico, 1980-2021 (at state level before 2003) [Download]
  • Sistema Nacional de Información de Mercados -- Anuarios Estadísticos de Mercados Nacionales -- Frutas Y Hortalizas (Market price data for agriculture, 1998-2021) [Download]
  • Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (CONAGUA) Historical Weather Station data, 1877-2021 [Download]

[Back to research]

James E. Sayre
Ph.D. Candidate

Department of
Agricultural and
Resource Economics

UC Berkeley
Giannini Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720