University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Daniel A. Lass
Econometrics and Applied Microeconomics
223 Stockbridge Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

My research and teaching interests can be broadly classified as micro-econometrics. Much of my research focuses on farm decisions, from production to off-farm employment. Previous research focused on the farm family labor decisions, productive and allocative efficiency for dairy and cranberries in Massachusetts and for Bulgarian dairy production and CSA costs, returns and marketing. More recently I analyzed the impacts of the Northeast Dairy Compact on retail milk prices and the costs of production for fluid milk in the northeast and asymmetries in farm to retail price transmission. In addition, my tenure as graduate program director prompted an investigation into the value of graduate education in the field of resource economics and the effects of technology on introductory statistics education.

I am currently analyzing the costs and returns of three different production methods for nursery crops in New England. With support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, we have established 3 field trials in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to determine whether alternative soil saving technologies can compete with the traditional balled and burlapped production method. The grant continues through 2012.

I am also interested in water quality in New England streams and rivers, as well as other selected states, and the implications for specific forms of outdoor recreation. I am developing this research in my spare time focusing more specifically on aquatic entomology, salmonid populations, their interdependence and the effects on an individual's utility (namely, mine).

Recent Publications

Journal Articles:

Daniel Lass, L. Joe Moffitt, Nikolaos Zirogiannis and Catherine Neal. “Stochastic Efficiency Analysis of Alternative Systems for Producing Landscape Trees in the Northeast.” (In preparation.)

Valluri, Swetha, Sheila Mammen, Daniel Lass. “Factors that Determine the Health Care Use of Low Income, Rural Mothers and Children: Policy Implications Based on a Simultaneous Choice Model.”  (In preparation.)

Colantuoni F., Cicia G., Del Giudice T., Lass A.D. Heterogeneous Preferences for Domestic Fresh Produce: Evidence from German and Italian Early Potato Markets. June 2013. (Revise and resubmit)

Valluri, Swetha, Daniel Lass and Sheila Mammen. “Health Care Use Among Rural, Low-income Women and Children: Results from a 2-Stage Negative Binomial Model.” (Under review.)

Stevens, T., M. Tabatabaei, and D. Lass. “Contracts, Oaths and Hypothetical Bias.”Journal of Environmental Management,  127, September 2013: 135-141.

Anderson, L., B. Freeborn, J. Holmes, M. Jeffreys, D. Lass and J. Soper. “Location, Location, Location! A Classroom Demonstration of the Hotelling Model” Perspectives on Economics Education Research, 6(1), Spring 2010: 48-71.

Mammen, S., Bauer, J., and D. Lass. “Change in life satisfaction among rural low-income mothers: The influence of health, human, personal, and social capital.”Applied Research in Quality of Life 4(2009):365-86.

Mammen, S., Lass, D., and Seiling, S. “Labor force supply decisions of rural low-income mothers.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues 30(2009): 67-79.

Timmons, Dave, Q. Wang and D. Lass. “Local Foods: Estimating Capacity?” Journal of Extension, 46(2008).

Lass, D. A. “Asymmetric Response of Retail Milk Prices in the Northeast Revisited.”Agribusiness: An International Journal, 21(2005): 493-508..

Cushman, Colin, Barry Field, Daniel Lass and Thomas Stevens. “External Costs from Increased Island Visitation: Results from the Southern Thai Islands.” Tourism Economics10(2004): 207-219.

Sanneh, Njundu, L. Joe Moffitt, and Daniel Lass. “Stochastic Efficiency Analysis of Community Supported Agriculture Core Management Options.” J. of Ag. and Res. Economics, December  2001: 417-430.

Daniel A. Lass, Mawunyo Adanu and P. Geoffrey Allen. “The Impacts of the Northeast Dairy Compact on Retail Prices.” Agri. and Res. Econ. Review, April 2001: 83-92..

Cooley, Jack P. and D. Lass. “Consumer Benefits from Community Supported Agriculture Membership.” Review of Agricultural Economics. Vol. 20(1998):227-237.

Gempesaw II, C. M., J. G. Elterich, V. Shivani, and D. Lass. “An Economic Impact Analysis of Alternative Dairy Policies: The Case of U.S. and German Dairy Farms.”Applied Economics. Vol. 25(1993):961-969.

Lass, Daniel and Conrado Gempesaw II. “Estimation of Firm-Varying, Input-Specific Efficiencies in Dairy Production.” Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. October(1992):142-150.

Lass, Daniel and Conrado Gempesaw II. “The Supply of Off-Farm Labor: A Random Coefficients Approach.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Vol. 74(1992):400-411.

Gempesaw II, Conrado, J. G. Elterich, V. A. Shivani and D. A. Lass. "Production Decisions Under Quota Restrictions: A Dynamic-Stochastic Financial Simulation Approach." 1992 Proceedings of the Northeast Decision Sciences Institute.April(1992):228-232.

Lass, Daniel and Conrado Gempesaw II. "The Optimality of Input Allocation by Massachusetts Dairy Farmers." Journal of Agribusiness. Vol. 9(1991):23-32.

Robert D. Weaver and Daniel A. Lass. "Corner Solutions in Duality Models: A Cross-Section Analysis of Dairy Production Decisions." American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Vol. 71(1989):1025-1040.

Books and Chapters:

Cooley, Jack and D. A. Lass. “What’s Your Share Worth? Some Comparison of CSA Share Cost versus Retail Produce Value.” In: 1997 CSA Farm Network. Northeast Organic Farming Association. 1997.

Hallberg, M. C., J. L. Findeis and D. A. Lass. (Eds.) Multiple Job-Holding Among Farm Families.
Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press. 1991. (350 pp.)

Lass, D., J. Findeis and M. Hallberg. "Factors Affecting the Supply of Off-Farm Labor: A Review of
Empirical Evidence." In: Multiple Job-Holding Among Farm Families, pp. 239-262. Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press. 1991.

Findeis, J., D. Lass and M. Hallberg. "Effects of Location on Off-Farm Employment Decisions." In:
Multiple Job-Holding Among Farm Families, pp. 263-276. Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press. 1991.

Recent Activities

My teaching coincides with my research interests. I teach the first course in econometric theory in our graduate program. The course includes theory of estimation of the single equation model. We then consider the effects on our estimators when classical assumptions are lost. We finish with a quick look at limited dependent variable models. At the undergraduate level, I teach introductory statistics and introductory econometrics. In econometrics, the application of econometric methods for decision-making and policy analysis is emphasized with primary emphasis on microeconomic models of the firm and consumer.

I have been active in the Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association serving as President, a member of the Board of Directors and several other committees. I have provided research that has been used to determine agricultural land values in Massachusetts for taxation purposes and am currently a designee to the Farmland Valuation Advisory Commission.