Julie A. Caswell
Industrial Organization and Food Quality Economics
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Former Senior Associate Dean for Education & Student Development, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Fellow, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
Member of Food & Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Past President, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
UMass Amherst Spotlight Scholar
UMass Amherst Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity Award
Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer, 2009
Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series and Recipient of Chancellor's Medal, University of Massachusetts Amherst
CFNR Outstanding Teacher

My work focuses on understanding the operation of domestic and international food systems, analyzing how well they work, and evaluating how government policy affects their operation and performance. My particular interest is in the economics of food quality, especially the quality attributes of safety and nutrition. How are markets for food safety and nutrition developing given increased consumer demand for safer, more nutritious products; manufacturers and retailers' efforts to meet this demand; and increased regulatory activity by national governments to assure food quality? I am also interested in the economics of certification, traceability, and labeling for quality attributes. Examples of my work include how to prioritize the importance of different foodborne risks, whether regulatory programs such as preventative controls requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act will enhance food safety at a reasonable cost, how benefit and risk information can be balanced and effectively communicated to consumers, and how international trade agreements influence food quality. I am currently serving as Associate Dean for Education and Student Development in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Recent Publications & Presentations

Economics of Food Quality | Economics of Food Certification, Traceability, and Labeling | Impacts of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Regulations on International Trade in Food Products | Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program | AAEA Presidential Address 2013

Economics of Food Quality

Caswell, Julie A., Kathryn A. Boys, Alyssa A, Danilow, and Kathryn E. Lynch. Food Certification Industry Capacity and Ability to Comply with FSMA Final Rule on Accredited Third-Party Certification. Selected paper presented at the annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Chicago, Illinois, August 2017.

Boys, Kathryn A., Julie A. Caswell, Sandra A. Hoffman, and Samantha Colarusso. The Business of Safe Food: An Assessment of the Global Food Safety Certification Industry. Selected paper presented at the annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, San Francisco, California, July 2015.

Caswell, Julie A. 2013. Development of Risk-Based Food Safety Systems for Foodborne Infections and Intoxications. In Foodborne Infections and Intoxications, 4th Edition, ed. J. Glenn Morris and Morris Potter, 53-64. London: Elsevier Inc.

Caswell, Julie A. 2013. Challenges in Choosing the Mix of Public and Private Standards for Food Quality Assurance. In The Federal Policy Role in Today’s Food and Agricultural Markets, ed. Walter J. Armbruster and Ronald D. Knutson, 227-247. Springer Publishing.

Rouvière, Elodie and Julie A. Caswell 2012. From Punishment to Prevention: A French Case Study of the Introduction of Co-Regulation in Enforcing Food Safety. Food Policy 37 (3):246-254.

Ruzante, Juliana Martins, Valerie J. Davidson, Julie A. Caswell, Aamir Fazil, John A.L. Cranfield, Spencer J. Henson, Sven M. Anders, Claudia Schmidt, and Jeffrey M. Farber. 2010. A Multifactorial Risk Prioritization Framework for Foodborne Pathogens. Risk Analysis 30 (5):724-742.

Economics of Food Certification, Traceability, and Labeling

Wang, Emily Y., Hongli Wei, and Julie A. Caswell. 2016. The Impact of Mandatory Trans Fat Labeling on Product Mix and Consumer Choice: A Longitudinal Analysis of the U.S. Market for Margarine and Spreads. Food Policy 64:63-81.

Caswell, Julie A. How Should Public Policy for Novel & Genetically Modified Foods Take Consumer Preferences into Consideration? Invited presentation at University of Stirling Management School Conference on Consumer Preferences, Perceptions, and Decision-Making, Stirling, Scotland, October 2015.

Caswell, Julie A. True Differentiation: Producing, Certifying, and Communicating for Diverse Consumers. Invited paper presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City 2015 Agricultural Symposium on Responding to Future Food Demands, Kansas City, Kansas, July 2015.

Anders, Sven and Julie A. Caswell. 2015. The Benefits and Costs of Proliferation of Geographical Labeling for Developing Countries. In Geographical Indications, ed. Michael Blakeney, Ch. 21. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. (Reprinted from Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, 2009, 10 (1), 77–93.)

Carbone, Anna, Julie A. Caswell, Francesca Galli, and Alessandro Sorrentino. 2014. The Performance of Protected Designations of Origin: An Ex Post Multi-Criteria Assessment of the Italian Cheese and Olive Oil Sectors. Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization 12 (1):121-140.

Joseph, Siny, Nathalie Lavoie, and Julie A. Caswell. 2014. Implementing COOL: Comparative Welfare Effects of Different Labeling Schemes. Food Policy 44:14-25.

Caswell, Julie A. and Kathryn Boys. The Industrial Organization of Food Certification. Invited Paper Presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, Orlando, Florida, February 2013.

Galli, Francesca, Anna Carbone, Julie A. Caswell, and Alessandro Sorrentino. 2011. A Multi-Criteria Approach to Assessing PDOs/PGIs: An Italian Pilot Study. International Journal of Food System Dynamics 2 (3):219-236.

Caswell, Julie A. and Sven Anders. 2011. Private vs. Third Party vs. Government Labeling. In The Handbook of the Economics of Food Consumption and Policy, ed. Jayson Lusk, Jutta Rosen, and Jason Shogren, pp. 472-498. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Johnecheck, Wendy A., Parke E. Wilde, and Julie A. Caswell. 2010. Market and Welfare Impacts of COOL on the US-Mexican Tomato Trade. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 35 (3):503-521.

Souza Monteiro, Diogo M. and Julie A. Caswell. 2010. Economics of Traceability in Multi-Ingredient Food Chains. Agribusiness 26 (1):122-142.

Impacts of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Regulations on International Trade in Food Products

Caswell, Julie A. Improving Food Safety in Developing Countries: The Uses of Risk-Based Regulatory Approaches & Private/3rd Party Certification Systems. Invited plenary presentation at the China Agricultural Economic Review—International Food Policy Research Institute Annual International Conference, Improving Food Security, Safety, and Nutrition in China, Lin’an City, Zhejiang, China, October 2015.

Anders, Sven M. and Julie A. Caswell. 2009. Standards-as-Barriers versus Standards-as-Catalysts: Assessing the Impact of HACCP Implementation on U.S. Seafood Imports. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91 (2):310-321.

Todd, Ewen and Julie A. Caswell. 2008. Role of Programs Designed to Improve the Microbiological Safety of Imported Food. In Imported Foods: Microbiological Issues and Challenges, ed. Michael P. Doyle and Marilyn C. Erickson, pp. 209-254. Washington, DC: ASM Press.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Yaktine, Ann L. and Julie A. Caswell. 2014. SNAP Benefits: Can an Adequate Benefit be Defined? Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 5(1):21-26.

Caswell, Julie A. and Ann L. Yaktine, eds. 2013. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Examining the Evidence to Define Benefit Adequacy. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

AAEA Presidential Address 2013

Caswell, Julie A. 2014. Certifying the Quality of Agricultural and Applied Economics. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96 (2):367-384.

Recent Activities

My teaching activities focus on the use of economic analysis to understand the food system and industries. I teach the Life is Full of Choices Integrated Experience Seminar for Resource Economics majors. I have taught graduate courses in the economics of food safety and competition policy in Italy, Poland, Brazil, and Spain. As Associate Dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, I work with colleagues on developing curriculum and advising to support the SBS Pathways program, which guides students in exploring, reflecting on, and communicating about their academic, co-curricular, and professional development/career experiences. 

In my outreach activities, I work with federal agencies, international organizations, and groups of researchers to produce economic analysis of the benefits and costs of government regulatory programs and private quality control programs for food products. This work includes consultations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Academies, U.S. General Accounting Office, Congressional Research Service, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. I have participated in research on the economics of food safety conducted for the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada. I am currently a member of the Food & Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.