The Business Fellow alumnus received recognition from the International Association of Agricultural Economists for the papers, “Rethinking the Link between Production Diversity and Dietary Diversity: Theory and Evidence” and “Investment Decisions and Gender in Agricultural Households: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Rural Tanzania.”
The International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) has named Michael Keenan ’16 its 2021 recipient of the T.W. Schultz Award for Best Oral Contributed Paper by a Scholar Under 40.
The professional membership association of agricultural economists recognized Keenan, a Ph.D. candidate at Wageningen University and Research and a visiting researcher at the Alliance of Bioversity and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), for his paper, “Rethinking the Link between Production Diversity and Dietary Diversity: Theory and Evidence.”
In the paper, Keenan and co-authors Stanley Karanja, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Haki Pamuk, Wageningen Economic Research, and Ruerd Ruben, Wageningen Economic Research, demonstrate the nuance of the link between production diversity and household nutrition.
The paper develops a non-separable agricultural household model with multiple agricultural goods for consumption and/or production, production risk and imperfect markets. The results are tested econometrically using nationally representative data from Tanzania. The co-authors find that while, on average, a household needs to grow 10 additional food groups to consume just one more food group, households in the most remote areas need to grow just two more food groups to consume one more.
Keenan also received the IAAE’s Uma Lele Prize for Best Contributed Paper on Gender for the paper, “Investment Decisions and Gender in Agricultural Households: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Rural Tanzania.”
In the paper, Keenan and co-authors Pamuk, Karanja, and Joseph Hella, Sokoine University of Agriculture, analyze male, female and joint decision-making in investments and labor while performing a real-effort task in a lab-in-the-field experiment. The paper is well-grounded in experimental and intrahousehold bargaining literature, with suggestive results of how joint decision-making and women’s participation in gender sensitization training affects risk-taking and effort. The results have implications for investment in new agricultural practices and technology adoption.
After graduating with degrees in economics and pure mathematics from Elon in 2016, Keenan consulted for World Bank’s Global Program on Forced Displacement and for Laterite, a data and research advisory firm. He earned his master’s degree in specialized economic analysis with a focus on international trade, finance and development from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and is currently in the Ph.D. program at Wageningen University and Research.