Research

“A Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one.”

Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior as it relates to food is an area of research that has grown exponentially over the past 20 years. My work in this area focuses on a person’s motivations for choosing specific food products. A person’s beliefs about the environment, their health, animal welfare, and food production practices often drive their choices. Just as importantly, a person’s prior experience with a food and the influence of their social networks also impact their buying habits. Some published work I have on this topic is below:

Neill, C.L. and R.B. Williams (2015). “An Economic Valuation on the External Cost of Alternative Milk Packaging and Delivery Options.” Journal of Food Distribution Research 46(3): 68-80.

Neill, C.L. and R.B. Williams (2016). “Consumer Preference for Alternative Milk Packaging: The Case of an Inferred Environmental Attribute.” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 48(3): 241-256.

Holcomb, R.B., C. L. Neill, J. Lelekacs, M. Velandia, T.A. Woods, H.L. Goodwin, Jr., and R. L. Rainey (2018). “A Local Food System Glossary: A Rose by Any Other Name.Choices. 33(3).

Osburn, M., R.B. Holcomb, and C.L. Neill. (2020) “State Pride, Distance and Consumer Willingness to Pay for State Brands.” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 52: 527-544.

Food Policy and Food Safety

Differences in consumer preferences are directly influenced by policy on the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. My work in this area focuses on how those policies induce changes in consumer preferences and if those policies are effective. My goal with this area of research is to provide policymakers information on which types of policies simultaneously increase consumer satisfaction and policy goals. Some of the published work I have on the topic is below:

Neill, C.L. and R. B. Holcomb (2019). “Does a Food Safety Label Matter? Consumer Heterogeneity and Fresh Produce Risk Perceptions under the Food Safety Modernization Act.” Food Policy 85:7-14.

Neill, C.L., R.B. Holcomb, and J.L. Lusk. (2020). “Potential Beggar-thy-neighbor Effects of State Branding Programs.” Agribusiness: An International Journal, 36(1):3-19 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/agr.21625

Neill, C.L. and S.E. Chen. (2022). “Food Safety Events versus Media: Nonlinear Effects of Egg Recalls on U.S. Egg Prices.” Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Forthcoming

Veterinary Economics

Veterinary economics is a broad field of research that involves everything from animal diseases to consumer behavior in regards to decisions about pets to veterinary education to veterinarian incomes and other labor issues. Most of my published work focuses on the labor aspects, but I have many projects in the works on other areas of veterinary economics. I am one of two academic economist who work directly in a College of Veterinary Medicine in the U.S. and we are working diligently to expand the field.

Neill, C.L., R.B. Holcomb, and B.W. Brorsen (2017). “Starting on the Right Foot: School Characteristics and Veterinarian Starting Salary.” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 49(1): 120-138.

Neill, C.L., R.B. Holcomb, B.W. Brorsen (2018). “Current Market Conditions for Veterinary Services in the U.S.” Applied Economics 50(60): 6501-6511.

Neill, C.L., R.B. Holcomb, K. C. Raper, and B. Whitacre (2019). “Effects of Spatial Density on Veterinarian Income: Where are all of the Veterinarians?” Applied Economics 51(14): 1532-1540

General Agricultural Economics

Occasionally, I do research outside of my primary areas of interest. This work ranges from studying price competition among firms to developing innovative methods of economic analysis. Much of this work involves a mutual interest with a colleague or student.

Mark, A.R., K.L. Morgan, C.L. Neill, and K. Niewolny. (2019). “Optimal Farm Household Labor Allocation of New and Beginning Vegetable Operations.” Journal of Agribusiness, 37(2): 141-156

Osburn, M., R.B. Holcomb, and C.L. Neill. (2020). “My State’s Better: Development of a State Pride Scale for Use in Market Research.” Journal of Agribusiness, 38(1): 215-232.

Neill, C.L. and K.L. Morgan. (2021). “Beyond Scale and Scope: Exploring Economic Drivers of U.S. Specialty Crop Production with an Application to Edamame.” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 11

Moeltner, K., A. F. Ramsey, and C.L. Neill. (2021). “Bayesian Kinked Regression with Unobserved Thresholds: An Application to the von Liebig Hypothesis.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Forthcoming

Cross-disciplinary Work

Occasionally, I do research outside of economics. This work ranges from studying food sensory information to natural language processing and many other important, industry relevant topics. Much of this work involves a grant funded research and mutual interests with colleagues or students.

Carneiro*, R.C.V., S.E. Duncan, S.F. O’Keefe, Y. Yin, C.L. Neill, and B. Zhang. (2020). “Sensory and Consumer Studies in Plant Breeding Programs: A Review for Edamame Variety Development Guidance.” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 4: 124-134.

Kessinger, J., G. Earnhart, L. Hamilton*, K. Phetxumphou, C.L. Neill, A.C. Stewart, and J. Lahne. (2021). “Exploring Perceptions and Categorization of Virginia Hard Ciders Through the Application of Sorting Tasks.” Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, Forthcoming

Carneiro, R.C.V., S.E. Duncan, S.F. O’Keefe, D. Yu, H. Huang, Y. Yin, C.L. Neill, and B. Zhang. (2021). “Utilizing Consumer Perception of Edamame to Guide New Variety Development.” Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Forthcoming

Zhang, B., N. Lord*, T. Kuhar, S. Duncan, H. Huang, W. Ross, S. Rideout, R. Arancibia, M. Reiter, S. Li, P. Chen, L. Mozzoni, A. Gillen, Y. Yin, C. Neill, R. Carneiro*, D. Yu*, K. Sutton*, X. Li, Z. Wang, and G. Buss. “ ‘VT Sweet’: A Vegetable Soybean Cultivar to Drive Commercial Edamame Production  in the Mid-Atlantic U.S.” Journal of Plant Registrations, Forthcoming