UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Eliana Zeballos: Research Agricultural Economist at ERS

June 27, 2016

Eliana Zeballos, Ph.D. '16, has accepted a position as a Research Agricultural Economist with the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She will conduct research on diet, nutrition, health, and food consumption with a focus on behavioral economics. Her dissertation, “Catching Up or Pulling Down? Experimental Evidence on Interpersonal Comparisons, Effort, and Destructive Actions Among Dairy Farmers in Bolivia,” studies how interpersonal comparisons affect behavior. In particular, Eliana's explores how interpersonal comparisons affect effort levels and may lead individuals to take destructive actions and how, in turn, the threat of these actions affects equilibrium levels of effort. She first developed a two-stage, two-agent model of strategic behavior to explore the different ways in which interpersonal comparisons affect behavior and then she empirically examined the prevalence, motivations, and impacts of interpersonal comparisons by designing an innovative experiment that she carried out among dairy farmers in Bolivia. Her dissertation committee members are Steve Boucher, Travis Lybbert, and Michael Carter.


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