ACE is a leader in agricultural and applied finance. The program has both a strong research base, and proven record working with industry participants and policy makers to address real-world problems and develop useful tools and outreach products. Students in the graduate program can become involved in any of a wide range of finance-related topics including asset valuation, credit assessment, firm-level financial management, investment and capital budgeting evaluation, leverage, financial structure, lending policies, agricultural credit institutions, and national and international trends affecting financial outcomes in agriculture. The faculty's strong ties to production agriculture, lending institutions, and agribusiness create an environment conducive to problem-oriented research, and provide highly promising post-graduation opportunities.
Students in family and consumer economics use applied economics to address policy-relevant issues related to the behavior and well being of families, individuals, and consumers. This area of specialization focuses on household demand, household production, family formation and dissolution, consumer finance and family economics, and government policy. Faculty members are leading experts in several areas of family and consumer research including child support payments; effects of family structure on children's schooling, health, and well being; determinants of household financial well-being; family and consumer policy; consumer information and regulation; and health care issues. Faculty members also have a strong and growing interest in the international dimensions of family and consumer economics, including applications in the areas of international development and consumer finance.
This area focuses on a variety of management and decision issues relevant to farms and other firms in the food and agribusiness sector. Cooperation with the College of Business allows students to take courses or minor in related business fields. Research areas include decision analysis, information systems, operations management, business organization and strategy, marketing tactics and strategy, and behavior of organizations and decision makers. Close ties with industry executives enrich students' opportunities.
Students in this area study the role of government in economic development, marketing, finance, international trade, and agriculture. They analyze policies related to market stabilization, international economic relations, food safety and biotechnology, natural resource use, income distribution, and public sector-private sector relations. Students and faculty also study the role of interest groups in the development of policies. Faculty have experience in Australia, Africa, Canada, Asia, Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
ACE is a leading contributor to economic studies of bioenergy, soil carbon sequestration, water resource management and valuation, resource and habitat conservation, and voluntary environmental programs. Our proximity to some of the world’s most productive agricultural land as well as to the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, and Chicago provides ready access to important field sites and enables us to be major contributors to environmental, natural resource, and agricultural policy development both nationally and regionally.
Students in price analysis and agricultural marketing address the performance of agricultural markets. The department is closely linked with one of the world's most important markets for agricultural commodities. It is a leader in analyzing those markets, including options and futures markets located in Chicago, to find ways of improving the worldwide flow of food and fiber. Other areas of research include market information, grain quality in domestic and international markets, location and transportation analysis, and managing price and income risk.
Regional economics is an intellectually demanding and exciting field. Recognizing that space or location matters adds another dimension of complexity and realism to traditional economics. Fundamental questions of regional economics include why some regions prosper while others do not, why some industries cluster, and what public polices can help places become more competitive and prosperous.