The primary focus of my research is the application of contract theory and models of industrial organization to problems of agricultural risk management and rural development. My existing research focuses on how agricultural households manage risk to achieve their goals of sustainable development and food security. Complementing and expanding upon this, my recent research investigates the use of contracts in agriculture and estimates the impact of new technology on household welfare and health outcomes. These topics combine to reveal policy relevant insights about agricultural management practices in an uncertain environment. Along with Dr. Josephson, he co-directs the Applied International Development Economics (AIDE) Lab.

For more visit:


  • Ph.D., Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, 2015
  • M.A., Economics, New School for Social Research, 2010
  • M.A., Theology, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, 2007
  • B.A., Economics and History, Bethel College, 2003

Awards & Honors

  • 2022 Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA), Quality of Research Discovery Award
  • 2021 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Africa Section Best Publication Award
  • 2019 Outstanding American Journal of Agricultural Economics Article Award
  • 2015 Best Dissertation Award, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Classes Taught

  • AREC 360: The Poverty and Development of Nations
  • AREC 513: Consumption Economics and Price Analysis

Recent Publications

Josephson, A., T. Kilic, and J.D. Michler. 2021. Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 in Low-Income Countries. Nature Human Behaviour 5: 557-65.

Arouna, A., J.D. Michler, and J.C. Lokossou. 2021. Contract Farming and Rural Transformation: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Benin. Journal of Development Economics 151: 102626.

Arouna, A., J.D. Michler, W.G. Yergo, and K. Saito. 2021. One Size Fits All? Experimental Evidence on the Digital Delivery of Personalized Extension Advice in Nigeria. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 103 (2): 596-619.

Michler, J.D. and S.Y. Wu. 2020. Governance and Contract Choice: Theory and Evidence from Groundwater Irrigation Markets. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 180: 129-47.

Michler, J.D. and S.Y. Wu. 2020. Relational Contracts in Agriculture: Theory and Evidence. Annual Review of Resource Economics 12: 111-27.

Michler, J.D. 2020. Agriculture in the Process of Development: A Micro-Perspective. World Development 129: 104888.

Michler, J.D., E. Tjernström, S. Verkaart, and K. Mausch. 2019. Money Matters: The Role of Yields and Profits in Agricultural Technology Adoption. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 101 (3): 710-31.

Michler, J.D., K. Baylis, M. Arends-Kuenning, and K. Mazvimavi. 2019. Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 93: 148-69.

Slade, P., J.D. Michler, and A. Josephson. 2019. Foreign Geographical Indications, Consumer Preferences, and the Domestic Market for Cheese. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 41 (3): 370-90.