Research Areas

I use applied microeconomic methods to study overlapping issues in international development, agriculture, health, nutrition, and cannabis policy.

Development Economics

Research focuses on poverty, food security, and household decision making. Previous work includes leading large evaluations of food assistance and social protection programs in Ethiopia and Yemen. Current projects include a USAID-funded RCT in Bangladesh evaluating risk and credit constraints in agricultural storage technology decisions.

Published papers

Schwab, B. In the form of bread? A randomized comparison of cash and food transfers in Yemen. Forthcoming, American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Kang, M., Schwab, B. , and J. Yu. (2020). “Gender differences in the relationship between land ownership and managerial rights: Implications for intrahousehold farm labor allocation.” World Development. 125 (January).

Benjamin Schwab (2019) Comparing the Productive Effects of Cash and Food Transfers in a Crisis Setting: Evidence from a Randomised Experiment in Yemen, The Journal of Development Studies, 55:sup1, 29-54.

Hoel, J., Schwab, B. and J. Hoddinott. (2016). “Self-control fatigue, cognitive function, and the expression of time preference: Experimental results from Ethiopia.” Journal of Economic Psychology. 52: 136-146

Pearson, R. Afaw. S., Baschieri, A., …. Schwab, B… (and 18 others). (2016) “The role of the Tigray Pilot Social Cash Transfer programme and its evaluation in the evolution of the Tigray Social Protection Policy,” in Davis, B., Handa, S., Hypher, N., Rossi, N. W., Winters, P., and Yablonski, J. (Eds.). From evidence to action: the story of cash transfers and impact evaluation in sub Saharan Africa. Oxford University Press: pp. 168-196

Working Papers/ In-progress

Schwab, B., Janzen, S., Magnan, N., and W. Thompson. “swindex: Constructing a summary index using the standardized inverse covariance weighted average of indicators.” Revise and Resubmit, Stata Journal

Peterman, A., Schwab, B., Roy, S., Hidrobo, M., and D. Gilligan. (2015). Measuring women’s decisionmaking: Indicator choice and survey design experiments from cash and food transfer evaluations in Ecuador, Uganda and Yemen. IFPRI Discussion Paper 01453, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC

Hodjo, M., Kere, M., Milougo, V., Sririvastava, A. and B. Schwab. Demand for agricultural mechanization in the Hauts-Bassins Region (HBR) in Burkina Faso.

Schwab, B.  and M. Hodjo.  Who Has the Time? The Gendered Division of Agricultural Labor and Demand for Mechanized Services in Ethiopia

Cannabis Production, Land Use and Policy

An ongoing research program examines the implications of changing cannabis policy on agriculture, the environment, and rural land use and values. Ongoing projects include an examination of cannabis formalization and compliance in California, hemp adoption and decision making in Kansas, and the selection of medical providers into the medical marijuana system in three states.

Published Papers

Schwab, B. (2020). Media Review: What happens when a state grows way too much weed? Forthcoming. American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Schwab, B., A. Wartenberg and V. Butsic. (2019). Characteristics of farms applying for cannabis cultivation permits. California Agriculture, 73(3): 128-135

Butsic, V., Schwab, B., Baumann, M., and J.C. Brenner (2017). Inside the Emerald Triangle: Modeling the placement and size of cannabis production in Humboldt County, CA USA. Ecological Economics, 142: 70-80.

Brandt, J., Butsic, V., Schwab, B., Radloff, V. and T. Kuemmerle. (2015). The relative effectiveness of protected areas, a logging ban, and sacred areas for old-growth forest protection in southwest China. Biological Conservation. 181: 1-8

Working Papers/In-Progress

Schwab, B. and V. Butsic. Green Acres: Cannabis agriculture, formalization and rural land values in Northern California. Revise and Resubmit, American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Agriculture, Health and Nutrition

Research focuses on health and labor market rewards in the US, as well as cross-cutting issues in food safety and nutrition across the globe.

Published Papers

Schwab, B., and R. Armah. (2019). Could ‘Ag for Nutrition’ Efforts Sacrifice Food Safety? Evidence from Eid al Adha. Food Policy. 83(C): 170-179

Cowan, B. and B. Schwab. (2016). Employer sponsored health insurance and the gender wage gap. Journal of Health Economics. 45(1): 103-114

Cowan, B. & B. Schwab. (2011). The Incidence of the healthcare costs of smoking, Journal of Health Economics 30(5): 1094-1102

Working Papers/In-Progress

Namingit, S., Blankneau, W. and B. Schwab. Sick and Tell: A field experiment analyzing the effects of an illness-related employment gap on the callback rate. Under review.

Gajigo, O. & Schwab, B. The rhythm of the rains: Seasonal effects on child health in The
Gambia.

Embaye, Weldensie T.,Bergtold, J., Schwab, B., Zereyesus, Y. A. Modeling farm productivity for heterogeneous farm households in developing countries

Schwab, B. Nutrition, education and development: The case of Vitamin D milk.

Schwab, B. Maternal fasting during Ramadan and child health: Evidence from 40 countries.