Academic Writing


I once dreamt of working on economic development projects in the Third World. To that end, I pursued graduate work in agricultural economics, a profession that has a long history of involvement in less developed countries. My interests shifted somewhat over time, but I did manage to complete a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1994. I also completed a three-year post-doctoral assignment as part of an agriculture and climate change project involving three universities - Purdue, Indiana University, and the University of Illinois. Here are some of the publications that came out of those experiences.


Book Chapters

Pfeifer, R.A. and M. Habeck. 2002. "Farm-Level Economic Impacts of Climate Change", [Chapter 8, pp. 159-178] in Doering, et al., Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Agricultural Production Systems. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Southworth, J., R.A. Pfeifer and M. Habeck. 2002. "Crop Modeling Results Under Climate Change for the Midwest USA", [Chapter 7, pp. 127-158] in Doering, et al., Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Agricultural Production Systems. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Refereed Journal Articles

Southworth, J., M. Habeck, R.A. Pfeifer, J.C. Randolph, O. Doering, and G. Rao. 2002. "The sensitivity of winter wheat yields in the Midwestern United States to future changes in climate, climate variability, and CO2 fertilization." Climate Research, 22:73-86.

Southworth, J., M. Habeck, R.A. Pfeifer, J.C. Randolph, O. Doering, J. Johnston, and G. Rao. 2002. "Changes in soybean yields in the Midwestern United States as a result of future changes in climate, climate variability, and CO2 fertilization." Climatic Change, 53:447-475.

Southworth, J., J.C. Randolph, M. Habeck, O.C. Doering, G. Rao, R.A. Pfeifer, and J. Johnston. 2000. "Consequences of future climate change and changing climate variability on corn yields in the Midwestern United States." Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment, 82:139-158.

Doering, O., M. Habeck, J. Lowenberg-Deboer, J. Randolph, J. Johnston, B. Littlefield, M. Mazzocco, M. Kinwa, and R. Pfeifer. 1997. "Mitigation Strategies and Unforseen Consequences: A Systematic Assessment of the Adaptation of Upper Midwest Agriculture to Future Climate Change." World Resource Review, 9:447-459.

Habeck, M. H., S. B. Lovejoy, and J.G. Lee. 1993. "When Does Investing in Classical Biological Control Make Economic Sense?", Florida Entomologist, 76(1):96-101.

Michael Habeck, Deborah Brown, and Philip C. Abbott. 1988. "Sources of Export Earnings Instability: The Role of Agriculture", Journal of Agricultural Economics 39(1):69-79.

Miscellaneous Publications

Williams, A.N., M. Nearing, M. Habeck, J. Southworth, R.A. Pfeifer, O.C. Doering, J. Lowenberg-Deboer, J.C. Randolph, and M.A. Mazzocco. 2001. Global Climate Change: Implications of Extreme Events for Soil Conservation Strategies and Crop Production in the Midwestern United States. ISCO Special Publication.

Habeck, M. 1990. Nematicides on Florida Citrus: Pest Control in Transition. National Technical Information Service Document 20-050,459.

Ph.D. Dissertation

The Economic Contribution of a Naturally Occurring Insect Predator to the Control of the Mexican Bean Beetle Epilachna varivestis Mulsant on Indiana Soybeans

Mexican bean beetles are a sporadic pest of soybeans in southern Indiana. Farmers can spray pesticides to control Mexican bean beetles, and they sometimes do. However, there are naturally occurring predators of Mexican bean beetles, and the pesticides kill them too. My dissertation was an attempt to estimate the economic value of one of those naturally occurring predators, the spined soldier bug. A sincere but essentially unreadable effort. [1994]

M.S. Thesis

Portfolio Analysis of Export Earnings Instability

This was fairly cool for the time [1984]; among other things, it required using a mainframe computer to invert "large" matrices of numbers. Maybe there's an iphone app for that now. Anyway, the project attempted to isolate sector-specific sources of export earnings instability - a commonly blamed source of difficulty for developing countries - and came up with some results that challenged (to no effect) the conventional wisdom on the subject. My department even nominated it for the "Best M.S. Thesis" award presented by the American Agricultural Economics Association.

One Other Economics-Related Project

One of my teachers at Purdue was a remarkable man named Don Paarlberg. He served at various times as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, Special Assistant to President Eisenhower, and coordinator of the Food for Peace program. I met him when he offered a graduate seminar on Institutional Economics. I was so interested in the subject that I began to compile a bibliography on it, and that project swelled to 300+ pages. The Department published it as a staff paper, but it never saw any wider distribution.