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James MacDonald

Research Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources


Agricultural and Resource Economics



Language Proficiency


James MacDonald is a Research Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, where he focuses on the economics and organization of U.S. agriculture and the broader food system. He is often quoted as an expert on agribusiness and the farm sector in interviews with national media outlets, such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, NPR, and NBC.

MacDonald has published extensively on the consolidation of agriculture into fewer but larger farms; the distribution of US farm support payments; the contractual and market relationships between farms and agribusinesses; mergers and competition among firms that supply inputs to farmers; consolidation and competition in meatpacking; and retail food pricing. He has advised the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission on mergers in the food system.

Prior to joining UMD, MacDonald held positions at Hamilton College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. He is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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