Friedman Professor Recognized for Contributions to Agricultural Economics

William Masters at the Friedman School is one of five new Agricultural & Applied Economics Association fellows

William Masters sitting at a table. Masters was recently selected as one of five new fellows of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) for 2020.

William Masters, a professor at the Friedman School, was recently selected as one of five new fellows of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) for 2020.

The AAEA is the main professional association for researchers working in agricultural and related fields of applied economics. Fellows are selected to recognize their continuous contribution to the advancement of these fields through research, teaching, and more.

“Being elected a fellow of the AAEA is a big affirmation, not just for me personally but for others working on economics of nutrition at Tufts and elsewhere,” said Masters, who will be honored at the AAEA’s recognition ceremony in July. “Previous work on food and health was mostly about food safety rather than nutrition, but research focused on nutrients and diet quality is growing quickly. It’s exciting to be a part of that.”

A food economist at Friedman with a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences, Masters does research on the role of agricultural development and food systems in nutrition and health. He focuses mostly on ending undernutrition, but also works on addressing overeating and diet-related diseases.

“I’ve been privileged to work on many different aspects of agricultural production, as well as food markets and nutrition,” Masters said. “I bring the economics toolkit about how people respond to change, and we combine that with health science research to understand nutritional outcomes.”

Masters is also active in the American Society of Nutrition (ASN). “What we’re seeing is a convergence of research around how to improve food systems, with economists in the AAEA learning more about nutrition, and nutritionists in the ASN learning more about economics,” Masters said. “It’s a great time to be working in this field, especially at Tufts where we have so many great faculty and students interested in food, coming at nutrition from many different angles.”

Monica Jimenez can be reached at

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