Emilia Tjernström

University of Wisconsin - Madison · La Follette School of Public Affairs · Agricultural & Applied Economics · tjernstroem@wisc.edu

I am an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin's Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs and Agricultural & Applied Economics.

My research draws on insights from behavioral economics and employs econometrics, field-, and lab-in-the-field experiments to examine a variety of topics in development economics and political economy. I received my B.A. in economics from Colby College and my M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis.

My CV is here (pdf).

I can be found either in La Follette (201 Observatory Hill office building) or AAE (520 Taylor Hall).



* Heterogeneous impact dynamics of a rural business development program in Nicaragua (with Michael Carter and Patricia Toledo) Journal of Development Economics, 138:77-98, May 2019
    - NBER WP version (No. 22628) here

* Money matters: the role of income and yields in agricultural technology adoption (with Jeffrey D. Michler, Simone Verkaart, and Kai Mausch) American Journal of Agricultural Economics, July 2018.
    - Ungated WP version here
    - Replication data here

Yield returns

* Natural disasters, social protection, and risk perception (with Philip Brown, Adam J. Daigneault, and Wenbo Zou) World Development, 104:310–325, April 2018
    - Ungated WP version here

Belief distributionsCyclone Evan

* Fitting and interpreting correlated random coefficient (CRC) models using Stata (with Oscar Barriga Cabanillas, Jeffrey D. Michler and Aleksandr Michuda) Stata Journal, 18(1):159–173, 2018
    - The randcoef command for Stata estimates correlated random effects (CRE) and correlated random coefficient (CRC) models following the method described in Suri's (2011) "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption."
    - Blog post

* Identifying the impact dynamics of a small farmer development scheme in Nicaragua. (with Michael Carter and Patricia Toledo) American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Papers and Proceedings, 95(5):1359–1365, July 2013

* Do differences in attitudes explain differences in national climate change policies? (with Thomas H. Tietenberg) Ecological Economics, 65(2):315–324, 2008

* Rational foolishness would destroy a public service broadcasting system. (with Sune Tjernström) Journal of Media Economics, 21(4):258–263, 2008.

Working papers

* Learning from others in heterogeneous environments
Under review

* Media and motivation: the effect of performance pay on writers and content (with Ivan Balbuzanov and Jared Gars)
Version with tables at the end here

* Information, credit, and inputs: the impacts and mechanisms of a program to raise smallholder productivity (with Joshua Deutschmann, Maya Duru and Kim Siegal)
    - Earlier version: The impact of One Acre Fund’s small farm program (with Joshua Deutschmann)
    La Follette School Working Paper No. 2018-003

* Learning by (virtually) doing: experimentation and belief updating in smallholder agriculture (with Travis Lybbert, Rachel Frattarola Hernández, and Juan Sebastian Correa)
    - Pre-analysis plan [pdf]
    - RIDIE registration link
    - MahindiMaster website
    - Project page: Bringing FarmVille to the tropics
    - Ignite talk [video]
    - Interview about the project [video]
    - GCFSI story about pilot
    - Gameplay screencast

* Seeds of uncertainty: information, subjective expectations, and technology adoption (with Jared Gars)
Draft paper available upon request

* Income volatility and technology choice (with Rachel Frattarola Hernández)
Draft paper available upon request

* A Group Random Coefficient approach to modeling heterogeneity in technology adoption (with Oscar Barriga Cabanillas, Dalia Ghanem, Travis Lybbert, Jeffrey Michler, and Aleksandr Michuda)

* The dirt on dirt: soil characteristics and variable fertilizer returns in Kenyan maize systems (with Michael Carter and Travis Lybbert)

* Filling a niche: the impacts of a local seed company on maize productivity in Kenya (with Michael Carter, Mary Mathenge, Samuel Bird, Travis Lybbert and Tim Njagi)
Draft paper coming soon

* When intentions matter – identifying the prevalence and source of poor-quality inputs in Western Kenya, aka "Fake Seed" (with Jose Clavijo and Travis Lybbert)
Being revised -- new version coming spring 2019
    - Project overview

Work in progress / Papers-to-be

* Pricing complexity and financial shocks (with Joshua Deutschmann and Jeffrey Michler)

* Arrested development: the inefficiencies of electoral cycles in infrastructure projects (with Evan Morier)

* Baseline for an information intervention in the agro-inputs market in Kenya (with Travis Lybbert)
    - Project overview

* Do yields drive soil fertility perceptions? (with Julia Berazneva and Leah Bevis)

* Constructing compliance: reducing tax evasion among market traders in Ghana (with Nicole Bonoff and Evan Morier)

* Knowing and voting: knowledge, media consumption, and political participation (with Nicole Bonoff, Robert Bond, and Christopher Fariss)

* Natural disasters, community, and giving (Phil Brown and Priyadarshi Amar)


I teach in the La Follette School of Public Affairs as well as in Agricultural & Applied Economics

Fall 2018

PA 881 - International cost-benefit analysis (Syllabus coming soon)

AAE 477 - Agricultural and Economic Development of Africa (Syllabus coming soon)

Fall 2017

PA 881 - International cost-benefit analysis (Syllabus)
Student projects:
    * Water hyacinth management in Laguna Zapotlán, Mexico
    * Nutrition-focused interventions in the Barotse Floodplain Region of Zambia
    * The costs and benefits of China switching its heating energy from coal to liquefied natural gas?
    * African tulip tree management in the Vallée de Mai, Seychelles

AAE 737 - Applied econometric analysis III (a.k.a. Applied microeconometrics using replication) (Syllabus)

Fall 2016

PA 881 - Cost-benefit analysis (Syllabus)
Student projects:
    * Organic certification program for yaqona on the island of Kadavu, Fiji
    * Afforestation projects for erosion control in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of New Zealand
    * The International Rescue Committee (IRC)'s livelihoods programs for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

AAE 875 - Applied microeconometrics using replication (Syllabus)

Spring 2016

PA 873 - Introduction to policy analysis (Syllabus)

Fall 2015

PA 881 - International cost-benefit analysis (Syllabus)


Mailing address:
Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin - Madison
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI, 53706–1211
Email: tjernstroem [that-little-a-with-a-circle-around-it] wisc.edu