Job Overview


NOTE: This announcement is being extended to solicit additional applications.  If you applied previously, you need not reapply.

Multiple selections may be made from this announcement.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) conducts broad programs of economic and other social science research and analysis relating to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural America for use by public and private decision makers.  ERS' clients are the executive and legislative branches; environmental, consumer and public interest groups, including farm and industry groups; and the general public.

This position is located in the Economic Research Service (ERS), Food Economics Division (FED), Diet, Safety & Health Economics (DSHE) Branch, in Washington, DC

The Food Economics Division (FED) provides economic research, monitoring and statistical indicators, and staff and policy analysis of consumer, food marketing, and food assistance issues, including: consumption determinants and trends; consumer demand for food quality, safety, and nutrition; food security; food market competition and coordination; low-income assistance programs; and food safety regulation. The FED is the major provider of statistics and information on food availability, food prices, and food expenditures.

The Diet, Safety, and Health Economics (DSHE) Branch provides economic analysis related to consumer behavior and food choices; cost of unsafe food and poor diets; benefits of improved health, nutrition and food safety; role of regulation, public policy, education and information in affecting diets, food safety, and health outcomes; food demand and consumption trends; and time use for food shopping, preparation, and consumption. The Branch supports USDA decision making on programs and policies in the areas of food safety, nutrition, obesity, and consumer dietary behavior.


The Economic Research Service (ERS) seeks an economist for a position involving research and analysis on food consumption and dietary behavior and disseminating these results to public and private decision-makers.  The incumbent will apply empirical econometric models to address food and consumer issues including: (1) regulatory issues, (2) consumers' cognitive biases and decision making and the interactions among firms, consumers, and government regulations in the presence of information problems and cognitive biases, (3) the economic impact of new technologies that reduce the costs of information, and (4) the demand for and supply of product attributes.

The incumbent’s assignment involves research on the economic factors that influence food marketing, food consumption, and related health and nutrition outcomes. The objectives are to: initiate, formulate, plan, and execute an integrated program of research and analysis addressing various complex economic problems relating to consumer food choice, food industry, food marketing, and food loss/waste.  This research will impact the broad area of issues relating to U.S. food consumption, dietary behaviors, diet-related morbidities and nutrition. Outcomes of the research will lead to published reports, staff reports, or briefings to top Agency and Departmental officials.