I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College, where I also teach development economics (EC24) and statistics (EC10). My primary fields are development and environmental economics, and most of my research aims to inform how to align (a) feeding the world, (b) eradicating extreme poverty, and (c) avoiding catastrophic climate change.
I am on the 2018-19 job market and can be reached at ryan.b.edwards at dartmouth dot edu.
JOB MARKET PAPER
This paper measures the impacts of the world’s largest modern agricultural export expansion—that of Indonesian palm oil since 2000—on regional poverty and consumption. Identification exploits geographic differences in suitability for cultivation and rapid growth in global demand. The median expansion led to 2.7 percentage points faster poverty reduction and 4 percent faster consumption growth. My estimates suggest that 2.6 of the 10 million Indonesians lifted from poverty this century were lifted due to growth in palm oil cultivation. Results can be explained by rising returns to labor and land, and indirect effects through investment, fiscal linkages, and public goods. Each percentage point of palm-driven poverty reduction corresponds to a 1.5–3 percentage point loss of forest area.