(Click for a full CV, hi-res photo, brief bio, AAEA Fellows’ bio or ANH career journey)


 Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
     and Department of Economics (secondary appointment, by courtesy)
 Tufts University • 
150 Harrison Ave., room 251 • Boston, MA 02111
 Phone: 617.636.3751 •  Email:


Stanford University, PhD (1991) in Applied Economics at the Food Research Institute  
Yale University, BA (1984) in Economics and Political Science
Deep Springs College (1979-81), course credits transferred


Tufts University (July 2010 – present), Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyProfessor (from 7/10) and Chair (7/11-8/14)  for the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy, responsible for academic leadership of multidisciplinary graduate programs involving 18 faculty and about 150 students per year.

Purdue University (December 1991 – June 2010), Department of Agricultural EconomicsAssociate Head (2/07-6/10) and Professor (4/02-6/10), previously Associate Professor (7/96-4/02) and Assistant Professor (12/91-7/96), with increasing responsibilities over graduate and undergraduate programs.

Columbia University (September 2003-August 2004), Visiting Professor, School of International and Public Affairs and Interim Executive Director, Earth Institute Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development. Led a diversified social-science research program of 8 staff and 20 affiliated faculty.

Harvard University (January – December 2000), Kennedy School of Government Visiting Scholar in the Center for International Development

Stanford University (1985-1991), Graduate Fellow, Teaching and Research Assistant in the Food Research Institute

University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe (1988-1990), Research Associate and part-time lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension


Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). Other AAEA awards for Quality of Communication (2022), Quality of Research Discovery (2019), Publication of Enduring Quality (2014), and the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis (2013)
International Fellow of the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE)
Teaching with Technology awards from Tufts University (2022, 2019)
Fulbright Dissertation Research Grant (1988-90)
Harry S. Truman Scholarship (1981)


Exec. Board, Council on Food, Ag. & Resource Econ. (C-FARE, Nov 2022-)
Member, Economic Advisory Council of the U.S. MCC (Nov. 2020-24)
Elected member, Tufts University Faculty Senate (2017-20), Secretary (2018-20)
External member, IFPRI Institutional Review Board, 2015-18
Editorial Board,
Global Food Security, 2014-present
Editor-in-Chief, Agricultural Economics, 2007-2011 (with Gerald Shively)
Board of Trustees, Deep Springs College, 2002-2011 (chair, Academic Affairs ctee.)


Native English, fluent French, some Spanish



Principal investigator or co-PI on over $16 million in grants and projects since 1988, from USAID, the World Bank, DFID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other funding agencies.



Masters, W.A. and A.B. Finaret, Food Economics: Agriculture, Nutrition and Health. New York: Palgrave.  (Also see teaching website).

Norton, G., Alwang J., W.A. Masters, Economics of Agricultural Development (4th ed., 2021; or previous edition). New York: Routledge. (See review of 1st ed. in ERAE).

Anderson, K. (eds.) and W.A. Masters, Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa (2009). Washington DC: The World Bank.

W.A. Masters Government and Agriculture in Zimbabwe (1994). Westport CT: Praeger.


Masters, W.A., A.B. Finaret and S.A. Block, 2022. The economics of malnutrition: Dietary transition and food system transformation. Handbook of Agricultural Economics, vol. 6: 4997-5083.  Amsterdam: Elsevier. (preprint)

(Italicized coauthors = students at time of writing. In economics articles, author order is typically alphabetical; in the health sciences, first author is typically the junior researcher doing most of the work, and the senior author responsible for the project is listed last.)  

Gilbert, R., L. Costlow, J. Matteson, J. Rauschendorfer, E. Krivonos, S.A. Block and W.A. Masters, 2024. Trade policy reform, retail food prices and access to healthy diets worldwide. World Development, 177: p.106535.

Wallingford, J.K., and W.A. Masters, 2024. Least-cost diets to teach optimization and consumer behavior, with applications to health equity, poverty measurement and international development, forthcoming in Journal of Economic Education, exercise online here.

Wallingford, J., Martinez, E.M. and W.A. Masters, 2023. COVID-19 mobility restrictions and stay-at-home behaviour in 2020 were associated with higher retail food prices worldwide. Global Food Security, p.100702.

Alemu, R., Masters, W.A. and A.B. Finaret, 2023. Sibling rivalry between twins in utero and childhood: Evidence from birthweight and survival of 95 919 twin pairs in 72 low‐and middle‐income countries. American Journal of Human Biology, p.e23887.

Cliffer, I.R., E.N. Naumova, W.A. Masters, N. Perumal, F. Garanet, and B.L. Rogers, 2023. Peak timing of slowest growth velocity among young children coincides with highest ambient temperatures in Burkina Faso. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2023.09.021.

Lividini, K. and W.A. Masters, 2022. Accounting for global nutrient flows from farm to fork reveals past trends to help guide food system changeNature Food, 3:703–715 (preprint). [Since January 2024, much of this is available directly from FAO here]

Schneider, K., L. Christiaensen, P.J. Webb & W.A. Masters, 2022.  Assessing the affordability of nutrient-adequate diets. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, e12334. [preprint

Bai, Y., Costlow, L., Ebel, A., Laves, S., Ueda, Y., Volin, N., Zamek, M., and W.A. Masters, 2022. Retail prices of nutritious food rose more in countries with higher COVID-19 case counts.
Nature Food, 3, 325–330.

Bai, Y., A. Herforth and W.A. Masters, 2021.  Global variation in the cost of a nutrient adequate diet by population group: A modelling study.  Lancet Planetary Health, 6(1): 19-28.

Bai, Y., Costlow, L., Ebel, A., Laves, S., Ueda, Y., Volin, N., Zamek, M., Herforth, A. and W.A. Masters, 2021. Retail consumer price data reveal gaps and opportunities to monitor food systems for nutrition. Food Policy, 104: 102148.

Bai, Y., R. Alemu, S.A. Block, D. Headey, and W.A. Masters, 2021.  Cost and affordability of nutritious diets at retail prices: Evidence from 177 countries. Food Policy, 99: e101983.

Bell, W., Lividini, K. and W.A. Masters, 2021.  Global dietary convergence from 1970 to 2010 altered inequality in agriculture, nutrition and health. Nature Food, 2: 156–165.

Mozaffarian, D., El-Abbadi, N.H., O’Hearn, M., Erndt-Marino, J., Masters, W.A., Jacques, P., Shi, P., Blumberg, J.B. and R. Micha, 2021. Food Compass is a nutrient profiling system using expanded characteristics for assessing healthfulness of foods. Nature Food, 2: 809–818.

Zaharia, S., Masters, W.A., Ghosh, S., Shively, G.E., Gurung, S., Manohar, S., Thorne-Lyman, A.L., West, K.P., Appel, K.H., Liang, L. and R. Shrestha, 2021. Recovery without resilience? A novel way to measure nutritional resilience in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Uganda. Global Food Security, 31: 100573.

Cliffer, I.R., Masters, W.A., Perumal, N., Naumova, E.N., Zeba, A.N., Garanet, F. and B.L. Rogers, 2021 Monthly measurement of child lengths between 6 and 27 months of age in Burkina Faso reveals both chronic and episodic growth faltering. Am. J. of Clinical Nutrition, nqab309.

Bai, Y., E.N. Naumova and W.A. Masters, 2020. Seasonality of diet costs reveals food system performance in East Africa. Science Advances, 6(49): eabc2162.

Hirvonen, K., Y. Bai,  D. Headey and W.A. Masters, 2020. Affordability of the EAT–Lancet reference diet: a global analysis. Lancet Global Health 8(1): e59-e66.

Finaret, A.B. and W.A. Masters, 2020. Can shorter mothers have taller children? Nutritional mobility, health equity and the intergenerational transmission of relative height. Economics & Human Biology, 39: e100928.

Wang, J., W.A. MastersY. Bai, D. Mozaffarian, E. Naumova and G.M. Singh, 2020. The International Diet-Health Index: a novel tool to evaluate diet quality for cardiometabolic health across countries. BMJ Global Health 5(7):e002120.

Singh, P. and W.A. Masters, 2020. Performance bonuses in the public sector: Winner-take-all prizes versus proportional payments to reduce child malnutrition in India. J. of Dev. Econ., 146:  102295.

Cason, T.N., W.A. Masters, and R.M. Sheremeta, 2020.Winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: theory and experimental results. J. of Econ. Behavior and Org., 175: 314-327.

Choudhury, S., D. Headey and W.A. Masters, 2019. First Foods: Diet Quality Among Infants Aged 6–23 Months in 42 CountriesFood Policy, 88(Oct.): 101762.

Finaret, A.B. and W.A. Masters, 2019. Beyond calories: The new economics of nutrition. Annual Rev. of Res. Econ., 11: 14.1-23.

Finaret, A.B and W.A. Masters, 2019. Correcting for artifactual correlation between misreported month of birth and attained height-for-age reduces but does not eliminate measured vulnerability to season of birth in poorer countries. Am. J. of Cl. Nutr., 110(2): 485–497.

Larsen, A.F., D.D. Headey and W.A. Masters, 2019. Misreporting month of birth: Diagnosis and implications for research on nutrition and early childhood in developing countries. Demography, 56(2): 707-29.

Schneider, K. and W.A. Masters, 2019.Orange Fanta versus orange fruit: A novel measure of nutrition knowledge in Malawi. Maternal & Child Nutr., 15(1): e12656.

Masters, W.A., Y. Bai, A. Herforth, D. Sarpong, F. Mishili, J. Kinabo and J.C. Coates, 2018. Measuring the affordability of nutritious diets in Africa: Price indexes for diet diversity and the cost of nutrient adequacy. Am. J. of Ag. Econ., 100(5): 1285-1301.

Masters, W.A., N.Z. Rosenblum and R.G. Alemu, 2018. Agricultural transformation, nutrition transition and food policy in Africa: Preston Curves reveal new stylized facts. J. of Dev. Studies, 54:5, 788-802.

Masters, W.A. et al. for the Global Nutrition and Policy Consortium, 2017. Priority interventions to improve maternal and child diets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Mat. & Child Nutrition, e12526.

Singh, P. and W.A. Masters, 2017. Impact of caregiver incentives on child health: evidence from an experiment with Anganwadi workers in India, J. of Health Econ., 55(Sept.): 219-231.

Masters, W.A., M. Nene, and W. Bell, 2016.  Nutrient composition of premixed, packaged complementary foods for sale in developing countries: Lack of standards threatens infant growth. Mat. & Child Nutr., 13(4): e12421 [preprint] (NY Times)

Mulmi, P., S.A. Block, G.E. Shively, and W.A. Masters, 2016.  Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal. Econ. & Human Bio., 23 (Dec.): 63-75.

Masters, W.A. et al., 2013. Urbanization and Farm Size in Asia and Africa: Implications for Food Security and Agricultural Research. Global Food Security, 2(3), 156-165. [preprint]

Cason, T., W.A. Masters, and R. Sheremeta, 2010. Entry into Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: An Experimental Study. J. Pub. E., 94(9-10): 604-611.

Humphreys, M., W.A. Masters, and M. Sandbu, 2006. The Role of Leadership in Democratic Deliberations: Results from a Field Experiment in Sao Tome and Príncipe. World Politics  58(4): 583-622.

Masters, W.A. and D. Sanogo, 2002. Welfare Gains from Quality Certification of Infant Foods: Results from a Market Experiment in Mali. Am. J.of Ag. Econ., 84(4): 974-989.

Masters, W.A. and M.S. McMillan, 2001. Climate and Scale in Economic Growth. J. of Econ. Growth, 6(3): 167-186.


Masters, W.A., Martinez, E.M., Greb, F., Herforth, A. and Hendriks, S.L., 2023. The cost and affordability of preparing a basic meal around the world. Science and Innovations for Food Systems Transformation, edited by J. von Braun, K. Afsana, L.O. Fresco and M.H.A. Hassan. Springer: Cham, Switzerland.

Headey, D.D. and W.A. Masters, 2021. Agriculture and undernutrition, ch. 10 in K. Otsuka and S. Fan, eds., Agricultural development: New perspectives in a changing world, pages 321-358. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Headey, D.D. and W.A. Masters, 2019. Agriculture for Nutrition: Direct and Indirect Effects, ch. 2 in Agriculture for Improved Nutrition: Seizing the Momentum, edited by S. Fan, S. Yosef and R. Pandya-Lorch.  CABI and IFPRI.

Byerlee, D., W.A. Masters, and D.S. Robinson, 2017. From Land Grab to Land Development: The Past and Potential of Private Investment in Frontier Agriculture, in Agriculture and Rural Development in a Globalizing World, edited by P. Pingali and G. Feder. Earthscan Food and Agriculture Series.   London: Routledge.

McMillan, M.S., W.A. Masters, and H. Kazianga, 2016. Demographic Pressure and Institutional Change: Village-Level Response to Rural Population Growth in Burkina Faso in African Successes, Volume I: Government and Institutions, edited by S. Edwards, S. Johnson, and D.N. Weil University of Chicago Press and NBER.

Masters, W.A., 2016. Economic Causes of Malnutrition, in M. Eggerdorfer et al., eds., Good Nutrition: Perspectives for the 21st Century, Basel: Karger.

Masters, W.A., 2016. Child Nutrition in Economic Development, in C.P. Duggan, J.B. Watkins, B. Koletzko and W.A. Walker, eds., Nutrition in Pediatrics, 5th ed. PMPH-USA.

Masters, W.A., 2012. Transformational Incentives for Innovation and Aid Effectiveness: Pull Mechanisms, Contests, and Prizes, in R. Shah and S. Radelet, eds., Frontiers in DevelopmentWashington, DC: USAID, pages 196-200.