Technology Spillovers and Land Use Change: Empirical Evidence from Global Agriculture. [working paper]. Abstract: The existing evidence for the effects of agricultural technological change on cropland use is inadequate to clarify the polarized views on whether encouraging technological progress would slow down the expansion of crop lands into forests. This paper seeks to inform these views by developing and estimating a model that links the changes in a country's cropland to the changes in both domestic and foreign total factor productivity (TFP). We find that in most countries of the world, TFP growth is either uncorrelated or is positively associated with cropland expansion. Yet worldwide patterns of TFP growth have been an important source of global land savings. The divergence between the country-level and the global results is explained by the changes in production patterns as countries interact in international markets. A simple, back of the envelope calculation suggests that in the absence of TFP growth, global land expansion from 1991 to 2010 would have been twice as large as observed.

Using continental grids to improve our understanding of global land supply responses: Implications for policy-driven land use changes in the Americas (with Jing Liu) [under review | working paper ]. Abstract: Global economic models with explicit treatment of global land markets are crucial to understanding the consequences of different policy choices in global food and environmental security. However, these models rely on parameters based on little econometric evidence. A fundamental parameter in these models is the land supply elasticity. We provide evidence of land supply responses to changes in market access estimated using gridded data for the American continent, and we use them in exploring previous work on the indirect land-use effects of US ethanol policy. Our estimates underscore the need to take into account the heterogeneity of land supply responses in simulations of global land-use transitions under different economic and policy scenarios.

Rapid aggregation of global gridded crop model outputs to facilitate cross-disciplinary analysis of climate change impacts in agriculture [HUBZero/GEOSHARE Tool | Documentation] : This tool allows access to time series of crop yields (1971-2099) generated by the AgMIP's Global Gridded Crop Modeling Initiative (Ag-GRID). There are data for seven crop models (EPIC, GEPIC, pDSSAT, LPJmL, IMAGE-LEITAP, PEGASUS, LPJ-GUESS), under a number of temperature trajectories from a suite of five global climate models (HadGEM2-ES, IPSL-CM5A-LR, MIROC-ESM-CHEM, GFDL-ESM2M, NorESM1-M) and four representative concentration pathways.

Web-based access, aggregation, and visualization of future climate projections with emphasis on agricultural assesments [HUBZero/GEOSHARE Tool | Documentation]:This tool facilitates downloading and aggregating global grids (0.5 degree) of bias-corrected, monthly mean historical and future temperature and precipitation from the five General Circulation Models (GCMs: HadGEM2-ES, IPSL-CM5A-LR, MIROC-ESM-CHEM, GFDL-ESM2M, and NorESM1-M.) used by the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). The tool targets mainly, but not exclusively, researchers interested on the effects of climate change on agriculture.


Nelson B. Villoria

Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural Economics
Kansas State University
(nvilloria at ksu dot edu)

My research program has two main thrusts: global land use and international trade. Currently I'm exploring how future climates might shape world food markets. I also investigate the competition between agricultural land and forest resources as global agriculture faces mounting pressures to satisfy growing demands for food and biofuels.

Curriculum Vitae | Google Scholar Profile



  • Villoria, Nelson B., Joshua Elliott, Christoph Mueller, Jaewoo Shin, Lan Zhao, and Carol Song. (2017). "Web-Based Access, Aggregation, and Visualization of Future Climate Projections with Emphasis on Agricultural Assessments." SoftwareX. Accepted. (tool and documentation).
  • Villoria N.B. 2017. ''R Meets GEMPACK for a Monte Carlo Walk'', Journal of Global Economic Analysis, Accepted (working paper here).