Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Member Profile: Zhifeng Gao

Zhifeng Gao
Assistant Professor
University of Florida

AAEA Activities: Reviewer for AAEA Selected Presentations, 2010-2012

Zhifeng Gao is an assistant professor in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida. His research consists of broad areas in applied microeconomics, particularly in consumer behavior, market research, and agribusiness. His research in consumer behavior focuses on consumer preferences of product attributes, the effects of food labels on consumer choice of food and the development of methods to improve the efficiency in estimating consumer preferences. His research in market research and agribusiness focuses on identifying both domestic and international market opportunities for new product development. Gao’s research is mainly based on the random utility theory and the use of various consumer valuation tools such as choice experiments, experimental auction, and contingent valuation. He has studied consumer attitudes toward country of origin labeling (COOL), consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for local and organic products, the interaction effects between COOL and organic labels, etc. Gao works closely with the Florida agricultural industry to provide supports for the development of agriculture in the state. Several projects that he participates in examine the most significant factors influencing consumer choice of fresh citrus products, EU consumer preferences of fresh citrus, as well as Chinese consumer preferences of orange juice. Gao also works closely with researchers in biological sciences and is/was the PI and CO-PI several projects funded at state and federal levels. In addition, Gao is interested in consumer demand for healthy diet and researches in health and nutrition economics.

Gao teaches MS level econometrics and PhD level microeconomics. He has been the chair/co-chair of five graduate students and served as committee member of seven graduate students. In addition, Gao is actively in international activities regarding teaching and research. He has been the advisor for the undergraduate exchange students from both Spain and Brazil, and has led a trip to China for research collaborations to study the Chinese citrus industry.

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