New Faculty: Jonathan Malacarne

Jonathan Portrait of Jonathan MalacarneMalacarne recently joined the School of Economics as an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics.

Why UMaine?
The School of Economics has dynamic students and an active, inquisitive faculty who are a pleasure to work with.

What has your journey been to this point?
I did my undergrad in economics at the University of Virginia. I then served in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua for two years, working with small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and high school students. After the Peace Corps, I did my Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis.

Please tell us about your teaching and research interests.
My research and teaching are guided by the belief that economic thinking can offer critical insight into the design of programs and policies meant to serve poor and marginalized communities. Having grown up in rural Western Pennsylvania, served in the Peace Corps, and conducted extensive fieldwork in Eastern Africa, I believe that the opportunity to use economic research to better address the problems posed by poverty exists both at home and abroad. I seek to contribute to finding solutions both through my own research and by preparing students to be active participants in the global community upon graduation.

When did you discover a passion for your specialty and what do you wish more people knew about it?
The economic way of thinking really grabbed my attention as an undergraduate student. At the end of undergrad, I knew I wanted to be involved in poverty alleviation and rural development work but I wasn’t sure whether further training in economics would be useful. I joined the Peace Corps to figure out whether or not I thought there was a need for academic style research to guide program and policy design. I decided there was, and here I am.