Cynthia Nickerson

Deputy Director for Research and Communications
202-694-5626
cnickerson@ers.usda.gov
Google Scholar profile

Briefly

Cindy is the Deputy Director for Research and Communications in the Resource and Rural Economics Division (RRED). In this role, Cindy oversees the production of RRED’s research reports, briefings, and presentations and contributes to Division research priority setting. She also develops strategies to more effectively communicate research on a broad range of economic and policy topics relating to agriculture and the rural economy. In addition, Cindy serves as Chair of ERS’ Peer Review Coordinating Council and on the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Communications Committee.

Background

Cindy has served in her current position since August 2015. Prior to joining RRED management, Cindy was a Senior Economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers (July 2013 to May 2015), where she provided economic advice and expertise and worked collaboratively with other policy councils primarily in the areas of evidence building to improve Federal programs, agriculture, food, and transportation. Prior to her CEA detail, Cindy conducted research at ERS primarily on the drivers of changes in farmland values and use, and farm policies. She served as a Board member of the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (2004-07). Prior to joining ERS, Cindy was the Controller for a publicly traded company, served on the Board and as Chief Financial Officer for several nonprofit organizations, and worked as a CPA for a national public accounting firm.

Significant committees chaired/co-chaired:

  • Co-chair, CEA/OMB cross-departmental working group on Evaluating Business Technical Assistance Programs, which examined opportunities and challenges to using already collected data to analyze the impact of Federal business assistance programs.
  • Chair, cross-departmental Informed Consent Working Group, formed under the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology’s Subcommittee on Administrative Records, which explored barriers to re-using already collected administrative data for statistical research.
  • Chair, the Interagency Council on Agriculture and Rural Statistics Land Use Working Group, which worked to improve comparability of land use/cover data produced by Federal agencies.

Education

Cindy received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland in 2000 and 1998, respectively. She received an M.S. in Environmental Studies from California State University in 1995 and a B.S. in Accounting from Towson University in 1986. She earned her license to practice as a Certified Public Accountant in 1987.

Selected Publications

Invited Talks and Workshops:

Nickerson, C. 2015. "Data Sharing: Problems," Invited Panelist Remarks, HHS/Arnold Foundation conference on Reproducibility in Federal Evaluations, Washington, DC, April.

Nickerson, C. 2014. "Practical Evaluation Strategies for Building a Body of Proven-Effective Employment and Training Programs," Invited Panelist Remarks, Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy workshop, Department of Labor, Washington, DC, April.

Martinez, S., and C. Nickerson. 2014. Co-developed a workshop on "Using Individual-Level Administrative Data to Build Evidence about Policies and Programs, while Protecting Privacy," Washington, DC, January.

Nickerson, C. 2012. "Trends in U.S. Farmland Values," Invited Presentation at Informa Economics roundtable, Crystal City, VA, June.

Nickerson, C. 2011. "Sharing and Linking Data amongst Federal Agencies: Jumping The Informed Consent Hurdle," Invited Panelist Remarks, NORC Conference on Microdata Access, Washington, DC, February.

Nickerson, C. 2010. "Addressing the Informed Consent ‘Barrier’ to Sharing and Linking Data," Invited Presentation, FCSM/Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics Statistical Policy Seminar, Washington, DC, December.

Nickerson, C. 2009. "Effectiveness of Land Management Strategies in Peri-Urban Areas: What Economic Studies Have to Say" and "Land Use and Management in Peri-urban Areas: Experiences in the U.S." Invited speaker at workshop on Research and Policy Frontiers for the Management of Peri-Urban Lands. Brisbane, Australia, July.

Nickerson, C. 2009. "Environmental Benefits Index: a Lever for Balancing Multiple Objectives in the U.S. CRP," two invited presentations at CSIRO, Canberra and Brisbane Australia, June-July.

Articles, Reports, and Other Publications:

Zhang, W., and C. Nickerson. 2015. "Housing Market Bust and Farmland Values: Identifying the Changing Influence of Proximity to Urban Centers," Land Economics 91(4):605-26, November.

Nickerson, C., et al. 2014. “Evaluation as a Tool for Improving Federal Programs,” in Economic Report of the President, 2014, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Nickerson, C. 2014. Highlights of Recent Farm Sector and Rural Economy Performance, Council of Economic Advisers.

Nickerson, C., and W. Zhang. 2014. "Modeling the Determinants of Farmland Values in the U.S.," in The Oxford Handbook of Land Economics, J.M. Duke, and J. Wu, eds., pp. 111-138.

Borchers, A., E. Truex-Powell, S. Wallander, C. Nickerson. 2014. Multi-Cropping Practices: Recent Trends in Double Cropping, EIB-125, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May.

Jones, C., C. Nickerson, and N. Cavallaro. 2013. "U.S. Agricultural Policies and GHG Emissions," in Land Use and the Carbon Cycle, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nickerson, C., S. Cornman, M. Denbaly, M. Frazier, M. Hawes, S. Martinez, D. Miller, M. Moien, C. Puckett, M. Risha, M. Seastrom, K. Styles, and M. Toland. 2012. "Informed Consent: Requirements and Practices for Statistical Uses of Administrative Data," Working Paper prepared for the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy.

Ifft, J., C. Nickerson, T. Kuethe, and C. You. 2012. Potential Farm-Level Effects of Eliminating Direct Payments, EIB-103, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November.

Nickerson, C., J. Ifft, T. Kuethe, and M. Morehart. 2012. "Farmland Values on the Rise: 2000-2010," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September.

Nickerson, C., M. Morehart, T. Kuethe, J. Beckman, J. Ifft, and R. Williams. 2012. Trends in Farmland Values and Ownership, EIB-92, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

Nickerson, C., R. Ebel, A. Borchers, and F. Carriazo. 2011. Major Uses of Land in the United States, 2007, EIB-89, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

O’Donoghue, E., R. Hoppe, D. Banker, R. Ebel, K. Fuglie, P. Korb, M. Livingston, C. Nickerson, and C. Sandretto. 2011. The Changing Organization of U.S. Farming, EIB-88, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

Wallander, S., R. Claassen, and C. Nickerson. 2011. The Ethanol Decade: An Expansion of U.S. Corn Production, 2000-09, EIB-79, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, August.

Wallander, S., R. Claassen, and C. Nickerson. 2011. "Where Did the Corn Come From to Fuel the Expansion in Ethanol Production?" Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September

Nickerson, C., and A. Borchers. 2011. "U.S. Farmland Tenure Patterns: Overview," presented at the Agricultural Outlook Forum, Today’s Strategies and Tomorrow’s Opportunities, Washington, DC, February.

Marshall, E., M. Caswell, S. Malcolm, M. Motamed, J. Hrubovcak, C. Jones, C. Nickerson. 2011. Measuring the Indirect Land-Use Change Associated With Increased Biofuel Feedstock Production: A Review of Modeling Efforts: Report to Congress, AP-54, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

Nickerson, C. 2010. "Integrating Agriculture and Other Land Use Statistics: the U.S. Experience," Presentation at the International Conference on Agricultural Statistics, Kampala, Uganda, October.

Nickerson, C. 2010. "Regional Equity Provision May Entail Conservation Tradeoffs," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

Hand, M., and C. Nickerson. 2010. "Targeted Farmers in EQIP Operate More Environmentally Sensitive Land, but Address Different Environmental Needs," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September.

Nickerson, C., M. Ribaudo, and N. Higgins. 2010. The Farm Act’s Regional Equity Provision: Impacts on Conservation Program Outcomes, ERR-98, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Nickerson, C., R. Claassen, R. Durst, L. Hansen, and D. Hellerstein. 2009. "Cash or Credit? Tax Credits and Conservation Outcomes," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 64(1):22A-26A.

Ribaudo, M., and C. Nickerson. 2009. "Agriculture and water quality trading: exploring the possibilities," Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 64(1):1-7.

Nickerson, C., and M. Hand. 2009. Participation in Conservation Programs by Beginning, Limited Resource, and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, EIB-62, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.

Towe, C., C. Nickerson, and N. Bockstael. 2008. "An Empirical Examination of the Timing of Land Conversions in the Presence of Farmland Preservation Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 90(3):613-626, August.

Hand, M., and C. Nickerson. 2008. "Conservation Access Provisions May Have Little Impact," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, November.

Hardie, I., E. Lichtenberg, and C. Nickerson. 2007. "Regulation, Open Space and the Value of Land Undergoing Residential Subdivision," Land Economics 83(4):458-474.

Claassen, R., M. Aillery, and C. Nickerson. 2007. Integrating Commodity and Conservation Programs: Design Options and Outcomes, ERR-44, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, October.

Nickerson, C., and D. Hellerstein. 2007. "Farmland Preservation Programs: Another Tool for Managing Urban Growth?" Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.

Nickerson, C. 2007. "EQIP Funds Vary by ERS Region," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.

Cattaneo, A., D. Hellerstein, C. Nickerson, and C. Myers. 2006. Balancing the Multiple Objectives in Conservation Programs, ERR-19, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Nickerson, C., and D. Hellerstein. 2006. "Conservation Programs: Balancing Outcomes with a Selection Index," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Nickerson, C., and D. Hellerstein. 2006. "Farmland Preservation Programs and the Importance of Rural Amenities," in Economics and Contemporary Land Use Policy: Development and Conservation at the Rural-Urban Fringe, R. Johnston, and S. Swallow, eds. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.

Nickerson, C., and C. Barnard. 2006. "Farmland Protection Programs," Agricultural and Resource Economics Indicators, EIB-16, K. Wiebe, and N. Gollehon, eds., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Nickerson, C., D. Hellerstein. 2006. "Resource Issues Addressed by CRP Contracts Varies by Region," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.

Nickerson, C. 2004. "Effectiveness of Farm and Ranch Land Protection Programs: What Economic Studies Have to Say," Chapter 3 in What the Public Values about Farm and Ranch Land. Conference proceedings, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, State College, PA.

Nickerson, C., and D. Hellerstein. 2003. "Protecting Rural Amenities through Farmland Preservation Programs," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 32(1):129-44.

Irwin, E., C. Nickerson, and L. Libby. 2003. "Rural Amenities: What Farmland Amenities are Worth," Choices, August.

Nickerson, C., and D. Hellerstein. 2003. "Rural Amenities: A Key Reason for Farmland Protection," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Hellerstein, D., C. Nickerson, P. Feather, D. Mullarkey, A. Tegene, J. Cooper, D. Gadsby, and C. Barnard. 2002. Farmland Protection: the Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities, AER-815, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Hellerstein, D., and C. Nickerson. 2002. "Farmland Protection Programs: What Does the Public Want?" Agricultural Outlook, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May.

Nickerson, C., and L. Lynch. 2001. "The Effect of Farmland Preservation Programs on Farmland Prices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 83(2):341-351.

Heimlich, R., and W. Anderson (contributing authors include C. Nickerson). 2001. Development at the Urban Fringe and Beyond: Impacts on Agriculture and Rural Land, AER-803, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.

Nickerson, C. 2001."Smart Growth: Implications for Agriculture in Urban Fringe Areas," Agricultural Outlook, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.