John Pender

Branch Chief


John Pender is the branch chief of the Rural Economy Branch, Resource and Rural Economics Division. John joined ERS in July, 2009. His research focuses on concepts and measurement of farm and rural household wealth and well-being, and impacts of economic development programs and other policies on the U.S. rural economy. Prior to joining ERS he led research on rural development and natural resource management in developing countries at the International Food Policy Research Institute.


  • Ph.D. in Agricultural and Development Economics from Stanford University
  • Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley
  • B.S. from the California Institute of Technology

Professional Affiliations

American Agricultural Economics Association, North American Regional Science Council

Selected Publications

Books and Monographs

J. Pender, B. Weber, T. Johnson, and J.M. Fannin, eds. 2014. Rural Wealth Creation. London and New York: Routledge.

Pender, J., A. Marré, and R. Reeder. 2012. Rural Wealth Creation: Concepts, Strategies, and Measures, ERR-131, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Pender, J., and R. Reeder. 2011. Impacts of Regional Approaches to Rural Development: Initial Evidence on the Delta Regional Authority, ERR-119, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Journal Articles

Williamson, J., and J. Pender. 2014. “Economic Stimulus and the Tax Code: The Impact of the Gulf Opportunity Zone,” Public Finance Review 44(4):415-445.

Pender, J., J. Weber, and J. Brown. 2014. “A Wealth Lens for Sustainable Rural Economic Development: Five Observations Based on Emerging Rural Energy Industries,” Economic Development Quarterly 28(1):73-86.

Marré, A., and J. Pender. 2013. “The Distribution of Household Net Worth Within and Across Rural Areas: Are There Links to the Natural Resource Base?” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 95(2):457-462.

Brown, J., J. Pender, R. Wiser, E. Lantz, and B. Hoen. 2012. “Ex-Post Analysis of Economic Impacts from Wind Power Development in U.S. Counties,” Energy Economics 34(6):1743-54.

Pender, J., B. Weber, and W. Fawbush. 2012. “Theme Overview: Rural Wealth Creation,” Choices 27(1), 1st Quarter.

Pender, J., A. Marré, and R. Reeder. 2012. “Rural Wealth Creation: Concepts, Measures and Strategies,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 94(2):535-541.