Mariah Ehmke

Research Agricultural Economist


Mariah Ehmke is a research economist in the Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch of the Food Economics Division at the Economic Research Service (ERS). Her work focuses on economic analyses related to obesity, especially childhood overweight and obesity.


Mariah’s research includes basic research on household economic behavior and child health outcomes, consumer preferences for health and credence attributes in food, international food fraud, and environmental policy. Her broad research interests include environmental and behavioral determinants of food choice and related health outcomes. She has a rich background in behavioral and consumer economics, as well as choice and econometric modeling. Prior to joining ERS, she was a faculty member at the University of Wyoming and taught courses on consumer economics and behavior, entrepreneurship, international trade, and world food policy. She has also worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago in New Zealand.


Dr. Mariah Ehmke completed her doctorate at Purdue University where she examined the role of economic behavior in consumer preferences for food, health, and the environment across four countries. She also holds a M.S. in agricultural economics from The Ohio State University and B.S. in human ecology from Kansas State University.

Professional Affiliations

American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
American Economics Association
Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Association
Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Selected Publications

Ehmke, M. D., B. Katare, K. Kiesel, J. S. Bergtold, J. M. Penn, and K. A. Boys. 2022. “U.S. agricultural university students' mental well-being and resilience during the first wave of COVID-19: Discordant expectations and experiences across genders,” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 44( 1): 129– 161; doi: 10.1002/aepp.13233.

Kiesel, K., M. D. Ehmke, K. Boys, B. Katare, J. Penn, and J. Bergtold. 2021. “What do our students think and value? Perceptions of transitioning to remote learning during the pandemic at land-grant universities,” Western Economics Forum 19(1):103–119.

Nordström, J., J. F. Shogren, L. Thunström, K. van’t Veld, and M. D. Ehmke. 2020. “Strategic Ignorance of Health Risk: It’s Causes and Policy Impact,” Behavioral Public Policy: 1–32.

Ehmke, M.D., A. Bonanno, K. Boys, and T. Smith. 2019. “Food Fraud: Economic Insights into the Dark Side of Incentives,” Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 63.

Beierman, J., C. Jones-Ritten, L. Thunström, and M. D. Ehmke. 2017. “Measuring the Value of Information—Revealed Preferences for Country of Origin Information,” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 71: 96–104.

Thunström, L., J. Nordström, J. F. Shogren, M. D. Ehmke, and K. van t’Veld. 2016. “Strategic Self-Ignorance,” Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 52(2): 117–136.

Ehmke, M. D., K. Morgan, C. Schroeter, E. Larson-Meyer, and N. Ballenger. 2012. “Influence de la générosité parentele et contrôle alimentaire sur l’obésité pédiatrique,” Revue Francaise d’Economie XXVI (Janvier): 69–94.

Ehmke, M. D., T. Wilson, C. Schroeter, A. M. Hart, and R. Coupal. 2010. “Obesity Economics for the Western United States,” Western Economic Forum Fall: 30–42.

Ehmke, M. D., and J. F. Shogren. 2009. “Experimental Methods for Environment and Development Economics,” Environment and Development Economics 14(4): 419–456.

Ehmke, M. D., T. Warziniack, C. Schroeter, and K. Morgan. 2008. “Applying Experimental Economics to Obesity in the Family Household,” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 40(2): 539–549.

Ehmke, M. D., J. L. Lusk, and W. Tyner. 2008. “The Relative Importance of Country-of-origin in Consumer Food Preferences in China, France, Niger and the United States,” Agricultural Economics 38(3): 277–285.

Ehmke, M. D., J. L. Lusk, and J. A. List. 2008. “Is Hypothetical Bias a Universal Phenomenon? A Multinational Investigation,” Land Economics 84(3): 489–499.