Michael Ollinger

Senior Agricultural Economist


Michael Ollinger has been an economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) since 1991. He is now a senior agricultural economist working in the areas of food safety, structural change in the meat processing industry, and school nutrition.


Michael joined ERS after earning a Ph.D. in economics at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, he had been a Peace Corps Volunteer and a mechanical engineer for the Colgate-Palmolive company. Michael has pursued various avenues of research at ERS. His first publications focused on innovation in genetically modified crops and new pesticides. Michael then moved to the research division that ultimately became the Food Economics Division (FED), where he worked on structural change in the meat and poultry slaughter and processing industries; he has now moved on to conduct research on food safety and school nutrition within FED. Michael has a mix of publications in various outlets. A sampling of these publications is included below.


Michael has a Ph.D. in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Professional Affiliations

American Agricultural Economics Association

Selected Publications

Ollinger, M., Lim, K.H., & Knott, T. (2023). Incentives for Salmonella control in chicken broilers: Why the sampling protocol matters. Food Control, 155, 1–8.

Ollinger, M. & Houser, M. (2020). Ground beef recalls and subsequent food safety performance. Food Policy, 97, 1–9.

Ollinger, M. & Bovay, J. (2020). Producer response to public disclosure of food-safety information. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 102(1), 186–201.

Ollinger, M. & Bovay, J. (2018). Pass or fail: Economic incentives to reduce Salmonella contamination in ground beef sold to the National School Lunch Program. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 100(2), 414–433.

Ollinger, M., Ralston, K., & Guthrie, J. (2012). Location, school characteristics, and the cost of school meals. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 37(3), 379–397.