Patrick W. McLaughlin

Agricultural Economist


Patrick McLaughlin is an Agricultural Economist in the Food Markets Branch in the Food Economics Division. His research broadly examines the interface between industrial organization, public economics, and consumer economics to study questions related to the food retail and food service industries. Currently, Patrick is actively engaged in research projects on the WIC Program and the food service industry.


Patrick joined ERS in August 2015 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. His dissertation focused on the nature of competitive behavior of food retailers who provide the food assistance component of the WIC Program and implications for the efficient operation of WIC—including cost-containment efforts, food access, and overall quality of the participant experience.


Patrick holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. He received a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, with a minor in Mathematics, at the University of Maryland.

Professional Affiliations

Patrick is a member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Selected Publications

Carter, C.A., G.P. Gruère, P.W. McLaughlin, and M.J. MacLachlan. 2012. "California’s Proposition 37: Effects of Mandatory Labeling of GM Food," ARE Update 15(6):3-8, July/August.