Peyton Ferrier



Since 2006, Peyton Ferrier has been an economist in the Food and Specialty Crops Branch in the Market and Trade Division at ERS. His work considers the welfare effects of the evolving market structure of food industries, especially relating to import regulation and quality assurance.

Current Projects:

An investigation into the trade and welfare impact of out-of-season vegetable imports on domestic producers and consumers where consumers are assumed to form habits for goods that were previously available only seasonally.

An analysis of the optimal level sampling of beef trim, the primary component of ground beef, for E. coli O157:H7.

Analysis and development of data that quantify the market impacts of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulations on fresh fruit and vegetables imports. This work also investigates the differential effects of regulations on developed and developing economies.


Before coming to ERS, Peyton worked for the Packers and Stockyard Administration at USDA-GIPSA coordinating investigations into anti-competitive market practices in livestock industries. In 2009, he also served on detail in the Plant Protection and Quarantine programs at USDA-APHIS. Prior to his work at USDA, Peyton taught undergraduate economics at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. and served in Americorps VISTA at the Mountain Microenterprise Fund (now Mountain BizWorks) in Asheville, N.C.


Peyton received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, both in economics.

Professional Affiliations

American Economics Association, American Agricultural Economics Association, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, Federal Interagency Committee on Invasive Terrestrial Animals and Pathogens

Selected Publications

Ferrier, P., and Q. Liu. 2010. "Consumer sorting of vertically differentiated goods," Economics Letters 109(1):11-13.

Ferrier, P. 2010. "Irradiation as a quarantine treatment," Food Policy 35(6):548-555.

Springborn, M., C. Costello, and P. Ferrier. 2010. "Optimal Random Exploration for Trade-Related Non-Indigenous Species Risk," in Bioinvasion and Globalization: Ecology, Economics, Management and Policy, C. Perrings, H.A. Mooney, and M. Williamson, eds., pp. 127-144. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ferrier, P. 2009. The Economics of Agricultural and Wildlife Smuggling, ERR-81, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Reprinted in 2010 as “The Economics of Agricultural and Wildlife Smuggling,” Trends in Organized Crime 13(2):219-230.

Ferrier, P., and M. Springborn. 2009. "Random Inspections Reveal Import Risks," Amber Waves, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Ferrier, P. 2009. "Quality improvement through consumer sorting and disposal," Agribusiness 25(4):534-549.

Ferrier, P. 2008. "Illicit Agricultural Trade," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 37(2):273-287.

Ferrier, P. 2007. "Cherry Picking: Should Sellers Let Buyers Sort?" Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization 5(1).

Ferrier, P., and R. Lamb. 2007. "Government regulation and quality in the US beef market," Food Policy 32(1):84-97.