Professor, Hospitality Finance, Director, Food Decisions Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University

My research theme represents Finance and Economics, particularly focused on cost-benefit analysis and decision-making.

I am also the Director of the Food Decisions Research Laboratory (http://foodecisions.org) that focuses on conducting empirical research in behavioral economic analysis and evaluate cost-benefits of choices and decisions associated with food service environments.

These research efforts respond to broader societal challenges such as food safety, healthy eating, and viability of local food systems. I am also interested in evaluating the impact of food decisions on the financial well-being of individuals and families given our increased consumption of eating food away from home.

The global aspect of my research focuses on investigating entrepreneurial decisions of SMEs in Africa along the food value chain. This is closely associated with my previous research in Sub-Sahara African nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar, and more recently in Mali, Namibia, and the Caribbean. My research in Africa also includes: implementation of the Tourism Satellite Account (statistical framework consistent with the UN’s System of National Accounts); policy and marketing framework to attract FDI; economic impact and poverty alleviation; assessment of sector competitiveness; value chain analysis; assessment of backward linkages, particularly with agriculture and the food chain; and small business economic impact and competitiveness.

My research incorporates the use of mixed methods, mobile devices for data collection, and 'real time' choice experiments.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor of Hospitality Finance, Pennsylvania State University