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David Just


210C Warren Hall
(607) 255-2086

Dr. David R. Just received his PhD (2001) and MS (1999) degrees in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA (1998) in Economics from Brigham Young University. He is currently a professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. In addition he serves as co-director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs.

Research Focus

Professor Just uses the tools of psychology and economics to examine important ways in which misperception and emotion can drive economic decisions. David has conducted dozens of field and laboratory experiments identifying the subtle factors in the environment that can lead both children and adults to make the healthier food choices. His work on behavioral economics and the school lunch program has shown how low cost solutions—like moving the salad bar closer to the checkout line—can lead school children to make healthier choices without reducing overall availability of choices, or breaking the school budget. Further work has examined the judgment biases when facing risky choices in contexts ranging from agricultural production to the decision to purchase lottery tickets.

David’s award winning research has been published in scores of research articles, winning wide recognition both among academics and within the popular press. His work has been reported in numerous media outlets.

Teaching Focus

Professor Just teaches courses in behavioral economics, methods in empirical risk research, and econometric theory and practice.

Awards and Honors

  • Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Applied Research (Behavioral economics as it affects food choices, and its impact on lunchroom practices in thousands of schools) (2014) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Distinguished Extension and Outreach Program, Group Award for Smarter Lunchrooms, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (2013) Agricultural and Applied Economic Association
  • Quality of Research Discovery Award for “The Welfare Impacts of Commodity Price Volatility: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia.” (2013) Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
  • Quality of Research Discovery Award, for “The Flat-Rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ Buffet Pricing.” (2011) European Association of Agricultural Economics
  • Quality of Research Discovery Award for “Risk Averters that Love Risk? Marginal Risk Aversion in Comparison to a Reference Gamble.” (2009) European Association of Agricultural Economics

Selected Publications

Journal Publications