AAEC’s Ethan Sabala garners SAEA Outstanding Thesis Award honors
By: Norman Martin
Ethan Sabala, a graduate student from Texas Tech University's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, was honored with the Southern Agricultural Economics Association's Outstanding Thesis Award on Monday (Feb. 3) at the organization's national meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
Sabala, who comes to Texas Tech from Gooding, Idaho, completed his master's degree last summer, and is currently in his first year of a doctoral program. The title of his thesis is, "Essays in Trade Policy Analysis: Chinese Tariffs on U.S. Agricultural Markets."
The research project examined the impacts of the U.S.-China trade war on agricultural commodity trade, said Stephen Devadoss, Sabala's advisor and Tech's Emabeth Thompson Endowed Professor.
Specifically, Sabala said, the thesis analyzed the effects of the Chinese government's 25 percent tariffs on U.S. and world cotton, soybean and sorghum markets.
"Cotton and sorghum are important commodities for Texas agriculture," he said. "The U.S. soybean market is adversely impacted by the Chinese tariff."
In contrast, Sabala said, the effect of the cotton tariff on the U.S. cotton market was minimal because the United States was able to divert its exports to other countries. However, the effects of the tariff on the U.S. sorghum market are more pronounced, due to the limited options for the United States to export to other countries.
The issue of trade tariffs is a huge problem across the agricultural world. In December, at the request of research collaborators at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, Devadoss traveled to India to teach students at the institute several topics related to agricultural trade, including U.S.-China trade war.
"With China putting tariffs on some agricultural commodities like cotton and soybeans, that means they're going to import less from the U.S.," Devadoss said. "So that gives opportunities for countries like India and Brazil to export to China to replace some of the lost market by the United States."
The Southern Agricultural Economics Association was founded in 1968, with a mission of fostering the study, understanding the value of agricultural economics and its application to problems in the Southern United States. Today, the association has 700 members from the United States and abroad.
CONTACT: Stephen Devadoss, Professor and Emabeth Thompson Endowed Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-6260 or email@example.com
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