Gary Thompson

Professor and Department Head; Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1986; Production Economics, Applied Econometrics, Demand Analysis
(520) 621-6242
Professor and Department Head

Teaching and Research Interests

Dr. Thompson’s research interests center on production economics and demand analysis. Several of his research projects focus on fresh fruit and vegetable production and demand. He maintains active interests in consumer demand issues relating to organic foods, food safety, and health concerns. Much of this research employs microeconometric methods for analyzing food and agricultural research questions.

His research interests in applied econometrics are complemented by his teaching of advanced applied econometrics in the M.S. program. Since 2002, he teaches a capstone course involving an innovative public-private collaboration with American Express in Phoenix, Arizona and New York City. M.S. students analyze a real-world business problem posed by American Express staff, employing American Express proprietary data. The class culminates in a formal business presentation made by students to American Express staff. As part of the department’s specialization in applied econometrics, the capstone course has helped many alumni to obtain applied econometrician positions in financial, energy, health, communications and educational industries.

He currently serves as department head while maintaining an active research and teaching commitment.

Curriculum Vitae

Awards and Honors

Fulbright Specialist, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy, 2009
Graduate College Teaching and Mentoring Award, University of Arizona, 2007
Fulbright Distinguished Research/Lecturer Award, Viterbo, Italy, 2006
Outstanding Article (with Paul Wilson), Honorable Mention, Review of Agricultural Economics, 2004

Classes Taught

AREC 403, Analysis of Economic Data (formerly Marketing and Price Analysis)
AREC 559, Advanced Applied Econometrics
AREC 397, Preparing for Career & Life Success (with Danielle Buhrow)

Selected Publications


Wang, Xiangrui, Jukwan Lee, Jia Yan, and Gary Thompson. “Testing the Behavior of Rationally Inattentive Consumers in a Residential Water Market,” Journal of Envrionmental Economics and Management, (92: ) November 2018: 344-359.

Clarke, Andrew, Bonnie Colby and Gary Thompson. “Household Water Demand Seasonal Elasticities: A Stone-Geary Model under an Increasing Block Rate Structure,” Land Economics,  November 2017 (93:4): 6008–6030.

Caracciolo, Francesco, Luigi Cembalo, Alessia Lombardi, and Gary D. Thompson.  “Distributional Effects of Maize Price Increases in Malawi,” Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 50, No. 2, 2014:  258–275.

Thompson, Gary D., Satheesh V. Aradhyula, George Frisvold, and Russell Tronstad. “Does Paying Referees Expedite Reviews?: Results of a Natural Experiment,” Southern Economic Journal Jan.2010, 76(3):678–692.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) Country of Service


RPCV Service Years


RPCV Service Sector

Agricultural Development

How did the AREC program connect your service and help you prepare for your professional experiences?

Peace Corps work provides you first-hand experience in the problems people face in achieving their aspirations for a better life. At the same time, you learn how to become more self-reliant, self-directed, and persevering in achieving your own goals. Living and working in another place, another culture and language cannot help but change your view of the world, other peoples, and the natural environment.

Why would you recommend that an RPCV join our M.S. program?

As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer at the University of Arizona, you will find a welcoming, supportive community of RPCVs. In the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, you will be able to study and master highly applicable skills, interact with interesting peers from around the world, and enhance your ability to continue serving in new ways while making a good living.