MSU graduate receives national thesis award

MSU graduate receives national thesis award
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A recent graduate of Mississippi State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics has received a national award for his master’s thesis.

Francis Annan, a native of Ghana, earned the outstanding master’s thesis award at the 2013 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association meeting in Washington, D.C. in August. In February, his thesis earned top honors at the 2013 Southern Agricultural Economics Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Annan is now pursuing a doctoral degree at Columbia University in New York. Annan’s thesis evaluated how spatial statistics could be used to improve the performance of the Federal Crop Insurance Program.

“Mr. Annan’s research looked at spatially grouping corn yield outcomes based on actual production histories rather than state lines or county boundaries to estimate yield models and crop insurance premium rates,” said Jesse Tack, MSU assistant professor of agricultural economics. “The research found that this method reduced economic losses and out-performed the current method used to develop crop insurance rates.”

These research findings are particularly timely, as policy makers are debating the U.S. Farm Bill and have suggested an increased reliance on the crop insurance program, Tack said.

“The research also showed that the statistical method we developed more accurately models yield distributions, one of the many pillars upon which crop insurance rates are set,” Tack said.

Annan received his master’s degree in 2012 from MSU’s Department of Agricultural Economics. He received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Dated: 9/17/2013