Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Applied Economics

Committee Chair(s)

Kynda R. Curtis


Kynda R. Curtis


Sherzod B. Akhundjanov


Ryan Larsen


Veronica F. Pozo


Jennifer R. Reeve


This dissertation aims to address issues related to supply and demand of organic wheat either as a commodity or contained in the final consumer products. Objectives for the first essay are to evaluate organic wheat price and premium risk, how it affects the profitability of organic wheat production, and examine whether hedging and forecasting can be used to manage the organic wheat price risk. A side objective is to apply and evaluate several data imputation methods to recover missing organic wheat price observations. Objectives for the second essay are to identify “very likely,” “likely,” and “unlikely” consumers of organic wheat products, examine the differences across the consumer groups to understand which sociodemographic characteristics and other factors drive demand for organic wheat products, and which product characteristics and labels are important to consumers. Objectives for the third essay are to obtain willingness to pay values for organic label alone, examine whether combining organic label with other labels (non-GMO, gluten-free, sugar-free or low-carb) is beneficial for consumers, and evaluate whether knowledge and familiarity with organic, wheat or gluten intolerance or avoidance, and other sociodemographic characteristics affect how consumers value the organic label alone and in combination with other labels. The analyses in the second and third essay are performed using two wheat product categories (bread and cookies) to examine how findings differ across different product categories.

This dissertation provides several societal benefits. The findings provide insights that may play an important role in supporting growth of the organic wheat production through reduction of uncertainty associated with wheat commodity prices and final consumer demand. Understanding the dynamics of organic wheat prices, how they can affect profitability of organic wheat production and what can be done to reduce the uncertainty is critical to organic wheat growers and food manufacturers when they make production decisions. The findings in the second and third essay will assist food manufacturers and marketers as they develop new products and marketing strategies and make labelling decisions. The findings in this dissertation may allow them to match consumers’ needs better, and thus use the limited organic wheat supply more efficiently.



Included in

Economics Commons