Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Randolph Economics Students, Professor Published in Virginia Journal

What is a "food desert"?

A paper researched and written by Randolph College students has been published in the Virginia Economic Journal. The students, who were part of the Economics of Food and Sustainability class taught by John Abell, spent the spring researching food deserts in Lynchburg.

The paper was the culmination of their semester-long research project. The students studied the foods and prices available at convenience stores, the incomes of residents in portions of the city, and other data.

“Research of this kind, involving hands-on data collection outside of the classroom, is still fairly atypical in economics research, where volumes of statistical data are only a mouse-click away, Abell said. “For me, as a professor, it meant something brand new: incorporating the students as equal partners in much of the class decision-making process. They eagerly took on a number of new roles.

The paper, “Inner City Food Deserts: Case Study of Lynchburg, Virginia,” was co-authored by John Abell, an economics professor, Lucas Brady ’11, Isabelle Dom ’12, Ludovic Lemaitre ’11, Mareeha Niaz ’12, Louise Searle ’12, and Reid Winkler ’12. It appeared in Volume 16 of the journal.

To learn more about their research, including some details of the price and income data they collected, see this news release at Randolph College.