Dr. David R. Just received his PhD (2001) and MS (1999) degrees in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA (1998) in Economics from Brigham Young University. He is currently a professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. In addition he serves as co-director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs.
Professor Just uses the tools of psychology and economics to examine important ways in which misperception and emotion can drive economic decisions. David has conducted dozens of field and laboratory experiments identifying the subtle factors in the environment that can lead both children and adults to make the healthier food choices. His work on behavioral economics and the school lunch program has shown how low cost solutions—like moving the salad bar closer to the checkout line—can lead school children to make healthier choices without reducing overall availability of choices, or breaking the school budget. Further work has examined the judgment biases when facing risky choices in contexts ranging from agricultural production to the decision to purchase lottery tickets.
David’s award winning research has been published in scores of research articles, winning wide recognition both among academics and within the popular press. His work has been reported in numerous media outlets.
Professor Just teaches courses in behavioral economics, methods in empirical risk research, and econometric theory and practice.
Awards and Honors
- Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research for outstanding research on behavioral economics as it affects food choices, and its impact on lunchroom practices in thousands of schools (2014) College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Cornell University
- Distinguished Extension and Outreach Program, Group Award for Smarter Lunchrooms, Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (2013) Agricultural and Applied Economic Association
- Quality of Research Discovery Award for “The Welfare Impacts of Commodity Price Volatility: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia.” (2013) Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
- Quality of Research Discovery Award, for “The Flat-Rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ Buffet Pricing.” (2011) European Association of Agricultural Economics
- Quality of Research Discovery Award for “Risk Averters that Love Risk? Marginal Risk Aversion in Comparison to a Reference Gamble.” (2009) European Association of Agricultural Economics
- Heiman, A., Just, D. R., McWilliams, B. P., & Zilberman, D. (2015). A prospect theory approach to assessing changes in parameters of insurance contracts with an application to money-back guarantees. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. 54:105-117.
- Just, D. R., & Hanks, A. S. (2015). The Hidden Cost of Regulation: Emotional Responses to Command and Control. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 97:1385-1399.
- Just, D. R., & Wansink, B. (2014). One Man's Tall is Another Man's Small: How the Framing of Portion-size Influences Food Choice. Health Economics. 23:776-791.
- Just, D. R. (2011). Calibrating the Wealth Effects of Decoupled Payments: Does Decreasing Absolute Risk Aversion Matter? Journal of Econometrics. 162:25-34.
- Lipsky, L. M., Just, D. R., Nansel, T. R., & Haynie, D. L. (2011). Fundamental Misunderstanding of the Relation Between Energy Density (kcal/g) and energy cost ($/kcal). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 93:867-868.
- Just, R. E., & Just, D. R. (2011). Global Identification of Risk Preferences with Revealed Preference Data. Journal of Econometrics. 162:6-17.
- Just, D. R., & Wansink, B. (2011). The Flat-rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of 'All-You-Can-Eat' Buffet Pricing. Review of Economics and Statistics. 93:193-200.
- Villa, K., Barrett, C., & Just, D. R. (2011). Whose Fast and Whose Feast? Intrahousehold Asymmetries in Dietary Diversity Response Among East African Pastoralists. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 93:1062-1081.
- Wansink, B., Just, D. R., & Payne, C. R. (2009). Mindless Eating and Healthy Heuristics for the Irrational. American Economic Review. 99:165-169.
- Just, D. R., & Lybbert, T. J. (2009). Risk Averters Who love Risk? Marginal Risk Aversion in Comparison to a Reference Gamble. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 91:612-626.