John Bernard is a Professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics with a joint appointment in the Department of Economics at the University of Delaware. He is also Co-Director  of the Experimental Economics Laboratory for Policy and Behavioral Research.  Prior to arriving at the University he received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University in 1999. His main areas of research are in determining consumer willingness to pay for various food attributes, such as organic, local and non-GM, farmer adoption of technology, and experimental economics, specifically on analyzing auctions and their abilities to determine subjects' true willingness to pay.

Dr. Bernard teaches two undergraduate and one graduate course. The undergraduate courses are Economics of Biotechnology and New Technologies (FREC 316) and Food and Fiber Marketing (FREC 404), and the graduate course is Advanced Prices and Statistics (FREC 615).

He has published in many journals including the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Agribusiness, and the Journal of Economic Education.  He has also served as a reviewer for such journals as the American Economic Review and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Current Projects

I currently have many research projects in progress.  Many are being conducted with my wife, Dr. Daria Bernard, who is working with me as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate.  The focus of these is on understanding willingness to pay for organic and locally grown foods, and determining what 'local' means for consumers.  Also assisting with these efforts is Research Associate Katie Gifford and PhD student Na He.

Selected Recent Publications

Onken, K. and J.C. Bernard. “Catching the “Local” Bug: A Look at State Agricultural Marketing Programs.” Choices, 2010.

Bernard, J.C. and D. J. Bernard. “What is it about Organic Milk?  An Experimental Analysis.”  American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91(2009): 826-836.

Hustvedt, G. and J.C. Bernard. “Consumer Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Apparel: The Influence of Labeling for Fibre Origin and Production Methods.” International Journal of Consumer Studies, 32(2008): 491-498.

Gifford, K. and J.C. Bernard.  “Factor and Cluster Analysis of Willingness to Pay for Organic and Non-GM Food.” Journal of Food Distribution Research, 39(2008): 26-39.

Bernard, J.C., J.D. Pesek, Jr., and X. Pan.  “Consumer Likelihood to Purchase Chickens with Novel Production Attributes.”  Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 39(2007): 581-596.

Awokuse, T.O. and J.C. Bernard.  “Spatial Price Dynamics in U.S. Regional Broiler Markets.”  Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 39(2007): 447-456.

Bernard, J.C., C. Zhang and K. Gifford.  “An Experimental Investigation of Consumer Willingness to Pay for Non-GM Foods when an Organic Option is Present.”  Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 35(2006): 374-385.

Bernard, J.C.  “Finding and Retaining the Dominant Strategy: The Second-Price, English, and ‘Sealed-Offer’ English Auctions.” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 60(2006): 553-561.

Gifford, K. and J.C. Bernard.  “Influencing Consumer Purchase Likelihood of Organic Food.” International Journal of Consumer Studies, 30(2006): 155-163.

Information for Perspective Graduate Students

I am always looking for qualified and interested graduate students.  Most of the students in our program are working towards their MS, but we do have a small and expanding number of PhD graduate students in cooperation with the Economics Department.  Some of the projects I plan in the near future that have opportunites for graduate students include consumer interest in natural foods, local foods and country of origin labeling.  Being part of one of these projects typically involves learning about experimental economics, assisting with auctions and designing surveys.  For more advanced students I am looking at the factors that shape consumer behavior and what willingness to pay really means.  More broadly, if you have an interest within marketing, consumer behavior or even farmer adoption, we can usually find a project that would meet your ideas.

To date, all of my finished students have presented at at least one professional conference.  They also have all assisted in the starting of a journal article and almost all have their name on a publication.  Please feel free to email me if you have questions.