University of Florida
Pilar Useche

Pilar Useche

E-mail | Web Site


1093 MCCB
P.O. Box 110240 IFAS
Gainesville, FL 32611-0240


Development Economics; Innovation & Technology Adoption; Adoption of GMOs; Inequality in Latin America; Natural Resource Management; Cooperation and Behavioral Economics


Pilar Useche is Assistant Professor of Food and Resource Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. Her areas of interest include technology adoption and innovation, as well as environment and development issues in developing countries (especially in Latin America). She holds doctoral and master degrees in Applied and Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previous to her doctoral studies, she studied Natural Resource and Environmental Economics at the masters level, as part of a joint program between University of Maryland and University of Los Andes-Bogota, Colombia. Her B.A. degree is in Economics. Dr. Useche currently holds a grant from the Illinois-Missouri biotechnology alliance to conduct research on the adoption of genetically modified crops and on the willingness to pay for crop traits by farmers. Other active research includes the ambiguity in agricultural decision-making processes, drinking-water use patterns in developing countries, and the equity and efficiency impacts of policy reforms in Latin America.

Current Projects

  • Adoption of GM Crops in USA
  • Adoption of GM Crops in Latin America
  • Demand for Fertilizer and Technology Adoption by Small-scale Farmers in Ecuador
  • Choice and Innovation under Uncertainty
  • Land Property Rights - Security and Conflict.


  • PhD. Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Courses Taught

  • Economic Development, Ph.D. level, Fall 2007 & 2008
  • Latin American Economic Development and the Role of Agriculture, Masters, Spring 2007 & 2008
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. 1999
  • Workshop for Latin American Teachers. University of Los Andes. Bogota, Colombia.

International Experience

Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras), Colombia, Ecuador, USA.

Selected Publications

  • “Technology Traits, Producer Heterogeneity, and Adoption: A Mixed-Multinomial Model of Farmer Demand for GM Corn,” with Bradford L. Barham, and Jeremy Foltz, American Journal of Agricultural Economics (forthcoming).
  • “Missing Agricultural Price Data: an Application of Mixed Estimation,” with M.J. Castillo and Ch. Moss, Applied Economics Letters (forthcoming).
  • “Demand for Innovations: Economic Theory with Application to Genetically Modified Crop Adoption,” April 2008, VDM-Verlag, Saarbruecken, Germany.
  • “Demand and Supply of Improved Water in the Ghanaian Volta Basin” with Engel, S., Iskandarani, M., Journal of River Basin Management. Vol. 5., Issue 1, 2007.
  • “A Trait Model of Genetically Modified Crop Adoption: Application to US Upper Midwest”, with B. Barham and J. Foltz, Food System Research Group Working Papers, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 2006.
  • “Improved Water Supply in the Ghanaian Volta Basin: Who Uses it and Who Participates in Community Decision-Making?” with Engel, S. and M. Iskandarani. Presented at the Conference of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) in Durban-South Africa, August. 2003. IFPRI-EPTD Discussion Paper 129, Washington, D.C., January 2005.
  • “Toward a New Generation of Policies to Enhance Land Access for Growth and Poverty Reduction in Central America and Mexico” with M. Carter and B. Barham. USAID. Bur. for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade. Ofc. of Agriculture and Food Security, USAID Document, September 2004.
  • “Colombian Rural Households and Productive Agricultural Units 1997-1999” with J.M. Ramirez and S. Prada, Revista CEGA, September 2000.
  • “Colombian Rural Households and Productive Agricultural Units 1997-1999” with J.M. Ramirez and S. Prada, Coyuntura Colombiana, (67):22-65, Bogota 2000.
  • “Participative Communitarian Research for the Municipal Territorial Ordering Plan” Documentos Fundacion Natura, Bogota, October 1999.

Honors and Awards

  • Henry C. Taylor, Best Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2007. Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (nominated for Best Dissertation Award of the American Agricultural Economics Association, 2008)
  • 2008 - 2011 Grant USAID-UF-ESPOL-FUNDAR, “Improving the Opportunities of Small Rice Producers in Ecuador: Microcredit & Deep Urea Placement” with UF-ESPOL Team (USAID: $350.000, ESPOL: $100.000, FUNDAR:$400.000, UF:$250.000)
  • 2006 – 2009 Grant from the Illinois Missouri Biotechnology Alliance, “Trait Based Models of GM Crop Adoption” Co-PI with Bradford Barham and Jeremy Foltz ($125.000)
  • 2000 – 2006 Research Assistantship by the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • 1997/2 – 1998/2 Fellowship granted by the Inter-American Development Bank for graduate studies in Environmental and Natural Resources Economics.
  • 1996/2 – 1997/1 Fellowship granted by the Renania Palatino State, (Germany): economics studies.