Walter Phillip Falcon

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Walter P. Falcon completed a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University. "Falcon remained at Harvard for nearly a decade, first in the Economics Department as an assistant professor and then in the Development Advisory Service (now the Harvard Institute for International Development). In 1972, Falcon moved to Stanford University as a director of the Food Research Institute.

"Among Falcon's publications are six books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and reports. ... Early work focused on Pakistan. He was a member of the White House-Interior Department Panel on Pakistan, whose 1964 report was one of the first modern analyses of the conjunctive use of the surface and groundwater and its role in the agricultural development of the Indus Basin. In 1978, he co-authored a major retrospective look at both the policies implemented and the remaining problems in the Indus Basin.

"Technology transfer issues have also figured importantly in Falcon's research. His 1970 assessment "The Green Revolution Generations of Problems," was one of the first articles to bring together the controversial issues of production effects, marketing needs, and potential social consequences of technical change with the perspective of someone who had been involved extensively in the field.

"Falcon also has been co-principal investigator of six studies of major commodity systems, each of which examined the objectives of national food policies, the forces constraining those policies, and the consequences of those policies on commodity trade and the prospects for country or regional development. Work on the cassava, corn, and rice market systems in Indonesia all resulted in books, as did the study of rice market systems in West Africa. The study of the political economy of rice in Asia comprised two monographs.

"Hundreds of Stanford students have learned about American agricultural policy in his annual course. He is currently involved in a Ford Foundation project to revise the undergraduate curriculum at Stanford to include significantly more international material and perspectives. This year he added his own new course, The World Food Economy, for undergraduates. He has been the mentor, either formally or informally, to virtually every Institute graduate student...

"One of Falcon's most important contributions to the profession has been as an administrator, where he is truly an institution builder. As director of the Institute, he has undertaken major funding initiatives that have enhanced significantly the productivity and visibility of its faculty; have broadened its disciplinary core to include nutrition, demography, and resource policy; and have financed its commitment to training both first and third world economists. His ability as an administrator have not gone unnoticed, either in the university where he is now senior associate dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences, or in the international community where he is now chairman of the board of trustees at I.R.R.I. and a member of the board of Winrock.

"Perhaps the ultimate reflection of his many skills is in his continuing role as a senior food policy advisor to the Government of Indonesia. ...

"Together, Falcon's contributions are extraordinary--researcher and policy analyst, teacher and mentor, and administrator and institution builder. All are in the finest tradition of exceptional service by American Agriculture Economics Association (AAEA) Fellows." [1]

He is a trustee of the Centre for International Forestry.

  • Helen C. Farnsworth Professor of International Agricultural Policy, Stanford University, 1976-present.
  • Director, Food Research Institute, Stanford University, 1972-present; Professor, Food Research Institute, and Department of Economics, 1972-present.
  • Senior Associate Dean, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, 1988-present; Associate Dean, School of Humanities and Sciences, 1985-88.
  • Deputy Director, Development Advisory Service, Harvard University, 1970-72; (Director of Research, 1966-70); Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University, 1963-66.
  • AAEA Quality of Communication Award, 1984; AAEA Award for Outstanding Article in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1979.
  • Editor, Food Research Institute Studies, 1977-present; Advisory Council, CHOICES, 1968-97; Editorial Council, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1968-72; Associate Editor, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1963-72.

"From 1996-2001 he served as chairman of the board of the International Corn and Wheat Institute (CIMMYT), and from 2001-07 served on the board of the Centre for International Forestry (CIFOR)." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Executive Committee, Freeman-Spogli Institute, accessed October 21, 2007.
  2. Walter Phillip Falcon, Freeman-Spogli Institute, accessed April 30, 2008.