The Economics of Farmers and Markets

Meet economics major Aditya Gadkari.

September 22, 2022

Hometown: Pune, India

Thesis adviser: Jon Rork [economics]

Thesis: “Mandi Markets: An Economic Analysis of the Effects of State-Run Markets on Farmer Market Outcomes and Satisfaction in India”

What it’s about: My thesis empirically investigates the effects of state-run “mandi” markets on the market outcomes for farmers in India. Agriculture is often an oligopsony market, where farmers only have a handful of buyers competing for their produce. My thesis shows that proximity to state-run markets improves farmers’ market outcomes as the existence of a viable outside option reduces the market power of private traders.

What it’s really about: In agriculture, competition between buyers means better outcomes and thus satisfaction for farmers.

In high school: I was an energetic, social butterfly who participated in as many extracurricular activities as I could pack into my schedule.

Cool stuff: I cofounded the South Asian Student Union, cochaired the Student Committee on Academic Policy and Planning, and was a member of the Student Committee for Diversity. I also coled the Mountaineering Club and worked as a confidential advocate for survivors of on-campus sexual assault.

Influential classes: Prof. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri’s class on the erasure of Islam from the Western humanities was eye-opening and helped me finally understand some of the reasons why the distinction of the West historically arose. Prof. Jon Rork’s class on urban economics helped me realize my passion for urban policy—something I plan to pursue as a career.

Help along the way: I am immensely grateful for the financial aid I received from Reed and would not have been able to be here without it!

Challenges faced: I had to adjust not only to a completely new academic environment, but to a completely new country. Culture shock often comes in forms you least expect.

How Reed changed me: I have a newfound respect for how infinite knowledge is and feel comfortable acknowledging when I do not understand something.

What’s next: I'm working at ECONorthwest, a firm that specializes in policy consulting, especially around urban and natural resource policy.