Texas A&M University Institute of Advanced Studies

Panit Arunanondchai

Panit Arunanondchai

As a PhD student in Agribusiness and Managerial Economics with a concentration in finance at the Agricultural Economics Department, the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study HEEP fellowship has enabled me to broaden my knowledge and deepen my research skills. Under the guidance of Dr. McCarl and Faculty Fellow Dr. Stephen Polasky, I was introduced to bioenergy studies, specifically on the feedstock structure of ethanol production.

Our current research analyzes the economic implications and cost competitiveness of growing biofeedstock on marginal land. In order to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates, producers need to produce large quantities of biofeedstock. Consequently, land competition becomes a major concern. Moreover, the conversion of new lands into bioenergy production may not only emit carbon stored in soils and vegetation but also raise crop prices as a result of the decrease in crop production. Producing biofuel feedstocks on marginal lands could be one possible solution to the land competition issue. We also plan to extend our analysis to consider the impact of marginal-land-use change on the provision and value of ecosystem service. Through working on this research, I have learned new tools and models developed by both professors: namely, FASOMGHG (a dynamic nonlinear programming model of the forest and agricultural sectors in the United States) and InVest (an ecosystem service evaluation model).

In addition to the marginal land analysis paper I am working on, we are also working on a joint paper aiming at linking two models together, which are FASOM model and InVest Model. The analysis of this paper is on economic and environmental impacts of carbon prices. In this paper, we develop and case study apply an integrated modeling approach that permits analysis on way that alterations in policy or market conditions alter economic and environmental outcomes. The integrated approach we develop here will link two models for the analysis.  First we use an US economic agricultural sector regionally explicit market equilibrium model, which given a change in policy or market conditions simulates the consequent effects on welfare, prices and land use, land management decisions and input usage.  Then we will link this with a spatially-explicit, much more disaggregate ecosystem service model, which estimates the implications for a set of ecosystem services given the sector model predicted changes in land use, land management and other actions across a detailed representation of the land scape.

The work with Dr. Polasky has been rewarding in terms of the knowledge I have gained and the variety of problems I was exposed to. I believe that I can use the knowledge and tools I learned from Hagler Institute HEEP fellowship to conduct research and publish more papers in the near future.

Mr. Arunanondchai plans to graduate in Spring 2019.


Agricultural Economics

Graduation Year

December 2018

Degree Type


Fellowship Year(s)

'15 - '16

Previous Education

B.A. in Economics - Chulalongkorn University, Thailand - '10
M.S. in Financial Analysis - University of San Francisco - '10
M.A. in Economics - Indiana University - '13


David Leatham

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