Jebaraj Asirvatham | College of Agricultural Sciences | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Jebaraj Asirvatham, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Agribusiness Economics

Jebaraj Asirvatham

Office Phone: 618 | 453-1709
Building Location: Agriculture Building, Room 226-C

Dr. Jebaraj Asirvatham (Jeb) is Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the Department of Agribusiness Economics.  He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics in 2011 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Prior to joining SIU, Dr. Jeb worked as an Instructor and as a post-doctoral research associate in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  His primary research interests are Consumer Economics, Health Economics, and Nutrition and Health Behavior.  Currently, he is researching causal effects of school food environment and peers on childhood obesity.  He has received international award for one of his three dissertation essays from the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP) and Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE) in 2009.  His MS thesis received the William Applebaum Memorial Scholarship awarded annually by the Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS) in recognition of his work on the Impacts of Vertical Coordination on Consumer and Producer Welfare.


Influence of school food environment and social networks on health and nutritional outcomes.  


  • ABE 351 Financial Management in Agriculture
  • ABE 362 Marketing and Pricing Agriculture Products

Descriptions are available for each of these classes in the course listing for Agribusiness Economics.


  • Ph.D., Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S. Agricultural Economics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • M.Sc. Agricultural Economics, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India
  • B.Sc. Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, Vellanikkara, India

Recent Grants

  • Project Title:  Effect of Food, Home, and Community Environments on Early Childhood Obesity. Collaborating with the researchers in the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. 
    • Funding Agency: Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI)
    • Years: 2012-2015. 

Recent Publications and Awards

  • Asirvatham, J.  Examining Diet Quality and Body Mass Index in Rural Areas using a Quantile Regression Framework. Review of Regional Studies (2009), 39(2), 149-169.
  • Asirvatham, J., Nayga, Jr., R., and M.R. Thomsen. Peer-Effects in Obesity among Public School Children: A Grade-Level Analysis. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (2014), 36(3), 438-459.