Professor of Food and Resource Economics
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Lisa House is primarily interested in understanding the effects of consumer attitudes, tastes, and preferences on Florida agriculture.
As a food economist, House spearheads research related to consumer behavior and the various challenges facing the agricultural industry to produce healthy food while predicting how consumers react to changing technologies and information.
“As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, I took a class in Food and Resource Economics that opened my eyes to the world of economics,” House said. “After that, I was hooked.”
House’s research program centers on two major areas — consumers’ understanding of and willingness to accept genetically modified food, and creating models of consumer choices related to nutrition labeling and health information.
Generally, consumers are unaware of the process behind genetic modification, which calls into the question the risk-benefit trade-off for consumers, the other economic agents engaged in the development and marketing of these products, and the regulators who are assessing genetically modified products’ potential impact on society.
House also investigates the impact of information on consumer willingness to pay for food products. Her research indicates that what a consumer believes they know about a product may not always reflect what they actually know. This perceived knowledge, however, is more likely to influence their decision-making.
“With consumers having more access to information (though not always correct information), it is critical that we understand how consumers process this information and make decisions,” House said.
House has authored or co-authored 25 refereed publications and made 44 scholarly presentations at national and international conferences in the last 5 years. She has attracted over $7.39 million extramural funding in the last five years and $11.53 million over her career, which includes grants from USDA-NIFA, USDA Higher Education Challenge program, USDA-SCRI and state agencies. House has served as president of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, director for the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, panel manager for the Markets and Trade Program for USDA-AFRI and a panel member for several USDA competitive grants programs.