Michael Smith

Email: mdsmith@ers.usda.gov


Michael D. Smith is an economist with the Food Assistance Branch and a Ph.D. candidate in economics at American University. His research focuses on the measurement and determinants of food insecurity as well as food assistance program participation and poverty persistence. Michael is also using program administrative data to examine inter-temporal dynamics between the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Unemployment Insurance (UI).

Current Project:

In an effort to better inform the research community and general public about recent food security trends in the United States, Michael is developing one of ERS's pilot data visualization projects. His project, "U.S. Food Security: Before and After the Great Recession," establishes a data set with food security data from 2001 to 2013 and shows users how they can visualize trends in food insecurity and very low food security by region and sociodemographic status, pre- and post-recession. (See Interactive Chart: Food Security Trends and Interactive Chart: Food Security Characteristics).


Michael joined the Economic Research Service in June 2013. Prior to ERS, he worked as a statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau in the Research and Development and Innovation Survey Branch. This survey was cosponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and provided Michael with the opportunity to interact and learn from some of the Nation’s leading survey statisticians and experts in survey methodology.


Michael is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at American University. He has a M.A. in economics from California State University, Fullerton, and a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Geophysics, from the University of Hawaii, at Manoa.

Last updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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