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Madhu Khanna


Research Interests

I have worked on diverse topics ranging from technology adoption and agro-environmental policy analysis, voluntary approaches to environmental protection and the land use, market and greenhouse gas implications of biofuels. My work on technology adoption seeks to provide a rationale for the often-observed low rates of adoption of efficiency-enhancing technologies and shows the importance of considering heterogeneous producer characteristics, risks, uncertainty and market failures that distort prices while analyzing the incentives to adopt these technologies. I also examine the design of conservation payments to induce the adoption of improved land management practices to reduce non-point pollution from agriculture and enhance soil carbon sequestration.

My research also examines the effectiveness of environmental information disclosure policies and voluntary pollution control programs in achieving environmental protection.  I have studied the motivations for corporations to undertake voluntary environmental initiatives to reduce toxic emissions to the environment. I analyze the design of such voluntary programs, the incentives for firms to participate and the effectiveness of voluntary efforts in improving corporate environmental performance.

More recently, I have been conducting interdisciplinary research analyzing the economic and land use implications of large scale production of biofuels from the next-generation of bioenergy crops, such as perennial grasses and crop residues, and the intended and unintended impacts of biofuels on greenhouse gas emissions and water quality.


Additional Campus Affiliations

Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment
ACES Distinguished Professor, Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Professor, Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Professor, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Professor, Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Professor, Center for Digital Agriculture, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

Recent Publications

Gomez-Casanovas, N., Mwebaze, P., Khanna, M., Branham, B., Time, A., DeLucia, E. H., Bernacchi, C. J., Knapp, A. K., Hoque, M. J., Du, X., Blanc-Betes, E., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Peng, B., Guan, K., Macknick, J., Miao, R., & Miljkovic, N. (2023). Knowns, uncertainties, and challenges in agrivoltaics to sustainably intensify energy and food production. Cell Reports Physical Science, 4(8), Article 101518.

Guan, K., Jin, Z., Peng, B., Tang, J., DeLucia, E. H., West, P. C., Jiang, C., Wang, S., Kim, T., Zhou, W., Griffis, T., Liu, L., Yang, W. H., Qin, Z., Yang, Q., Margenot, A., Stuchiner, E. R., Kumar, V., Bernacchi, C., ... Yang, S. J. (2023). A scalable framework for quantifying field-level agricultural carbon outcomes. Earth-Science Reviews, 243, Article 104462.

Kumar, S., & Khanna, M. (2023). Distributional heterogeneity in climate change impacts and adaptation: Evidence from Indian agriculture. Agricultural Economics (United Kingdom), 54(2), 147-160.

Lee, Y., Khanna, M., Chen, L., Shi, R., Guest, J., Blanc-Betes, E., Jiang, C., Guan, K., Hudiburg, T., & De Lucia, E. H. (2023). Quantifying uncertainties in greenhouse gas savings and abatement costs with cellulosic biofuels. European Review of Agricultural Economics, Article jbad036. Advance online publication.

Stewart, D. W., Cortés-Peña, Y. R., Li, Y., Stillwell, A. S., Khanna, M., & Guest, J. S. (2023). Implications of Biorefinery Policy Incentives and Location-Specific Economic Parameters for the Financial Viability of Biofuels. Environmental Science and Technology, 57(6), 2262-2271.

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