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James C. Snyder Memorial LECTURE Event

Friday, April 22, 2022 at 1:30pm EDT

Pfendler Hall, Dean's Auditorium (Room # 241)

Guest Lecturer: Dr. John List

Best-selling author and expert in economics field research to deliver James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture

john-listDr. John List will be the guest speaker for Purdue University’s 47th annual James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture on April 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the David C. Pfendler Hall of Agriculture, Dean’s Auditorium (Room 241), 715 W. State St.

List is currently the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. His Snyder Memorial Lecture topic, “The Voltage Effect: Why do so many ideas fail to deliver on their promise when scaled?,” will focus on his research conducting lab/field experiments to understand behavioral economics and include topics related to his new book, The Voltage Effect, challenging the audience to rethink how they can make optimal use of scientific insights generated for policy purposes. Additionally, the first 150 people to arrive at the Snyder Memorial Lecture event will receive a free hardcopy of Dr. List’s latest book, The Voltage Effect, which released earlier this year.

The event is free and open to the public. The first 150 people to arrive at the event will receive a free copy of Dr. John List latest book, "The Voltage Effect: How to make good ideas great and great ideas scale."

For additional information about the speaker and schedule of events, please clicking on the drop down menus below. For questions related to the event, please Tracy Buck at, 765-494-4191.

Official Event News Release


Schedule of Events


8:15am - 9:15 am, Krannert Room 758

Graduate Student Poster Competition and Judging


9:30am - 11:00am, Krannert Room 758

Department Awards and Panel Discussion with APEX Award winners


11:30am - 1:00 pm

Invited lunch with APEX Award winners


1:30pm - 3:15pm, Pfendler Hall, Dean's Auditorium, Room 241

Introduction of Dr. John List, Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago

Dr. List's presentation: "The Voltage Effect: Why do so many ideas fail to deliver on their promise when scaled?"

Description of the presentation: Behavioral Economics (BE) and lab/field experiments in the last several decades have contributed to the deepening scientific knowledge by uncovering mechanisms, producing key interventions, and estimating program effects. This represented a logical first step, as experimentalists sought to provide deeper empirical insights and theoretical tests as part of the credibility revolution of the 1990s. Nevertheless, what has been lacking is a scientific understanding of how to make optimal use of the scientific insights generated for policy purposes. I denote this as the “scale-up” problem, which revolves around several important questions, such as: do the BE insights we find in the petri dish scale to larger markets and settings? When we scale the BE intervention to broader and larger populations, should we expect the same level of efficacy that we observed in the small-scale setting? If not, then what are the important threats to scalability? What can the researcher do from the beginning of their scholarly pursuit to ensure eventual scalability and avoid voltage drops?


3:30pm - 5:00pm, Pfendler Hall

Department Reception


john-listJohn A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago.

His research focuses on combining field experiments with economic theory to deepen our understanding of the economic science. In the early 1990s, List pioneered field experiments as a methodology for testing behavioral theories and learning about behavioral principles that are shared across different domains. To obtain data for his field experiments, List has made use of several different markets, including charitable fundraising activities, the sports trading card industry, the ride-share industry, and the education sector, to highlight a few. This collective research has lead to collaborative work with several different schools and charities, as well as firms including: Lyft, Uber, United Airlines, Virgin Airlines, Humana, Sears, Kmart, Facebook, Google, General Motors, Tinder, Citadel, Walmart and several non-profits.

His research includes over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and several published textbooks. He co-authored the international best seller, The Why Axis, in 2013, and is author to a new book, The Voltage Effect, slated to come out in early 2022.

List was elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 2015. List received the 2010 Kenneth Galbraith Award, the 2008 Arrow Prize for Senior Economists for his research in behavioral economics in the field, and was the 2012 Yrjo Jahnsson Lecture Prize recipient. He is a current Editor of the Journal of Political Economy.

More on Dr. John List

Blondel BrinkmanBlondel Brinkman

Blondel Brinkman is a senior staff economist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) in Washington, DC.

After graduating in 2006 with a doctorate in Agricultural Economics, Dr. Brinkman moved to Washington DC to work with USDA APHIS as an economist in their Policy Analysis and Development unit, where she is still employed. Dr. Brinkman is responsible for conducting economic and policy analyses that focus on Regulatory Impacts on Small Business Entities, Program performance measurement, and special studies. She provides expert advice on socio-economic issues to program managers, senior leaders, and policymakers. She is a mission-driven economist with expertise in various areas and over 15 years of experience with the Federal Government. The position with APHIS has been both challenging and rewarding. Dr. Brinkman has had the opportunity to work on various issues that are critical to the mission of the Agency, which is to protect the health and value of American Agriculture and natural resources.

Before Purdue, Dr. Brinkman completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics (May 1993) and Master of Science degree in Agribusiness Management (December 1998) at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Huntsville, Alabama.

Dr. Brinkman has been an active member of the American Applied Economics Association. She has chaired two sections of the organization – the Committee on the Status of Blacks in Agricultural Economics and the Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics.

john dillardJohn Dillard

John Dillard is a principal at OFW Law. He provides regulatory counsel, general counsel, and litigation services to clients in the agriculture and food industries.

In his regulatory practice, John provides advice to companies and trade associations on diverse topics affecting clients in the food and agriculture industries. This includes food labeling and food safety matters before USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). John advises meat packers, poultry processors, restaurant chains, and animal food manufacturers on food safety and labeling matters. He also regularly advises clients on compliance with the Packers and Stockyards Act, the National Bioengineered Foods Disclosure Standard, and the National Organic Program. John is also a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for human and animal foods and has completed the FSPCA PCQI Lead Instructor training for animal food facilities.

John also provides general counsel services to several food and agricultural trade associations, such as the American Feed Industry Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Institute of Oilseed Products. In this role, he provides advice on corporate governance, contract drafting and evaluation, antitrust, director fiduciary responsibilities, and employment matters.

John earned his Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue in 2007.

Rob DongoskiRob Dongoski

Rob leads EY’s Agribusiness sector globally and focuses on strategy, innovation and M&A for many clients in the Agribusiness and Food sectors. As EY’s global leader, he is at the forefront of industry issues and works directly with client executives to optimize their approach in the global markets. He also serves as the lead partner on several global accounts ranging from seed/chem, Agri-retail, grain processing, and meat processing.

Rob’s experience ranges from growth strategy to operating model design to digital innovation across the Agri value chain. He works directly with client executives in the design and implementation of the appropriate operating model for their business, including strategy/portfolio management, marketing/merchandising, digital agriculture, operational areas and backoffice efficiency. Rob has also worked extensively to foster innovation and digital adoption across the industry with corporate clients, private equity and venture capital communities.

In nearly 23 years with EY, Rob has served companies such as Monsanto, Bayer Crop Sciences, Dupont/Corteva, Nutrien (formerly Agrium/CPS and PotashCorp), Land O’ Lakes, CHS, Tyson Foods, ADM, Hillshire Brands, Kellogg, Cargill, Ingredion, The Andersons, Beam Global, and Kraft. This client base and his role as the senior advisory partner on several other clients have enabled him to become a knowledge leader on matters of critical importance to global and market-leading companies.

Rob earned his Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue.


History of the Lecture

The James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture is the Department of Agricultural Economics’ signature event at Purdue University. The lectures were established in February 1975 as an appropriate memorial to a distinguished member of the faculty. Funds are contributed by friends and corporations who wish to encourage the continuation of Jim Snyder’s professional efforts during his brief but brilliant career. As a highlight, a top professional in agricultural business and economics, or related areas, is brought to the campus to give a lecture and interact with staff and students. The Memorial Lecture, of general interest to all Department professional staff and students, is the high point of the visit. The lecture is open to the public with selected professionals invited as special guests.​


    • Stimulate the intellectual environment of the Department for more creative research, teaching, Extension, and international activities.
    • Recognize the professional contributions of Professor James Snyder in pioneering undergraduate curriculum in agricultural business management, and in the development and application of quantitative techniques for agribusiness research and training of graduates
    • Contribute to the Department’s efforts to enhance and motivate excellence in all of its mission areas by bringing to the Purdue campus individuals who can offer unique contributions
    • Broaden the perspective of students by exposing them to outstanding professionals from other institutions, and close interaction both within structured situations and informal settings.
    • Assist the faculty on specific assignments.


Previous Snyder Lecturers​ 

    • Joe Balagtas, Ted McKinney, Matt Erickson, and Rob Johansson, 2021 - recording
    • Beth Ford, 2020 - recording
    • Jayson Lusk, 2019
    • Keith Coble, 2018
    • ​Daniel A. Sumner, 2017
    • Robert L. Thompson, 2016
    • Helen Jensen, 2015
    • J.B. Penn, 2014
    • Robert B. Zoellich, 2013
    • Rob Paarlberg, 2012
    • Thomas Hoenig, 2011
    • Ian Sheldon, 2010
    • Brian Wright, 2009
    • Scott Irwin, 2008
    • Jason Shogren 2007
    • Zoltan Acs, 2006
    • David Downey, 2005
    • Douglas Hedley, 2004
    • Susan Offutt, 2003
    • Victor Davis Hanson, 2002


About James C. Snyder


Dr. James (Jim) Snyder was born March 31, 1930 in Ontario, Canada. Jim completed his bachelor’s degree at Ontario Agricultural College in 1953 and came to Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics for graduate study, earning his M.S. degree in 1956 and a Ph.D. in 1962. In recognition of his excellence in research, Jim received a Ph.D. thesis award from the American Farm Economics Association (now the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association), the first such award earned by a Purdue student.

Jim Snyder joined the Purdue Agricultural Economics staff in 1957 as an instructor, quickly gaining prominence in the application of modern quantitative decision procedures to the problems of agricultural businesses. From 1954 to 1961 he also served in a part-time Visiting Professor capacity on the faculty of Goshen College.  Professor Snyder was an outstanding teacher of both undergraduates and graduate students as well as of businessmen. He was named Teacher of the Year for his outstanding undergraduate instruction and attained the rank of full professor in 1969. 

He was a pioneer in the practical application of management decision models to agribusiness. He successfully developed a compacted matrix approach to solving large and complex computer problems. He paralleled his academic success with the development of a highly respected business management consulting firm. His design of functional programs for management decision-making is well known, and his consulting activities gave him insight and opportunities to make his work relevant to every-day business needs.

Jim Snyder, who passed away in 1974, is remembered as a brilliant colleague whose work, standards and style are an inspiration to those following in his footsteps at Purdue University. We hope to encourage the legacy of farming, the importance of research and emerging technologies, as well as the networking of ideas and strategies with future James C. Snyder Memorial Lectures.