China's Agrifood Demand in a Global Context: An IDSS Presentation by David Roland-Holst

Chinese container port


David Roland-Holst
Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California at Berkeley


April 5, 2013


12–1:15 p.m. PT


RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

About the Program

In a single generation, China has emerged from isolation and poverty to become the world's second largest economy, home to the fastest growing middle class. This dramatic economic transition has been fueled by globalization and a transformation in China's global market presence. While positioning itself to become the "workshop of the world," China has become the world's largest importer of a variety of raw materials, adding labor-intensive value to an ever expanding array of manufactured exports. While these trends has easily discernible to China's competitors, another process of structural adjustment, driven by domestic market forces, is only beginning to reveal itself. Steadily rising incomes in China are increasing the resource intensity of domestic consumption, especially in land and water intensive products such as meat and processed foods. Because China is severely constrained in both these natural resources, the implications of this demand acceleration will be global. In this talk, Professor Roland-Holst sets out the drivers of China's changing agrifood economy and maps out its implications for global food markets and sustainability.

About the Speaker

David Roland-Holst is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley and a leading authority on economic, energy, and climate policy modeling. Most recently, his research has been central to the passage, design and implementation of California’s path-breaking Global Warming Solutions Act. He has extensive research experience in economics related to the environment, development, agriculture, and international trade, and his work has been widely published. He has also served in several academic posts in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Roland-Holst has conducted research in more than 40 countries, working with such institutions as the Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Bank, and several United Nations agencies, as well as governments in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and United States. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.

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