Eldon Ball is a reserch profesor at Meryland University and was a Senior Economist with the USDA’s Economics Research Service with responsibility for the design and implementation of the Agency’s program of research on agricultural productivity. A Kentucky native, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Berea College, a Master of Arts degree in economics from North Carolina State University, and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland.
Ball is perhaps best known for his unyielding efforts to keep the USDA on the frontiers of measurement efforts and in doing so has established himself as a national leader in the practice of productivity measurement. With his determination and persistence, he has been the singular driving force in leading the USDA to create a state-of-the-art system of official statistics on productivity that has served as a model in this important area of research.
Ball has also excelled through his contribution to the literature. He has produced over 100 reports and book chapters, he has edited 3 books, and published 25 refereed journal articles, including ten in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. All told, his publications have received more than 1000 citations. In addition to the large number of citations, Ball has received numerous awards for his research, including the Administrator’s Special Merit Award for Outstanding Research.

Selected Publications

Ball, V. E., Cahill, S., Nehring, R., San Juan Mesonada, C. & Sheng, Y. (2016). Comparisons of Capital Input in OECD Agriculture, 1973-2011. Review of Economics & Finance, 6, 25-48.

Ball, V. Eldon, Jean-Pierre Butault, and Carlos San Juan Mesonada. "Measuring Real Capital Input in OECD Agriculture", Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 52(2004):351-370.

Ball, V. Eldon, Charles Hallahan, and Richard Nehring. "Convergence of Productivity: An Analysis of the Catch-up Hypothesis within a Panel of States", American Journal of Agricultural Economics 86(2004):1315-1321.

O'Donnell, Christopher, Richard Shumway, and V. Eldon Ball. "Inefficiency in U.S. Agriculture: A Bayesian Approach", American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 81(1999):865-880.

Ball, V. Eldon, Frank Gollop, Alison Kelly-Hawke, and Gregory Swinand. "Patterns of Productivity Growth in the U.S. Farm Sector: Linking State and Aggregate Models", American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 81(1999):164-179.

Ball, V. Eldon, Jean-Christophe Bureau, Richard Nehring, and Agapi Somwaru. "Agricultural Productivity Revisited". American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 79(1997):1045-1063.