University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

  Sayed Saghaian (Mehdi)

Associate Professor of Agribusiness Management
University of Kentucky
Department of Agricultural Economics
314 Charles E. Barnhart Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0276

Phone: (859) 257-2356
Fax: (859) 257-7290



Sample Publications

"Oligopolistic Market Structure in the Japanese Pistachio Import Market". Mahdi Asgari and Sayed Saghaian: Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization. Volume 11, Issue 1, September 2013.  Pages 87-99.


"Beef and Milk Price Links in Turkey." Sayed Saghaian, Gokhan Ozertan and Hasan Tekguc.  Economics Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 4 (2013), pp. 2607-2616.


"Investigation of factors affecting consumers' bread wastage." Shahnoushi, N, Saghaian, S., Reed, M., Firoozzare, A. and Jalerajabi, M. Journal of Agricultural Economics and Development Vol. 2(6) (June 2013), pp. 246-254.


"The Dynamics of Price Transmission in the Presence of a Major Quality Differential: The Case of Colombian Milds and Vietnamese Robusta Coffee Beans." Li, X. and S. Saghaian. Journal of Agribusiness 31, 1 (Fall 2013), p 181-192.


"Factors Affecting the Export Demand for U.S. Pistachios." Zijuan Zheng, Sayed Saghaian, and Michael R.Reed. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review: Volume 15, Issue 3, (2012) pp. 139-154.


"Winery Integration Strategies in the MidSouth and MidAtlantic States."  T. Woods, J. Schieffer, and S. Saghaian. (2011). Journal of Agribusiness, 29, 1(Spring):83-95.


"The Impact of the Oil Sector on Commodity Prices: Correlation or Causation?" Saghaian, S. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 42, 3 (August 2010): 477-485.

The interconnections of agriculture and energy markets have increased through the rise in the new biofuel agribusinesses and the oil-ethanol-corn linkages. The question is whether these linkages have a causal structure by which oil prices affect commodity prices and through these links, instability is transferred from energy markets to already volatile agricultural markets. In this article, we present empirical results using contemporary time-series analysis and Granger causality supplemented by a directed graph theory modeling approach to identify the links and plausible contemporaneous causal structures among energy and commodity variables. The results show that although there is a strong correlation among oil and commodity prices, the evidence for a causal link from oil to commodity prices is mixed.


"The Impact of Multiple Volatilities on Import Demand for U.S. Commodities: The Case of Soybeans." Q. Zhang, M. Reed, and S. Saghaian. (2010) Agribusiness: An International Journal, 26(2):202-219.

The focus of this study is the effects of exchange rate, commodity price, and ocean freight cost risks on import demand with forward-futures markets. The case of U.S. and Brazilian soybeans is analyzed empirically using monthly data. A two-way error component two-stage least squares procedure for panel data is used for the analysis. Risk for these three effects is measured by the moving average of the standard deviation. Major soybean importers are sensitive to exchange rate risk. Importing countries in general are not sensitive to soybean price and ocean shipping cost risks for Brazilian or U.S. soybeans


"The Importance of Nutrition Labels and Serving-Size Information in the Context of Overweight and Obesity." Bayar, E., S. Saghaian, W.Hu, and A. Katchova. (2009). Journal of Food Distribution Research, 40 (1): 15-21.

This study provides a framework for describing the profiles of consumers who are more likely to use nutrition labels and to pay attention to serving-size information. Inan online survey, food consumers were asked about the importance of nutrition labels and how often they read the serving-size information. Results from ordered logit models indicate that overweight people think that nutrition labels are important but they are less likely to pay attention to serving-size information, which may explain the overweight problem. Based on various demographic characteristics, the findings also show that food consumers do not always link the importance of nutrition labels and the frequency of reading serving-size information.


"Dynamics of Price Transmission in the Presence of a Major Food Safety Shock: Impact of H5N1 Avian Influenza on the Turkish Poultry Sector." Saghaian, S., G. Ozertan, and A. Spaulding. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics Vol. 40 No. 3 (2008), pp.1015 - 1031.


"The Importance of Context in Determining Consumer Response to Food Safety Events: the Case of Mad Cow disease Discovery in Canada, Japan and the United States." Saghaiain, S., L. Maynard, and M. Reed; Outsourcing, Team Work and Business Management. Editors: J.E. Moran and B. M. Anderson, Nova Science Publishers, Inc.; New York; (2008) pp. 1-31.


Consumer Responses to the H5N1 Avian Influenza: The Case of Turkey. Akben, E., G. Özertan, A. Spaulding, and S. Saghaian. Economics Bulletin, 4, 15, (2008): 1-9.


Buyer and Seller Responses to an Adverse Food Safety Event: The Case of Frozen Salmon in Alberta. Leigh Maynard, Sayed Saghaian, and Megan Nickoloff. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review; 11, 1, (2008): 77-96.

Fish is a low-fat protein source high in omega-3 fatty acids, but in 2004 consumers also heard that farmed salmon had high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). This research evaluated how Canadian consumers and processors reacted to the confilicting health messages. Demand estimates and time-series analysis of 2001-2006 frozen meat scanner data in Alberta, Canada show a significant drop in salmon expenditure share following the PCB finding. The industry responded by launching low-priced wild salmon products, which contributed to significant demand expansion. The analysis illustrates how a food safety threat was averted and even served as a catalyst for growth.


Consumer Reaction to Beef Safety Scares. Sayed Saghaian and Michael Reed. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 10, 1, (2007): 18-35.

This study examines the impact of two beef safety scares on retail-level meat per capita consumption and prices in Japan. The objective is t investigate the Japanese consumer reactions to the news of FMD and BSE discoveries, as reflected in the quantitiy and price changes in the immediate neighborhood of each event. Better understanding of consumer reactions to beef safety scares helps the beef industry restore consumer confidence after food safety crises and provides opportunities for national-level production differentiation based on beef quality and traceability.


Safety Shocks and Dynamics of Vertical Price Adjustment: The Case of BSE Discovery in the U.S. Beef Sector. Sayed Saghaian. Agribusiness: An International Journal, 23, 3, (2007): 333-348.

This article addresses the dynamic impact of the 2003 Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy discovery on the U.S. beef sector. Time series analysis and historical decomposition with weekly feedlot, wholesale, and retail beef price series is used to address the dynamics of price adjustment and causality along with U.S. beef marketing channel. The results show price transmission is bidirectional, determined through interaction between the different stages, and price adjustment is asymmetric with respect to both speed and magnitude. The results reveal a differential impact of the exogenous shock on producers and retailers, which leads to widening of price margins and points to imperfect preice transmission, specifically at the retail level, with consequences for the efficiency and equity of the marketing channel, [EconLit citations: Q11, Q13], © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


The Effect of E. Coli 0157:H7, FMD and BSE on Japanese Retail Beef Prices: A Historical Decomposition. S. Saghaian, L. Maynard, and M. Reed. Agribusiness: An International Journal; 23, 1, (2007): 131-147.

This study examines Japanese retail price reactions to the 2001 bovine spongiform encephalaopaty (BSE) discovery, the 2000 outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD), and the 1996 E. coli food poisoning events. Historical decomposition of retail-level price series aids in explaining the behavior of beef prices in a neighborhood (period-by-period time interval) of the three events. This is based on an application of directed acyclic graphs, constructing orthogonal innovations to determine causal patterns behind contemporaneous innovations. The results show that the beef safety and animal health events had different negative impacts on Japanese retail beef prices, suggesting that consumers understood and differentiated among the health risks. The results provide incentives for beef producers and retailers to inform consumers proactively about ongoing beef and animal health measures. Understanding consumer reactio nto BSE, FMD and E. coli helps the beef industry restore consumer confidence after future crises, and provides policy makers a basis for countermeasures and compensations. [EconLit citations: Q11, Q13]. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Monetary Policy Impacts on U.S. Livestock-Oriented Agricultural Prices. S. Saghaian and M. Reed. Progress in Economic Research; Volume 9. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, NY. (2006): 45-62.

In this article we use vector error correction models to investigate the impacts of changing macroeconomic variables on individual agricultural commodity prices. Saghaian, Reed, and Marchant used some of these techniques for aggregate commodity prices. They found that aggregate commodity prices overshoot their long-run equilibrium when the money supply changes. Their model predicts that less-traded commodities and commodities whose demand is more interest rate sensitive will have higher degrees of overshooting. We also hypothesize in this article that product characteristics, market structure, and the biological nature of production influence overshooting and the time it takes individual agricultural commodity prices to meet their steady state. This article tests these hypotheses using individual grain and livestock prices, specifically examining whether grains (input) prices overshoot more than livestock (output) prices. We also study whether differing measures of monetary policy change the overshooting results and whether the use of real or nominal prices affects the empirical results. These results should help settle the questions about the appropriate definitions for these variables.


Measuring the Intensity of Competition in the Japanese Beef Market. M.R. Reed and S.H. Saghaian. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics; 36,1(April 2004):113-121.

A residual demand model for beef exports to Japan is specified and estimated. The objective is to estimate the extent of market power.


Integrating Marginal Cost into Pricing-to-Market Models for U.S. Agricultural Products. S.H. Saghaian and M.R. Reed. Canadian Association's Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues (CAFRI); 5(2004):187-203.

This article investigates the markup pricing behavior of U.S. exporters of agricultural products. Agricultural products studied are feed, flour, frozen potatoes, frozen orange juice, five categories of beef, five categories of pork, and two categories of chicken.


Demand for Quality Differentiated Beef in Japan. S.H. Saghaian and M.R. Reed. Agrarwirtschaft: German Journal of Agricultural Economics; 53,8 (2004):344-351.

In this article, we apply a model of vertical product differentiation to the Japanese beef market. We theoretically derive a system of consumer demand functions for quality-differentiated beef in Japan


Overshooting of Agricultural Prices in Four Asian Economies. S.H. Saghaian, M.R. Reed, and M.F. Hasan. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics; 34,1(April 2002):95-109.

This article examines the impacts of monetary policy on agricultural prices in four Asian economies using time series analysis and graph theory.


Monetary Impacts and Overshooting of Agricultural Prices in an Open Economy. Sayed H. Saghaian, Michael R. Reed and Mary A. Marchant. American Journal of Agricultural Economics; 84 (February 2002): 90-103.


Trade and Foreign Direct Investments Management Strategies on Competitiveness of U.S. Agro-Food Firms in China. Mary A. Marchant, Sayed Saghaian and Steven S. Vickner. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review; 2:2(1999): 131-143.