Di Zeng

Dr Di Zeng

Senior Lecturer

School of Economics and Public Policy

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Di is an applied economist with research experience in economic analyses of the agri-food, water and environment systems. His previous work covers Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States. His research aims to disentangle the complicated mechanisms linking food, health and economic development from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.

Before joining the Centre for Global Food and Resources, Di has worked extensively with CGIAR centres in Africa and Europe and governmental agencies in the United States. His work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and several state government agencies in the United States. He has taught advanced impact evaluation methods to doctoral-level economists and social scientists from several CGIAR centres.

Di is an applied economist with research experience in agricultural development and food and health economics. His previous work covers Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the United States. His research aims to disentangle the complicated mechanisms linking food, health and economic development from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.

Before joining the Centre for Global Food and Resources, Di has worked extensively with CGIAR centres in Africa and Europe and governmental agencies in the United States. His work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and several state government agencies in the United States. He has taught advanced impact evaluation methods to doctoral-level economists and social scientists from several CGIAR centres.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 Sayekti, A. L., Hasibuan, A. M., Stringer, R., & Zeng, D. (2024). Understanding the dynamics of hybrid seed adoption among smallholder chilli farmers in Indonesia. Outlook on Agriculture, 53(1), 49-59.
    DOI
    2023 Chen, X., Xia, M., Zeng, D., & Fan, X. (2023). Citrus Specialization or Crop Diversification: The Role of Smallholder’s Subjective Risk Aversion and Case Evidence from Guangxi, China. Horticulturae, 9(6), 18 pages.
    DOI Scopus1
    2022 Genova, C., Umberger, W., Peralta Sanchez, M. A., Newman, S., & Zeng, D. (2022). The Indirect Impact of Smallholder Vegetable Production on Children's Nutrition Outcomes in Rural Vietnam. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 6, 1-21.
    DOI
    2022 Xia, M., Zeng, D., Huang, Q., & Chen, X. (2022). Coupling Coordination and Spatiotemporal Dynamic Evolution between Agricultural Carbon Emissions and Agricultural Modernization in China 2010–2020. Agriculture (Switzerland), 12(11), 1-19.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS5
    2021 Huang, Z., & Zeng, D. (2021). Factors Affecting Salt Reduction Measure Adoption among Chinese Residents.. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2), 445.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3 Europe PMC4
    2021 Qanti, S., Peralta, A., & Zeng, D. (2021). Social norms and perceptions drive women’s participation in agricultural decisions in West Java, Indonesia. Agriculture and Human Values, 39(2), 645-662.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS1
    2021 Wang, B., Zeng, D., & Yang, B. (2021). Decomposing peer effects in pro-environmental behaviour: Evidence from a Chinese nationwide survey. Journal of Environmental Management, 295, 113100.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS14 Europe PMC3
    2020 Sayekti, A. L., Zeng, D., & Stringer, R. (2020). Impact of hybrid seeds on demand for labour: the case of chilli production in Indonesia. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, 10(5), 15 pages.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2020 Chen, X., Zeng, D., Zhang, H., & Kang, C. (2020). Farm expansion under credit constraint: evidence from commercial rice farmers in Guangxi, China. INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND AGRIBUSINESS MANAGEMENT REVIEW, 23(2), 203-215.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS3
    2020 Umberger, W. J., Rupa, J. A., & Zeng, D. (2020). Understanding food westernisation and other contemporary drivers of adult, adolescent and child nutrition quality in urban Vietnam.. Public Health Nutr, 23(14), 2571-2583.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS6 Europe PMC3
    2020 Nguyen-Anh, D., Umberger, W. J., & Zeng, D. (2020). Understanding vietnamese urban consumers’ nutrition label use, health concerns, and consumption of food and beverages with added sugars. Nutrients, 12(11), 1-18.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS4 Europe PMC1
    2019 Zeng, D., Thomsen, M., & Nayga, R. (2019). Neighborhood Convenience Stores and Childhood Obesity: A Panel Data Instrumental Variable Approach. Applied Economics, 51(3), 1-16.
    DOI Scopus10 WoS9
    2019 Zeng, D., Thomsen, M. R., Nayga, R. M., & Bennett, J. L. (2019). Supermarket access and childhood bodyweight: Evidence from store openings and closings. Economics and Human Biology, 33, 78-88.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS5 Europe PMC5
    2019 Rupa, J. A., Umberger, W. J., & Zeng, D. (2019). Does food market modernisation lead to improved dietary diversity and diet quality for urban Vietnamese households?. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 63(3), 499-520.
    DOI Scopus17 WoS14
    2018 Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G., Jaleta, M., Shiferaw, B., & Yirga, C. (2018). Land ownership and technology adoption revisited: improved maize varieties in Ethiopia. Land Use Policy, 72, 270-279.
    DOI Scopus38 WoS34 Europe PMC1
    2018 Chen, X., Zeng, D., Xu, Y., & Fan, X. (2018). Perceptions, risk attitude and organic fertilizer investment: evidence from rice and banana farmers in Guangxi, China. Sustainability, 10(10), 3715-1-3715-14.
    DOI Scopus51 WoS39
    2018 HUANG, Z., XU, Y., ZENG, D., WANG, C., & WANG, J. (2018). One size fits all? Contract farming among broiler producers in China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 17(2), 473-482.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS10
    2018 Kassie, M., Marenya, P., Tessema, Y., Jaleta, M., Zeng, D., Erenstein, O., & Rahut, D. (2018). Measuring farm and market level economic impacts of improved maize production technologies in Ethiopia: evidence from panel data. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 69(1), 76-95.
    DOI Scopus93 WoS77
    2017 Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G., Shiferaw, B., Jaleta, M., & Yirga, C. (2017). Agricultural technology adoption and child nutrition enhancement: improved maize varieties in rural Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics, 48(5), 573-586.
    DOI Scopus35 WoS27
    2016 Zeng, D., Thomsen, M., Nayga, R., & Rouse, H. (2016). Middle school transition and body weight outcomes: evidence from Arkansas public schoolchildren. Economics and Human Biology, 21, 64-74.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS2 Europe PMC1
    2016 Huang, Z., Zeng, D., & Wang, J. (2016). Factors affecting Chinese broiler farmers’ main preventive practices in response to highly pathogenic avian influenza. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 134, 153-159.
    DOI Scopus11 WoS10 Europe PMC5
    2015 Zeng, D., You, W., Mills, B., Alwang, J., Royster, M., & Anson-Dwamena, R. (2015). A closer look at the rural-urban health disparities: insights from four major diseases in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Social Science & Medicine, 140, 62-68.
    DOI Scopus28 WoS27 Europe PMC13
    2015 Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G., Shiferaw, B., Jaleta, M., & Yirga, C. (2015). Ex post impacts of improved maize varieties on poverty in rural Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics, 46(4), 515-526.
    DOI Scopus74 WoS58
    2015 Huang, W., Zeng, D., & Zhou, S. (2015). Welfare impacts of modern peanut technologies in China. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, 221-238.
    2015 Huang, W., Zeng, D., & Zhou, S. (2015). Welfare impacts of modern peanut varieties in China. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, 54(3), 221-238.
    Scopus3
  • Book Chapters

  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2023 Qanti, S., Peralta Sanchez, M. A., & Zeng, D. (2023). Unfolding the spousal differences in response to intrahousehold decision-making participation questions: Evidence from West Java, Indonesia. In Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 67th Annual Conference. Christchucrch, New Zealand.
    2023 Qanti, S., Peralta Sanchez, M. A., & Zeng, D. (2023). Women Decision Making and Dairy Technology Adoption: Positive correlation between women's participation in dairy farming activities and decisions with the adoption of improved cattle nutrition practices in West Java, Indonesia. In Australasian Agriculture and Resource Economics Society 67th Annual Conference.
    2018 Pagliuca, L. G., Dumbrell, N., Umberger, W., & Zeng, D. (2018). Drivers of changing meat expenditure and consumption patterns in urban Vietnam. In 62nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. Adelaide, Australia.
    2018 Khamthara, P., Zeng, D., & Stringer, R. (2018). Horticultural Development and Its Welfare Implications on Agricultural Household Education Investment in Indonesia. In Horticultural Development and Its Welfare Implications on Agricultural Household Education Investment in Indonesia. Vancouver, Canada.
    2017 Dumbrell, N., Umberger, W., Zeng, D., Nguyen, A., & Pagliuca, L. (2017). Consumer preferences and consumption patterns for fruit & vegetables in urban Vietnam. In North-West Vietnam Research Symposium: Mountains of Opportunity. Hanoi, Vietnam: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
    2014 Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G., Shiferaw, B., Jaleta, M., & Yirga, C. (2014). Agricultural Technology Adoption and Child Nutrition: Improved Maize Varieties in Rural Ethiopia. In Proceedings of Agricultural & Applied Economics Association’s 2014 AAEA Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, USA.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2019 Khamthara, P., Zeng, D., Stringer, R., & Hasibuan, A. (2019). The impacts of risk preference on off-farm income and child education investment: evidence from Indonesian horticultural farmers. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Conference 2019. Melbourne, Australia.
    2018 Khamthara, P., Zeng, D., Stringer, R., & Yi, D. (2018). Horticultural Development and Its Welfare Implications on Agricultural Household Education Investment in Indonesia. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Conference 2018. Adelaide, Australia.
    2018 Genova, C., Umberger., Newman., Peralta., & Zeng. (2018). The impact of smallholder vegetable production on child nutrition in rural Vietnam. Poster session presented at the meeting of 2018 Annual Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) Conference. Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, SA.
    2018 Nguyen, A. D., Umberger, W., & Zeng, D. (2018). Concerns and valuation of food quality and food safety in urban Vietnam. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 62nd Annual Conference.
    2017 Nguyen, A. D., Umberger, W. J., Zeng, D., & Dumbrell, N. P. (2017). Concerns and valuation of food quality and food safety in urban Vietnam. Poster session presented at the meeting of North-West Vietnam Research Symposium: Mountains of Opportunity. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
    2017 Dumbrell, N., Umberger, W., Zeng, D., Nguyen, A., & Pagliuca, L. (2017). The role of market research in agricultural development for northwest Vietnam: The case of fruit and vegetables. Poster session presented at the meeting of North-West Vietnam Research Symposium: Mountains of Opportunity. Hanoi, Vietnam: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
    2017 Rupa, J., Ahmed, S., Umberger, W., Zeng, D., & Sim, N. (2017). Analysing the association between rural farm household health and economic shocks and food security in Bangladesh: a consolidated approach of measuring food security. Poster session presented at the meeting of PowerPoint presentation at 61st Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society's Annual Conference. Brisbane, Qld..
    2016 Rupa, J., Ahmed, S., Umberger, W., & Zeng, D. (2016). Analysing the association between rural farm household health and economic shocks and food security in Bangladesh: a consolidated approach of measuring food security. Poster session presented at the meeting of XXIII Agri-food Research Network (AFRN) conference. Adelaide, SA.
    2016 Zeng, D., Thomsen, M., & Nayga, R. (2016). Food Desert and Weight Outcome: Disentangling Confounding Mechanisms. Poster session presented at the meeting of Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) 2016 Annual Meeting.
    2015 Zeng, D., Thomsen, M., Nayga, R., & Rouse, H. (2015). Supermarket Access and Childhood Obesity: Natural Experiments of Store Openings and Closings. Poster session presented at the meeting of 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting.
    2013 Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G., Shiferaw, B., Jaleta, M., & Yirga, C. (2013). Ex-Post Impacts of Improved Maize Varieties on Poverty in Rural Ethiopia. Poster session presented at the meeting of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 2013 Annual Meeting.
    2012 Zeng, D., You, W., Mills, B., Alwang, J., Royster, M., Studer, K., . . . Zeng, D. (2012). How Much DoWe Know about Rural-Urban Health Disparities: Lessons from Four Major Diseases in Virginia. Poster session presented at the meeting of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 2012 Annual Meeting.
  • Working Paper

    Year Citation
    2016 Rupa, J. A., Ahmed, S., Umberger, W., Zeng, D., & Sim, N. (2016). Analysing the association between rural farm household health and economic shocks and food security in Bangladesh: a consolidated approach of measuring food security.

Zeng, D., Zuo, A., Roberts, R., Umberger, W., Johns, C. (2020-2023). Strengthening small-scale agricultural exports to China: Evaluation of two innovative marketing channels. DAWE (AUD: 291,500)

Zeng, D. (2016). Executive Dean's Award for excellence in research. Faculty of the Professions, University of Adelaide (AUD: 2,000). 

AGRIBUS 7055 Global Food and Agricultural Markets, ongoing (Instructor and Coordinator)

AGRIBUS 7054 Global Food and Agricultural Policy, 2017 (Co-instructor and coordinator)

AGRIBUS 7061 Research Principles and Methods, 2017 (Co-instructor and coordinator)

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor Understanding agri-food products purchase behaviour in cross-border live streaming commerce Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Gengtao Liu
    2023 Principal Supervisor Adaptation to climate change: firm-level evidence from manufacturer in developing countries Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Siqi Huang
    2022 Co-Supervisor Wheat, Weapons and Worship: Improving the Delivery of Agricultural Development in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Angus Alexander Davidson
    2020 Principal Supervisor Understanding drivers of consumer food purchasing behaviour in Laos Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Chitpasong Kousonsavath
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2023 Co-Supervisor Women’s Participation in Intrahousehold Decision-making: A Case in Rural Smallholder Farm Households in West Java Indonesia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Sara Ratna Qanti
    2019 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Investigating online market consumer behaviour through spatial, big data and machine learning approaches: cases in Daigou, e-commerce platform and NFT crypto market Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Wenzhu David Tang
    2017 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Exploring Relationships between Changing Food Environments, Food Consumption Behaviour, Attitudes and Nutrition Outcomes for Urban Vietnam Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Anh Duc Nguyen
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Horticultural Farming and Development Outcomes: Examining Human and Social Capital Investment Among Horticultural Households in Rural Indonesia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Phassara Khamthara
    2017 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Analysing the Drivers of Dietary Diversity, Diet Quality and Household Food Security in Developing Asia: Evidence from Urban Vietnam and Rural Bangladesh Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Jesmin Ara Rupa
    2016 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Understanding the Roles of Gender in Rural Development: The Case of Labour-Intensive Chilli Production in Indonesia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Apri Laila Sayekti
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83136226
  • Email: di.zeng@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Nexus 10, floor 6
  • Org Unit: Centre for Global Food and Resources

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