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Dr. George William Davis

Dr. George William Davis


  • Assistant Professor

Contact Information
Office: 662-325-0128
Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Bldg, Rm 355



Will Davis grew up in Birmingham Alabama where he received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Will joined the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University in August of 2020. Will is a health economist with extensive experience evaluating the effects of government policies like universal free school meals and SNAP on the health outcomes of individuals and communities. He has also worked on more methodologically focused topics such as how to measure latent traits like food insecurity, location-specific health, and country-level human development using Bayesian statistical models. Will's projects include work with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the USDA's Economic Research Service, the Metro Atlanta Policy Lab for Education, Head Start employees and parents in coastal Mississippi, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Will's published papers include articles in Health Economics, the Southern Economic Journal, Education Finance and Policy, and the Journal of Development Economics. Will also works on topics in Data Science and Generative AI as a member of the University Data Science Committee.


  • Georgia State University, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Economics
  • Georgia State University, Master of Arts (M.A.) , Economics
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) , Economics

Research/Extension Interests

Government nutrition assistance programs
School meals
Adult and child health
Health disparities
Rural development
Area-level health
Bayesian statistical measurement
Latent factor measurement

Teaching Interests

Agricultural economics
Health economics
Quantitative methods



Year Publications

Davis, G., Kreisman, D., Musaddiq, T. 2023. The effect of universal free school meals on child BMI. Education Finance and Policy


Sung, J., Davis, G., Qiu, Q. 2023. The Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Bodyweight Status and Lifestyle Behaviors of US Adults. The Southern Economic Journal


Meadowcroft, D., Davis, G. 2022. Understanding the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facility Operations and Patient Success: Evidence from Mississippi. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment


Davis, G., Gordan, A., Tchernis, R. 2021. Measuring the Spatial Distribution of Health Rankings in the United States. Health Economics 30(11):2921-2936.


Sung, J., Qiu, Q., Davis, G., Tchernis, R. 2021. Design and Application of an Area-Level Suicide Risk Index with Spatial Correlation. Social Indicators Research 161:77-104.


Qiu, Q., Sung, J., Davis, G., Tchernis, R. 2018. Using Spatial Factor Analysis to Measure Human Development. Journal of Development Economics 132:130-149.


Extension Publications

Year Publications

Graduate Students

  • Adam Nathan
  • Drew Smith
  • Hannah Cooley
  • Shelby Sledge
  • Allyson Bise
  • John Mullins

Awards & Honors

  • Research Fellow
    Social Science Research Fellow

Society Memberships

  • Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
  • Agricultural and Applied Economics Assoiciation
  • American Society for Health Economics
  • Southern Agricultural Economics Association
  • Southern Economic Association
  • The American Society of Health Economists