Future Role of Case Studies in Agricultural and Resource Economics

Case Studies: Their Future Role in Agricultural and Resource Economics

Case studies are a common tool in many fields of study and have gained acceptance in agricultural and resource economics for the valuable insights they can provide, especially in the classroom. Provided here are a majority of the materials presented at a pre-conference to the 2002 annual meeting of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA), in Long Beach, Calif., in July 2002.

The workshop was designed to identify quality criteria for case studies in agricultural and resource economics. In recognition of the rapidly changing structure of the food and fiber sector, another major goal was to examine the application of the case study approach to a broader set of purposes, such as research and outreach. The program featured experts from within the discipline and from other disciplines that make use of the case study approach. Participants examined the standard frameworks used in case studies by other disciplines that have value in agricultural and resource economics, emphasizing the identification of standards for quality.

Examples of case studies–distributed to participants prior to the workshop–were discussed. Sessions included small groups discussing issues surrounding case study development, writing and use in teaching, research and outreach. Experts discussed priority issues that may benefit from applying case study approaches.

The workshop was sponsored by the AAEA Professional Activities and New Products/Initiatives Committee, the AAEA Agribusiness Economics and Management Section, and Farm Foundation. The organizers were Mary Ahearn of USDA’s Economic Research Service; Lisa House of the University of Florida ; and Steve Halbrook, Farm Foundation.

Conference Motivation
Mary Ahearn, USDA’s Economic Research Service

Perspectives on Comparative Advantages and Alternative Frameworks of Case Studies
Ken Harling, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurie University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Carol Cumber, South Dakota State University and President, Southwest Case Research Association, Paper A & Paper B

Dorothy Thornton, University of California, Berkeley, Center for the Study of Law and Society

Criteria for Evaluating the Quality of a Case Study
Christopher Peterson, Michigan State University


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