The American Journal of Agricultural Economics has accepted the Alward Institute’s latest research paper for review.

An Innovative Method for Valuing a Region's Local Food System

The Alward Institute for Collaborative Science is very excited to announce that the American Journal of Agricultural Economics has accepted our latest research paper for review: A Method for Evaluating the Economic Contribution of a Local Food System.  The paper presents an innovative method for evaluating the contribution of a region’s local food system and was authored by regional economists Phil Watson, David Kay, Gregory Alward, Stephen Cooke, and Alfonso Morales.

In recent years there has been increased interest on the part of policy makers and researchers in quantifying the extent to which a region’s local food system interacts with and contributes to the regional economy.  However, given the endogenous nature of local food demands, modeling the contribution that local food systems have on a regional economy has been problematic.

In this paper, we present a combined hypothetical extraction and import substitution social accounting matrix model which provides a theoretically consistent and computationally feasible method for evaluating the regional economic contribution of a local food system. Furthermore, the method we present is insensitive to definitional arguments regarding what specific transactions should be included in a local food system.  Finally, using a broad definition of what constitutes a local food system, we apply this model to the state of Wisconsin and compare the economic contribution of the local food system with the economic contribution of the export food system.

A draft of the paper is available here.  For more information or to comment, please visit our LinkedIn post, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us at 970-217-3942.