A regional economics–based research agenda for local food systems, authored by Kathryn Boys, Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Applied Economics Virginia Tech and David W. Hughes, Professor Clemson University.
The reported benefits of local food systems (LFSs) are extensive and diverse. While a growing general literature has considered various aspects of these systems, this set of issues has not been considered broadly from the perspective of regional economics — a field that is uniquely suited to assess local food systems and the policies that affect them. This commentary attempts to narrow this gap. Research topics are considered that would allow for improved examination of the extent to which LFS directly and indirectly engender local economic growth. Also incorporated are research ideas concerning how to determine the distribution of benefits (socially, across income class, and geographically). In this regard, suggestions are also made concerning how to remove some of the limitations. This publication and spreadsheets can be found at www.agdevjournal.com/attachments/article/369/JAFSCD_Regional_Econ_Research_Agenda_Commentary_Sept-2013.pd