Economic Principles for Saving the Cooperative Extension Service

By: Hoag, Dana L.


Hoag, Dana L., Economic Principles for Saving the Cooperative Extension Service, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 30, Issue 3, December 2005, Pages 396-410

The Cooperative Extension Service is an outstanding success story for education, but a model whose value is now in question. I focus on economic principles that apply to the question, "Is it time to end Extension, and if not, how can it be saved?" Six principles are identified: public goods, competitive advantage, privatization, long-run sustainability, business practices, and political economy. There is cause to support Extension, but leadership is needed to establish a common direction and to implement changes. Strategic planning would be helpful to identify these changes and to make Extension's value known to clientele and policy makers. Includes biography of Dana L. Hoag.