Research and Publishing: Relevance and Irreverence

By: Brester, Gary W.


Brester, Gary W., Research and Publishing: Relevance and Irreverence, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 31, Issue 3, December 2006, Pages 455-470

The value, relevance, and efficacy of conducting and publishing research has been widely debated throughout the agricultural economics profession. On the one hand, some argue that the research process creates little value and directly competes with teaching/outreach output. On the other hand, others argue that research provides answers to important questions, improves human capital, and complements teaching/outreach activities. I argue that the research and publishing process develops human capital, improves the quality of teaching/outreach, reduces bias, generates new ideas, improves societal welfare, creates innovation, and is essential for public policy debate.