Communicating Economic Impact Assessments

How Research Results Influence Decision-maker Attitudes toward the Local Food Sector


The local food sector continues to evolve as consu­mer preferences for economic, environmental, and social values create markets for a range of prod­ucts. Although measuring the economic impact of these complex systems can provide new insights, it remains challenging. This paper provides evi­dence of the effectiveness of presenting economic impact results to decision-makers as a way to increase public-sector interest in developing a small and growing local food system. Surveys of local leaders and statewide service providers indicate that most local decision-makers who were presented with the economic impact results say they are now more supportive of local food system develop­ment, especially in rural areas. In this region, both pro­ducing the economic impact study and pursuing a strategy for communicating the results of this study have promoted thinking about the potential of local food production in new ways and have informed conversations with policy-makers.

Author Biographies

Mallory Lynn Rahe, Oregon State University

Department of Applied Economics

Lauren Gwin, Oregon State University

Department of Crop Science

How to Cite
Rahe, M., Van Dis, K., & Gwin, L. (2018). Communicating Economic Impact Assessments. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(C), 95-105.