Journal article

Farm Economic Research and the Case Study Approach

Alexandria Sinnett, Bill Malcolm, Claire Lewis, Christie Ho

Australasian Agribusiness Perspectives | University of New England | Published : 2019

Abstract

The ‘representative firm’ of the theory of the firm has a long and respected history in economic thought. Yet, farm economists are required to put in undue, even unseemly, effort defending using representative case study farms to researchers in non-economic disciplines whose focus is on the empirics of generalising from representative samples to populations. Research that uses the ‘whole farm approach’ into typical case study farms - ‘representative firms’ - adds to other methods of inquiry by investigating deeply how and why the farm firm works, considering the people, technology, management, dynamics, risk, uncertainty and influences beyond the farm to determine ‘what is’, to identify caus..

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