October 2009 Archives

Blog Author: George Morse

I am a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, moving to the coast of Maine in August 2007. 

For 33 years I was a professor of applied economics working on community development issues while at South Dakota State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota.  During most of this time, I had a joint extension and research appointment.  I also taught graudate level courses on regional economic analysis, regional input-output analysis, and regional general equilibrium analysis. 

All of my extension work was on regional and rural economic development.  Most of it was focused business retention and expansion and regional economic impact analysis. 

Throughout my career, I worked closed with county Extension Educators.  They played a critical role in the business retention program since there was a need for close contacts with local leaders. However, I was never able to find a role for them in regional economic impact analysis since they simply did not have the economics background necessary.  

In 2001, I applied for the position of Extension Associate Dean and Director. Only five months after I started as associate dean for Extension, the state announced a major fiscal crisis. This crisis, however, created both the necessity and the opportunity for much greater specialization by the field staff. 

Since Minnesota made these changes in 2004, we have had many questions from other states.  To answer these, I've written the book, The Minnesota Response, to document the changes and the initial impacts of these changes.  Five of my colleagues helped me with this book and are described in "Book Authors" under The Minnesota Response category.

 

 

All Welcome: Non-economists and Economists

The Economics in Cooperative Extension Blog is aimed at sharing economic concepts and ideas on the organization and delivery of outreach programs through the Cooperative Extension System. 

This blog isn't just for economists, however.  I will translate any jargon when my colleagues get too enthusiastic with some jargon.  If I miss something that needs translation, let me know.   

There have been several journal articles suggesting economic concepts which might help Extension become more efficient and more effective such as:

  • comparative advantage
  • specialization
  • economies of scale and scope
  • consumer soveregnty
  • free riders
  • club theory
  • program business plans
  • public value and private value
  • benefit-cost analysis

Blog readers are encouraged to offer comments on research or on the good, bad, and the ulgy of the practical application of these economic concepts to outreach education in the Cooperative Extension Service. 

The blog is maintained by George Morse, professor emeritus, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota.   He can be reached at morse001@umn.edu.

 

Blog Comments and Exchanging Ideas

Exchanging Ideas and Comments:  The primary purpose of this blog is to stimulate discussion among Extension stakeholders on ways to improve Extension using economic concepts. 

 

There are several ways to encourage this discussion, including: 1) traditional unrestricted comments, 2) sharing published articles, and 3) encouraging focused questions and comments. 

 

After reviewing a number of blogs, I have decided against the first approach because often those making comments do not provide enough context for the reader to evaluate the debate.  Other blogs have so many irrelevant comments that the time required to distill useful information is too high.

 

As a result, I have decided to use the last two approaches.  First, I will share published articles on aspects related to economics in Extension.  Second, I welcome questions or comments sent directly to me.  I will use them on the blog when relevant to a posting.  

 

Please alert me of any articles which I should post and send your comments and questios to me at morse001@umn.edu.

 

Naturally, my early posts are about "The Minnesota Response: Cooperative Extension's Money and Mission Crisis."  But shortly, I will add the articles on other aspects of economics in Cooperative Extension.

 

For those unhappy with my blog and my comment policy, I encourage you to discuss the specific in journal articles.  It will be seen by many more people and help your career much more than a comment on my blog.

 

Have a great day! 

 

George Morse

 

 

Public Value, Essential to Extension Funding

Public value of an extension program is defined as the value which accrues to program non-participants.  

Private value of an extension program is defined as the value which accrues to people who directly participate in an Extension program.

A key part of the Minnesota external relations strategy has been helping each program be able to identify and articulate the sources of their public value as well as their private value.

Nearly all taxpayers are non-participants of some, or even most, Extension programs.  When public budgets are under stress, everyone starts to ask what the payoff is for public investment in specific programs.  With 80 to 90 percent of all Extension funding coming from public funds, an understanding of public value and being able to articulate this is very important. 

While most Extension staff can clearly describe the private value of their programs and often have empirical estimates, many can not name the public value aspects.  Without a clear understanding of private value, it is hard to attract program participants.  Without a clear understanding of public value, it is hard to maintain public funding. (Is that why funding is declining nationally?) 

Best Blog and Training:   One of my Minnesota colleagues, Dr. Laura Kalambokidis, has the best blog and training program on public value.  You can link to these at:

http://www.apec.umn.edu/faculty/lkalambo/

I have used her training program with four groups of 40 individuals and one with 325.  The smaller sessions were 2 hours long and the larger group was an more indepth session of four hours.  I highly recommend both her training program and her blog.  

 

 

 

Blog Author, George Morse

I am a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, moving to the coast of Maine in August 2007. 

For 33 years I was a professor of applied economics working on community development issues while at South Dakota State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota.  During most of this time, I had a joint extension and research appointment.  I also taught graudate level courses on regional economic analysis, regional input-output analysis, and regional general equilibrium analysis. 

All of my extension work was on regional and rural economic development.  Most of it was focused business retention and expansion and regional economic impact analysis. 

Throughout my career, I worked closed with county Extension Educators.  They played a critical role in the business retention program since there was a need for close contacts with local leaders. However, I was never able to find a role for them in regional economic impact analysis since they simply did not have the economics background necessary.  

In 2001, I applied for the position of Extension Associate Dean and Director. Only five months after I started as associate dean for Extension, the state announced a major fiscal crisis. This crisis, however, created both the necessity and the opportunity for much greater specialization by the field staff. 

Since Minnesota made these changes in 2004, we have had many questions from other states.  To answer these, I've written the book, The Minnesota Response, to document the changes and the initial impacts of these changes.  Five of my colleagues helped me with this book and are described in "Book Authors" under The Minnesota Response category.

 

 

About the Blog

The Economics in Cooperative Extension Blog is aimed at sharing economic concepts and ideas on the organization and delivery of outreach programs through the Cooperative Extension System. 

There have been several journal articles suggesting economic concepts which might help Extension become more efficient and more effective such as:

  • comparative advantage
  • specialization
  • economies of scale and scope
  • consumer soveregnty
  • free riders
  • club theory
  • program business plans
  • public value
  • benefit-cost analysis

Blog readers are encouraged to offer comments on research and application of economic concepts related to outreach education in the Cooperative Extension Service. 

The blog is maintained by George Morse, professor emeritus, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota.   He can be reached at morse001@umn.edu.

 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2009 is the previous archive.

November 2009 is the next archive.

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