Consulting Activities of Agricultural Economists and Response to University Policies

Kelsey L. Conley, Jayson L. Lusk, Joe L. Parcell, Glynn T. Tonsor, Craig Gundersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A perk of academic employment is the ability to earn additional income from non-university entities by consulting. Despite the availability of such work, the potential synergies with research, teaching, and extension, and the controversy sometimes surrounding it, there is surprisingly little research on the prevalence of outside consulting, the determinants of consulting, or the response of faculty to specific university consulting policies. To address these issues, this paper utilizes data from a nationwide survey of academic agricultural economists. We find that about 43% of the sample reported consulting activities in the year prior to the survey. Of those who consulted, 12% (or about $34,000) of their total household income on average comes from outside consulting activities. Income from consulting is positively correlated with having a research appointment, income earned from the university, and number of career published papers. We also document extensive heterogeneity across university consulting policies and perceptions of these policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-667
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Academic labor market
  • agricultural economics
  • university policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Consulting Activities of Agricultural Economists and Response to University Policies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this