Future Research

The USDA has issued three rounds of funding (covering 2006 - 2011) to conduct research on the economic impact of cooperatives. We present research from the first round, covering 2006 - 2008, on this website. We present essentially is an economic census of cooperatives. In our research, we sought to identify, and collect basic economic data on, all cooperative firms in the U.S. Our data, while useful for reporting on aggregate economic activity, is less useful for conducting analyses of the unique organizational and behavioral character of cooperative firms.

Our intent moving forward is to collaborate with the Census Bureau of the United States to collect much more detailed primary data on a stratified random sample of cooperatives, and to integrate data from this survey into Census databases. Doing so will enable researchers to access data on cooperative businesses, and will, we hope, spur research on understanding and improving cooperative performance. We have also set aside a portion of the budget from each subsequent round of funding to commission specific research projects on the unique impacts created by cooperatives. We will consult with staff at USDA Cooperative Programs and key industry leaders to determine the specific future projects.