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Providing Economic Information in an Increasingly Difficult Policy Environment

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This article addresses the question of why the public provision of objective, nonpartisan policy information has become increasingly conflicted and difficult. The nature of a public-policy information system is first described. An examination of the changing mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a perspective on the challenges one faces today in providing information and advice for policymakers in agriculture, food, natural resource use, and the environment. Then an attempt is made to identify the many forces influencing today's difficult policy environment. The conclusion presents lessons from experience or principles that need to be observed if a public agency is to be a success over time in providing objective information for policy decisions. The profession's stake in this matter is discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economics, Michigan State University

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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