Economic Research Service

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Economic Research Service logo.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. Located in Washington D.C., the mission of ERS is to inform and enhance public and private decision-making on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, farming, natural resources, and rural development. To accomplish this mission, highly trained economists and social scientists develop and distribute a broad range of economic and other social science information and analysis.

ERS's timely[citation needed] research and analysis provide public and private decision makers the information they need to conduct business, formulate policy, or learn about the farm, rural, and food sectors. materials are used by the press and other news media, and both print and electronic publications are available to the public.

The Agency's work is structured among four divisions:

  • Food Economics
  • Information Services
  • Market and Trade Economics
  • Resource and Rural Economics

The ERS program encompasses research and analyses of food and commodity markets, policy studies, and development of economic and statistical indicators. The information and analyses are produced for the private sector and to help the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government develop, administer, and evaluate farm, food, rural, and resource policies and programs.

ERS staff disseminates economic information and research results through an array of academic, policy-, and public-oriented outlets, including:

  • Agency-published research reports, market analysis and outlook reports, and ERS periodicals
  • The ERS website, which provides access to all ERS products through topical briefing rooms and key topics pages, and links users directly with ERS analysts
  • Oral briefings, written staff analyses, and congressionally mandated studies delivered directly to executive and legislative branch policymakers and program administrators
  • Articles published in professional journals including, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, American Journal of Public Health, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Oxford Economics Papers
  • Papers presented to academic colleagues at the annual meetings of the Allied Social Science Association, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, and other scientific and professional organizations

In addition to research reports and market analysis reports, ERS publishes a magazine, Amber Waves, covering the agency's entire range of economic research and analysis related to agriculture, food, rural America, trade, and the environment. Amber Waves is published monthly on the ERS website and is also available as a free downloadable app from iTunes and Google Play. ERS provides information to Congressional and executive branch policymakers and their staffs, commodity and trade associations, the media, public interest groups, and the general public. The agency's reports, publications, and data products are disseminated electronically through the ERS website.

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