Kansas Business Review Abstracts

Vol. 23, No.3, Spring 2000

The Economic Impact of Kansas Agriculture

by John Leatherman and Donald Howard, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

Determining the economic impact of an industry is not a simple matter. Measuring the impacts of agriculture, in particular, is doubly difficult because of the lack of information related to very basic measures such as employment. The authors of this article, therefore, have used the Micro-IMPLAN input-output model to estimate the economic contributions of agriculture to the Kansas economy. The article proceeds with a brief discussion of the modeling system used, presents various measures of direct economic impact for several sectors known to be important to Kansas agriculture, then presents alternative definitions of agriculture and estimates of direct and indirect economic impacts, identifying the value of agriculture to the state's economy.

The authors find that agriculture makes a gross contribution of between about 12 and 20 percent of the state's economic activity. Depending on the type of impact considered, a reasonable economic multiplier to use would be about 2.0. By any measure or definition, Kansas agriculture makes a significant contribution to the state's economic well-being.

Kansas Standard of Need and Self-Sufficiency Study, 1999

by Jacque E. Gibbons, Bernt Bratsberg, and Leonard E. Bloomquist, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, and the Department of Economics, Kansas State University.

The proposed Standard of Need for Kansas is defined as the monthly after-taxes income required by families with children to meet the basic needs, such as food, housing, transportation, and other consumption. The Kansas Self-Sufficiency Standard Project is an effort to provide guidelines for basic household earned income to the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to be used in conjunction with the Department's employment-oriented policies in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program. In order to obtain current data on the expenses incurred by Kansas households in the meeting of their basic needs through full-time employment the authors surveyed 804 Kansas households through a 10-15 minute telephone interview. In order to allow for an analysis of variance in household expenditures, information was obtained on characteristics of household members, how they meet their basic needs, and the type of place in which they live. Data were also gathered on the number of adults in the household and their employment status, the number and ages of children in the household, child care, the household's annual income, and the type of county and community in which the household resides. Tables in the article present the collected data.

The general finding was that the availability, reliability, and cost of child care, particularly for households with children not yet in school, are significant factors in determining the level of income necessary for determining self-sufficiency among many Kansas households. Local variations in housing costs, child care costs, and sales taxes across regions in Kansas also had a bearing on self-sufficiency. This report, however, provides Kansas data from primary and secondary sources that may be used as guidelines for determining what is an adequate but austere budget and what it takes to be self-sufficient.

It is important to understand that the estimates provided in this report are averages. Households are unique combinations of individuals and needs that may look similar only in aggregate.

Kansas Booming Beef Industry

by Michael J. Broadway, Department of Geography, Northern Michigan University

Between 1978 and 1997 meatpacking employment nearly doubled, and the industry's payroll tripled. Much of the beef industry's growth has occurred in southwest Kansas with the expansion of cattle feeding and construction of large slaughter-capacity plants. These plants have increased the demand for fed cattle and cattle feed while adding to the payrolls and the demand for goods and services. This growing economy has attracted migrants and led to population gains in a region that has historically suffered from slow economic growth and out-migration. Beefpacking has brought a measure of prosperity to southwest Kansas but it is essential that the industry's environmental impact be addressed so as to ensure the region's long-term economic future and avoid the familiar western phenomenon of boom followed by bust. This article examines the geographical dimensions of the industry's expansion, identifies the reasons behind its increasing geographic concentration, and explains some of the economic, social, and environmental consequences of this process.

Who's Prospering in Prosperous Times? A Study of Economic Progress Across Kansas

by David Darling and Xiaolou Yang, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

This report provides a county-by-county analysis of the economic progress of people living across Kansas. Four different variables are used in the analysis: employment, total personal income, retail trade, and population. Maps and a table enable those who write strategic plans to see how their counties are meeting these plans. Are the residents of their county enjoying this era of prosperity? Are they better employed? Do they earn more? Is the retail community serving more customers and profiting from that trade? Finally, is the county attracting new families that want to be part of a healthy, vibrant community?

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