Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This special issue of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics contains papers presented at the Economic Research Conference on Regulation in the U.S. Food System. The conference was held at Airlie House, Virginia, 16-18 April 1979. It was sponsored by the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Economics, Statistics and Cooperatives Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Farm Foundation and NC-117, the Food System Research Group located at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The purpose of the conference was to stimulate the interest of agricultural economists in doing research on regulatory issues relating to agriculture and the food system. The conference had four sessions. The purpose of the first was to define regulation, putting it within a theoretical context. Speakers in the second attempted to isolate the role of economic research in the decision-making process. The goal of the third was to develop a research agenda in the regulatory area. During the fourth, speakers discussed a wide variety of regulation research issues-issues which deserve the attention of agricultural economists. Speakers were drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds, both within the agricultural economics profession and from outside. In order to provide a view on how economic research on regulation can be useful in the public decision-making process, the speakers included people directly involved in that process. The sponsors appreciate the decision of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics to publish these papers. We hope the information provided at the conference and the issues raised there will serve as a catalyst for future economic research in food system regulation. Our special thanks are extended to Vicki Smith, conference coordinator and the editor of this issue.