A Management Survey of the New York State Food Industry: Results and Empirical Findings
McLaughlin, Edward W.; Lee, David R.
This paper reports the results of a survey of senior management officials of New York State food industry firms. Industry executives were asked for their views on a wide range of factors pertaining to the overall economic environment in New York State, the specific concerns of their respective industries, and future problems and opportunities for agribusiness development in New York. In reporting the survey results, industry views are presented along with available empirical data to compare common perceptions to New York's actual competitive position in certain key areas. The purpose of this report is to assist both public and private decision makers in evaluating the overall economic climate for food industry firms in New York State, and to present certain recommendations arising from the management survey which might be undertaken to increase economic activity and development in New York State's varied agribusiness industry. Although the literature in economic development and location theory is rich with studies examining the factors affecting industrial location (see, for example: Fuchs, 1962Hunker and Wright, 1963McMillan, 1965Moriarty, 1977), most of these studies emphasize the manufacturing sector almost exclusively. This emphasis is not surprisingin many cases, the economic contribution of the manufacturing sector has dominated that of the non-manufacturing sector. Moreover, definitions of manufacturing industry activity have been fairly well-established and data have been generally available. By contrast, many of the non-manufacturing economic subsectors, particularly those in agricultural-related industries, have had neither the benefit of precise industrial classification nor, in many cases, broadly available historical data. Finally, the focus of most research on the effect of economic climates on business firms appears to have been on either all business firms or on firms in a certain horizontal industry classification (e.g., all manufacturers). Relatively little analysis has been devoted to how a particular economic environment might create problems and opportunities for a specific vertically organized industry, for example, the allied agricultural and food industries. This study represents an attempt to address this latter issue as it relates to the economic concerns of the food industry in New York. Through discussion of the survey results and the accompanying empirical data, this report tries to focus attention on the problems and prospects facing New York's food industry in a changing economic environment.
A.E. Ext. 84-13
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University