Revised 2010



Downloadable Papers




        University of Nebraska, 1956,  B.S.  University of Wisconsin, 1957, M.S., 1959, Ph.D.

            M.S. thesis “The Soil Bank: An Appraisal of the Experience in Rock County, Wisconsin

            Ph.D. thesis “Water Allocation and Development in Wisconsin




        Former Positions:

                 Research Assistant, University of Wisconsin, 1956-1959

                 Assistant Professor, Michigan State University, 1959-1964

                 Associate Professor, Michigan State University, 1964-1968

                 Professor, Michigan State University, 1968-1998


        Present Position:

                 University Distinguished Professor,

                 Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Resource Development,

                 Michigan State University, 1998 to 2006.


Research and teaching in resource economics, rural development, public finance, public choice, and institutional and behavioral economics.


On leave September 1968 to September 1969 with the Systems Analysis Group (Civil Works), U.S. Department of the Army, Office of the Secretary.




        Alpha Zeta and Gamma Sigma Delta, scholastic honoraries


Travel grant from American Farm Economic Association to attend International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Lyon, France, 1964.


Resources for the Future, Inc., visiting scholar, 1964-5.


McLean Memorial Lecturer, University of Guelph, Canada, 1969.


Quality of Communication Award, American Agricultural Economics Assoc., 1992.


        Consultancies on rural land use, environmental policy and institutional design in US, France, Mali, Romania, and Zimbabwe.


        University Distinguished Professorship, Michigan State University, awarded, 1998.


        Various Approaches To Assessing The Evolution and Impact of Alternative Institutional Structures, A Workshop in Honor of the Career of A. Allan Schmid, Michigan State University, March, 2007.




Land Economics, 1969-1971

Journal of Economics Issues, 1972-1975

        American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1978-1980

European Journal of Law and Economics, 1994-2006.




Maintains an institutional economics Web page with course outlines and papers.


Organized Free Sessions on Institutional Economics, AAEA meetings, 11 years. Provided base for organization of Institutional & Behavioral Economics Section.




        Conflict and Cooperation: Institutional and Behavioral Economics. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.  Chinese translation published in China


Benefit-Cost Analysis: A Political Economy Approach.  Boulder: Westview Press. 1989.  Indonesian translation, Analisis Biaya Manfaat, 1993.


Property, Power and Public Choice, New York: Praeger, 1978. Second edition, 1987.  Chinese translation, 1999.  (Italian translation, see below.)


Law and Economics:  An Institutionalist Perspective, Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1980 (with Warren Samuels).


Policy Aspects of Land-Use Planning in Ireland, Dublin: The Economic and Social Research Institute, 1983, (with Frank Convery).


Tra Economia e Diritti.  Bologna, Italy:  Il Mulino, 1988.


The Economy as a Process of Valuation.  Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 1997. (With W. Samuels and  S. Medema.)


        Beyond Agriculture and Economics, editor.  East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1997.


Converting Land from Rural to Urban Uses, published for Resources for the Future, by John Hopkins Press, 1968.





"The Role of Grants, Exchange and Property Rights in Environmental Policy," in Transfers in an Urbanized Society, edited by Kenneth Boulding and Martin Pfaff.  Wadsworth, 1972. 


 “Broadening Capital Ownership,” in New Directions in Economic Policy, edited by Alperovitz and Skurski, University of Notre Dame Press, 1984.


“Neo-Institutional Economic Theory: Issues of Landlord and Tenant Law,” in Contract and Organization, edited by Daintith and Teubner, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1986.


"Law and Economics: An Institutional Perspective," in Law and Economics: Developments, Tensions and Prospects, Nicholas Mercuro, ed., Norwell, MA: Kluwer, 1989.


"Intellectual Property Rights," Ch. 7 in Bill Baumgardt & Marshall Martin, eds., Agricultural Biotechnology:  Issues & Choices, Purdue University, Agricultural Experiment Station, 1991 (with V.L. Lechtenberg).  (Won AAEA Quality of Communication Award.)


"The Environment and Property Rights Issues," in Daniel Bromley, ed., Handbook of Environmental Economics, Blackwell, 1995.


“Essay on Mancur Olson” in American Economists of the Late Twentieth Century, edited by W. Samuels.  Elgar Publisher, 1996.


"The Concept of Cost in Economics," in W. Samuels, S. Medema and A. Schmid, eds., The Economy as a Process of Valuation, Elgar, 1997. (with W. Samuels)


“Environmental Law and Economics,” in Jurgen G. Backhaus, ed., The Elgar Companion to Law and Economics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 201-05, 1999.


“An Institutional Perspective on Farming Systems Research,” in J-P Colin & E. Crawford, eds. Research on Agricultural Systems. Huntington NY: Nova Science. 2000.


“All Environmental Policy Instruments Require A Moral Choice As To Whose Interests Count,” in D. Bromley and J. Paavola, eds., Economics, Ethics and Environmental Policy: Contested Choices. Cambridge: Blackwell, 2002. 


“Economic Analysis & Efficiency in Public Expenditures,” in Handbook of Public Finance, J. Backhaus & R. Wagner, eds., Norwell MA: Blackwell, 2004. Also available as


“Perspectiva Institucional, Cooperation y Evolucionismo Economico,” in Juan Urrieta, ed., Evolucionismo Economico, Instituciones y Sistemas Complejos Adaptivos, Mexico: Editorial Porrua, pp. 215-46, 2007.


“Institutional and Behavioral Economics: Journal Entries for Students and Colleagues,” in Warren Samuels, ed., Documents From The History of Economic Thought, Research in the History of Economic Thought & Methodology, Vol. 25-B, Elsevier, pp. 129-320, 2007.


Entries on “Physical Capital,” “Externality,” and “John Kenneth Galbraith” in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd ed., forthcoming.


Entry on “Great Depression,” in George Ritzer, ed., Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Vol. IV, Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 2020-22, 2007.


Entries on “Physical Capital,” “Externality,” “Satisficing,” “Lexicographic Preferences,” and “John Kenneth Galbraith” in William Darity, eds., International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd ed., Thompson Gale, 2008.


“Power and the Troublesome Economist—Complementarities Among Recent Institutional Theorists,” in Sandra Batie and Nicholas Mercuro, eds. Alternative Institutional Structures—Evolution and Impact, New York: Routledge, 2008.


“One Hundred Years of Agricultural Intensification: A Personal History of Unanswered Ethical Issues—1890-2004,” in Paul Thompson, ed., The Ethics of Intensification, Springer, 2008.


“The Missing Squirm Factor in Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach,” in Stephen L. Esquith and Fred Gifford, eds., Capabilities, Power, and Institutions: Toward a More Critical Development Ethics, Pennsylvania Sate University Press, 2010.






"An Appraisal of the Soil Bank in a Corn and Dairy Area of Wisconsin," Journal of Farm Economics, February 1958.


"Water Allocation by Permit," Land Economics, May 1961.


"Sources of Economic Growth:  The Importance of Institutional Change," Journal of Farm Economics, November 1963.


"Capitalization of Farm Program Benefits," Journal of Farm Economics, August 1964.


"Non-Market Values and Efficiency of Public Investments in Water Resources," American Economic Review, May 1967.


"Natural Resources and Growth: Towards a Non-marginal Political Economics,"  American Journal of Agricultural Economics, December 1969.


"Suburban Land Appreciation and Public Policy," Journal of the American Institute of Planners, January 1970.


Analytical Institutional Economics:  Challenging Problems in the Economics of Resources for a New Environment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, December 1972.


"Innovations Institutionnelles et Resources Naturelles," Economie Rurale, 143(3) May-June, 1981.


"Property Rights in Plants:  Implications for Biotechnology Research and Extension,"  American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 69:432-437, 1987 (with Judith Stallman).


"Proteccion legal de variedades vegetales, biotechnologia y derechos cambiantes de propiedad en agricultura," Agricultura y Sociedad, No. 53:149-70, Octubre-Diciembre, 1989.


        "Can Agriculture Prosper Without Increased Social Capital?" Choices, fourth quarter, 1994.  (with Lindon Robison).  Selected for Best of Choices anniversary collection.


“Interest Groups, Selective Incentives, Cleverness, History and Emotion: The Case of the American Soybean Association.”  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 31:267-285, 1997.  (With David Soroko).


“Against Mechanism: Methodology for an Evolutionary Economics,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 81(5):60-65, 1999. (With Paul Thompson)


“Affinity As Social Capital: Its Role in Development,” Journal of Socio-Economics, 29:159-171, 2000.


“Using Motive to Distinguish Social Capital from its Outputs,” Journal of Economic Issues, 36(3):747-68, 2002.






        Socratic probing and active learning are the hallmarks of Schmid’s teaching.  Class time is used to apply and extend the assigned reading, rather than used for lectures to deliver facts and definitions.  Students are drawn out and their ideas respected.  They are asked to write a short essay each week as part of their preparation for class discussion. 

        For the undergraduate course in community economics, a book of case studies illustrates key concepts in public economics.  Real problems of state and local government place students in the role of administrative or legislative staff who must analyze the consequences of alternative policies for decision makers.  Schmid’s graduate course in institutional and behavioral economics draws students from around the world not only in agricultural economics, but also resource development, planning, economics, accounting, communications and sociology.  His book, Property, Power, and Public Choice is a core reading in this course, as it is in other universities, including the University of Georgia, University of Vermont, and the University of Delaware.  His book, Benefit-Cost Analysis has been used at Stanford and Macalester College.


Courses Taught

PRM 201, Community Economics (1993 - present)

Policy analysis of state and local government revenues, services and private business regulation.  Impact on resource use, economic development, income distribution and human values.


AEC 800, Foundations of Agricultural Economics (1997 – present)

Concepts of agricultural economics drawn from economic and management theory.  Applications to managerial decisions and economic policy issues for businesses, markets and institutions.


AEC-RD-EC 810, Institutional and Behavioral Economics (1959 – present)

Relationshiops among institutions, individual and collective actions, and economic performance.  Public choice, property rights, and behavioral theories of firms and bureaucracies.


Student Advising

Major professor and thesis supervisor for 39 Ph.D students and 22 M.Sc. students.

Guidance committee member for 140 Ph.D. and 70 M.Sc. students.

Outside examiner for Ph.D. theses at Roskilde University, Denmark; Swedish University of Agriculture, Upsala; and Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique, Montpellier, France.