The cooperative ownership model is used in a wide variety of contexts in
the United States. Until this project, no comprehensive set of
national-level statistics had been compiled about U.S. cooperative
This project, which was funded by grant funding from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture and matching support from the National Cooperative Business
Association and its members, and the State of Wisconsin’s Department of
Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. describes and quantifies the
magnitude of economic activity accounted for by U.S. cooperative businesses.
This project, which is on-going, builds on the work in Phase I by
initiating a longitudinal survey of cooperative business that will
sustain research on cooperatives beyond the period of the grant. We
expect to report preliminary results from this survey in Fall 2011.
Additionally, we have submitted a research proposal for access to
data maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau that covers all U.S.
businesses. Access to these data will enable research on a variety of
specific research topics, and allow continued reporting on the
economy-wide impact of cooperative business.
The aims of this research project are to: (1) generate hypotheses regarding
differential governance practices across cooperative and investor-owned firms;
(2) test for and measure these differences among firms in the food and
agricultural sector of the U.S. economy; and (3) evaluate the effects of these
differences on the behavior and performance of cooperative firms. This research
will generate important new insights regarding the means to effective governance