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Collection of data for economics studies frequently is a time-consuming and expensive process. This is particularly true of studies of plants that process and distribute agricultural products. During the last 2 years the Agricultural Marketing Service has been experimenting with a low-cost method of collecting data on the operations of more than 60 independent milk-distributing companies. The Service has now had enough experience with the method to permit a critical evaluation of it. In the accompanying paper the primary purpose of the authors is to present such an evaluation. They point out advantages and limitations of the method from the viewpoint of researchers who are actively engaged in analysis of data obtained by the procedure.


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