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Doctoral programs in agricultural economics have long been the primary source of agribusiness management faculty in the United States. One measure of doctoral training is the choice of a dissertation topic. Presumably, doctoral students will choose to work with faculty that have expertise in their area of interest. Thus, one measure of doctoral programs that have expertise in agribusiness management is the choice of dissertation research by graduate students. In this paper, we look at dissertation topics over time. In particular, we segment dissertation topics into 14 different subject categories and compare these over the 1951 to 2002 time period. Three categories are likely to be highly correlated with whether a department has expertise in doctoral training of agribusiness management faculty. These categories are agribusiness management, food business, and industrial organization. Agribusiness management, food business, and industrial organization represented only 6.6 percent of all agricultural economics dissertations over the 1951 to 2002 time period. We agree with Peter Barry who suggests that agribusiness management research has begun to mature and that a bright future exists for such research.


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