Graham Sustainability Institute

Participatory Economic Research: Benefits and Challenges of Incorporating Participatory Research into Social Economics

July 2015

A case study of a local economy community-based participatory research project. 

Participatory action research (PAR) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) involve traditional subjects of research in the co-creation of research design, data collection, and analysis. PAR has been used in the fields of public health, education, and geography. A case study of a local economy CBPR project will be discussed. The increasing use of field and behavioral experiments in economics together with recent critiques of the ethical commitments of economic policy raises important questions about the role of expert knowledge, indigenous knowledge, and the relationships of power and privilege involved in mainstream academic research. The applicability of the PAR method for economics will be investigated in light of the epistemological and ethical commitments of social economics.