A. Allan Schmid

A. Allan Schmid

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

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Institutional and Behavioral Economics

Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
Michigan State University

AEC/AFRE Faculty, 1959 to 2006



Biographical Information

Professor A. Allan Schmid conducted a remarkable 47-year career in the Department of Agricultural Economics.  Allan gave his students the tools and motivation to think outside established paradigms and to scrutinize and challenge the assumptions that are the underpinnings of conventional wisdom and traditional economic theory. 

To commemorate Professor A. Allan Schmid’s teaching excellence and research scholarship, the Michigan State University Department of Agriculture Economics established the A. Allan Schmid Endowed Fellowship in Institutional Economics.  The generosity of Professor Schmid, and his students, friends and colleagues created the endowment.  The Schmid Endowed Fellowship will help sustain his legacy in the Department of Agricultural Economics by offering support to graduate students pursuing the study of Institutional Economics. Donate to the A. Allan Schmid Endowed Fellowship. 

Throughout his career, University Distinguished Professor Schmid examined the nexus between politics and economics.  Exploring the effects of institutions as sets of rules, he inquired into what shapes institutions such as markets, and how those institutions shape economic behavior.  Through books such as Property, Power and Public Choice and many journal articles, he has expressed his passion to understand the institutions of social, political and commercial life. His distinguished career was devoted to rigorous theoretical and empirical investigation of institutions using approaches drawn from economics, organization theory, law, political science, and cognitive science.  Schmid was named the Inaugeral Fellow of the Institutional and Behavioral Economics Section of the AAEA in 2010.

Students’ affection for Professor Schmid and his reciprocal affection are legendary.  Graduate students would come from around the world to take his course and to be challenged by Allan Schmid’s Socratic teaching.  A graduate student fellowship at Michigan State University makes a fitting tribute that will sustain inquiry by future generations of institutionalist scholars.  

Research and Outreach Interests 

  • Agricultural ground water pollution policy and sustainable agriculture.
  • Benefit-cost analysis methods.
  • Agricultural interest groups and the free rider problem.
  • Institutional economics theory.
  • Law and economics of biotechnology.
  • Transformation of formerly socialist economies in Africa and Eastern Europe.
  • Rural-urban population settlement patterns and economic development.
  • Local government fiscal impact of population growth.
  • Behavioral economics.
  • The economics of love and sense of community; if people don’t care, is the invisible hand enough?
  • Social capital.
  • Experimental Economics.