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Robert Gibbs

Robert Gibbs
Associate Director


Robert Gibbs is Chief of the Farm and Rural Household Well-Being Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division. The Branch conducts a program of economic and demographic research on the determinants of well being among farm households as well as rural people and communities in the United States. The Branch monitors trends in rural employment, population, and income, and analyzes their causes and interrelationships. In addition, the Branch studies and reports farm household income, including both the causes of variation across households and sources of temporal income variability.


Robert served as an economist with ERS from 1990-2007. He is an agency specialist in rural labor markets and education. Robert has conducted research on a variety of rural labor-related topics, including workforce education, occupation and skill change, welfare reform, and unemployment. In 1998, he served as a visiting scholar at the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.


Robert holds a Ph.D. in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Professional Affiliations:

Robert is a member and past president of the Southern Regional Science Association, as well as a member of the Regional Science Association International.

Selected Publications:

Gibbs, R., L. Kusmin, and J. Cromartie. Low-Skill Employment and the Changing Economy of Rural America, Economic Research Report No. 10, USDA, 2005.

Gibbs, R. Education as a Rural Development Strategy, Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA, November 2005.

Gibbs, R., L. Kusmin, and J. Cromartie. Low-Skill Jobs: A Shrinking Share of the Rural Economy, Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA, November 2004.

Gibbs, R. Reconsidering the Southern Black Belt, Review of Regional Studies, Vol.33, No.3, Winter 2004:254-263.

Gibbs, R. Rural Education at a Glance. Rural Development Research Report Number 98, Economic Research Service, USDA, 2004.

Gibbs, R. Rural College Graduates Make a Comeback, Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA, September 2003:10.

Whitener, L., R. Gibbs, and L. Kusmin. Rural Welfare Reform: Lessons Learned? Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA, June 2003:38-44.

Gibbs, R. and L. Kusmin. Low-Skill Workers are a Declining Share of All Rural Workers, Amber Waves, Economic Research Service, USDA, June 2003:12.

Robert Gibbs. Rural Schools in a Changing Economy, in Agriculture as a Tool for Rural Development: Workshop Proceedings. Kate Clancy, Shelly Grow and Lydia Oberholtzer, editors. Arlington, VA: Wallace Center for Agricultural and Environmental Policy, 2003.

Gibbs, R. Rural Labor Markets in an Era of Welfare Reform, in Rural Dimensions of Welfare Reform. Bruce A. Weber, Greg J. Duncan, and Leslie A. Whitener, editors. Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute for Employment Research:51-76, 2002.

Gibbs, R. and T.S. Parker. Nonmetro Earnings Continue Upward, Rural America, Vol. 17, No. 2:58-60, Economic Research Service, USDA, 2002.

Lahr, M.L. and R.M. Gibbs. Mobility of Section 8 Families in Alameda County, Journal of Housing Economics, Vol. 11:187-213, 2002.

Gibbs, R. Nonmetro Labor Markets in the Era of Welfare Reform, Rural America, Vol. 16, No. 3:11-21, Economic Research Service, USDA, 2001.

Gibbs, R.M. and T.S. Parker. Nonmetro Earnings Continue Upward Trend, Rural America, Economic Research Service, USDA, Vol. 16, No. 2:38-40, 2001.

Gibbs, R. New South, Old Challenges, Rural America, Economic Research Service, USDA, Vol. 15, No. 4:2-6, 2001.

Cook, P.J. and R.M. Gibbs. Late 1990s in the Rural U.S: Period of Moderate Growth, Economic Trends, Vol. 1:72-77, 2001.

Last updated: Wednesday, December 04, 2013

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