Kelsey L. Thomas (Conley)

Agricultural Economist


Kelsey Thomas is a research agricultural economist in the Rural Economy Branch of the Resource and Rural Economics Division, at USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS).


Kelsey joined ERS in July 2020. Prior to joining ERS, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Idaho. Her research interests include rural and community development, communication and telecommunication implementation, and small business/ entrepreneurship policies and evaluation.


Ph.D. agricultural economics, Oklahoma State University
M.S. agricultural economics, Oklahoma State University
B.S. agriculture communications, Oklahoma State University

Selected Publications

Conley, K.L., & Whitacre, B. (2020). Home is where the internet is? High speed internet's impact on rural housing values. International Regional Science Review, 43(5), 501–530.

Conley, K.L., & Lusk, J.L. (2018). What to eat when having a millennial over for dinner. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 41(1), 56–70.

Conley, K.L., & Whitacre, B. (senior authorship shared). (2016). Does broadband matter for rural entrepreneurs or 'creative class' employees? Review of Regional Studies, 46(2), 171–190.