An economic framework for genealogical research?

3H7B3588 WillieDr Wilhelm Bernhardt [Familia 2019 Vol. 56/3 p23-41]
The article explains that genealogical activities can be divided into a spectrum of at least five types of mutually supportive fields of interest. All five of these types can derive value from shared methods of inquiry. One such method that can serve all five types of research to a greater or lesser degree, is the author's proposed economic framework for genealogical research, and the concomitant use of timelines. The proposed framework is explained with examples from the author's own research.
By gathering knowledge of the ancestors, genealogists actually get to know the present better, and move closer to answers to the core questions of genealogy: "Who am I?", "Why am I?" and “What has happened in the past that made me who I am?” The most basic purpose - and joy - of genealogical research lies in the search for and finding answers to questions about our ancestors. From this point of view, the proposed economic framework for genealogical research is therefore hopefully still a method among many others, which may help genealogists to derive even more enjoyment from their chosen field of interest.
Extract from panel adjudicators' comments:
1. The author succeeds well in using modern research practices, namely genealogical and historical research, by setting up an economic framework and a new way of providing an integrated picture of how the ancestors lived. The article serves as an excellent example for other genealogists on how to tackle similar research; it is special and fun to read. Technically, however, it is not a purely genealogical article but the originality of the assessment does not constitute a significant problem.
2. This article is one of the best that has ever appeared in a Familia, but I place it third because my interpretation is that articles must contain genealogical data in order to qualify for this award. In the end, there is genealogical information on the author's father but it was only used for the primary purpose, viz. to support the economic framework within which an article can be written.
3. The article re-emphasises the value of considering the changing environment in which the family tree's generations succeed each other. His inclusive model encourages researchers to deliberately utilise timelines of different nature to, e.g. improve insight into family decisions AND it also provides guidelines for further research (e.g. by looking for records at economically stronger places). The article is well presented with some source references. Given that this is his proposal (and own brain child), fewer sources are at stake. The author wanted to explain a relatively novel concept (especially the timeline aspect) and he had to illustrate it with examples. He has a comfortable writing style and complements it with tables and other sample material.