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Research returns redux: a meta-analysis of the returns to agricultural R&D

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  • Alston, Julian M.
  • Marra, Michele C.
  • Pardey, Philip G.
  • Wyatt, T.J.

Abstract

A total of 289 studies of returns to agricultural R&D were compiled and these provide 1821 estimates of rates of return. After removing statistical outliers and incomplete observations, across the remaining 1128 observations the estimated annual rates of return averaged 65 per cent overall — 80 per cent for research only, 80 per cent for extension only, and 47 per cent for research and extension combined. These averages reveal little meaningful information from a large body of literature, which provides rate‐of‐return estimates that are often not directly comparable. This study was aimed at trying to account for the differences. Several features of the methods used by research evaluators matter, in particular assumptions about lag lengths and the nature of the research‐induced supply shift.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its journal Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:117834

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Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies;

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  1. Fullerton, Don, 1991. "Reconciling Recent Estimates of the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 302-08, March.
  2. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1993. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 3506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. E. Pasour & Marc Johnson, 1982. "Bureaucratic productivity: The case of agricultural research revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 301-317, January.
  4. Julian M. Alston & Philip G. Pardey & Jennifer S. James & Matthew A. Anderson, 2009. "The Economics of Agricultural R&D," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 537-566, 09.
  5. P. G. Lakshminarayan & P W. Gassman & A. Bouzaher & R. C. Izaurralde, 1996. "A Metamodeling Approach to Evaluate Agricultural Policy Impact on Soil Degradation in Western Canada," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 44(3), pages 277-294, November.
  6. Alston, Julian M. & Craig, Barbara J. & Pardey, Philip G., 1998. "Dynamics in the creation and depreciation of knowledge, and the returns to research:," EPTD discussion papers 35, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Smith, V. Kerry & Osborne, Laura L., 1996. "Do Contingent Valuation Estimates Pass a "Scope" Test? A Meta-analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-301, November.
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