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Productivity growth and the returns from public investment in R&D in Australian broadacre agriculture

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  • Mullen, John D.
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    Abstract

    Investment in R&D has long been regarded as an important source of productivity growth in Australian agriculture. Perhaps because research lags are long, current investment in R&D is monitored closely. Investment in R&D has been flat while productivity growth has remained strong, relative both to other sectors of the Australian economy and to the agricultural sectors of other countries. Such productivity growth, at a time when the decline in terms of trade facing Australian farmers has slowed, may have enhanced the competitiveness of Australian agriculture. The econometric results presented here suggest no evidence of a decline in the returns from research from the 15 to 40 per cent per annum range estimated by Mullen and Cox. In fact the marginal impact of research increases with research over the range of investment levels experienced from 1953 to 2000, a finding which lends support to the view that there is underinvestment in agricultural research. These results were obtained from econometric models which maintain strong assumptions about how investments in research and extension translate into changes in TFP. Hence some caution in interpreting the results is warranted.

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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): 51 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:118518

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    Postal: AARES Central Office Manager, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Canberra ACT 0200
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    Related research

    Keywords: productivity; research and development; research evaluation; Productivity Analysis; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies;

    References

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    1. Mullen, John D. & Cox, Thomas L., 1995. "The Returns From Research In Australian Broadacre Agriculture," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 39(02), August.
    2. Albert K. A. Acquaye & Julian M. Alston & Philip G. Pardey, 2003. "Post-War Productivity Patterns in U.S. Agriculture: Influences of Aggregation Procedures in a State-Level Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 59-80.
    3. Pannell, David J., 1999. "On the balance between strategic-basic and applied agricultural research," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 43(1), March.
    4. O'Donnell, Chris & Chambers, Robert G & Quiggin, John, 2006. "Efficiency analysis in the presence of uncertainty," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151176, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    5. Shane, Mathew & Roe, Terry L. & Gopinath, Munisamy, 1998. "U.S. Agricultural Growth and Productivity: An Economywide Perspective," Agricultural Economics Reports 34047, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. V. Eldon Ball & Frank M. Gollop & Alison Kelly-Hawke & Gregory P. Swinand, 1999. "Patterns of State Productivity Growth in the U.S. Farm Sector: Linking State and Aggregate Models," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 164-179.
    7. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity across Industries and Countries: Time Series Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 135-46, February.
    8. Cox, Thomas L. & Mullen, John D. & Hu, Wensheng, 1997. "Nonparametric measures of the impact of public research expenditures on Australian broadacre agriculture," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 41(3), September.
    9. Lawrence, Denis & McKay, Lloyd, 1980. "Inputs, Outputs And Productivity Change In The Australian Sheep Industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 24(01), April.
    10. Mullen, John D. & Cox, Thomas L., 1996. "Measuring Productivity Growth In Australian Broadacre Agriculture," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 40(03), December.
    11. Dean Parham, 2004. "Sources of Australia's Productivity Revival," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 239-257, 06.
    12. Scobie, Grant M. & Mullen, John D. & Alston, Julian M., 1991. "The Returns To Investment In Research On Australian Wool Production," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 35(02), August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nasir nadeem, Dr. & khalid Mushtaq, Dr., 2010. "Role of Agricultural Research and Extension in Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in Punjab, Pakistan," MPRA Paper 27769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Tozer, Peter R. & Villano, Renato, 2013. "Decomposing Productivity and Efficiency among Western Australian Grain Producers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(3), December.
    3. Nisrane, Fantu & Berhane, Guush & Asrat, Sinafikeh & Getachew, Gerawork & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum & Hoddinott, John, 2011. "Sources of inefficiency and growth in agricultural output in subsistence agriculture: A stochastic frontier analysis," ESSP working papers 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Sanderson, Todd & Ahmadi-Esfahani, Fredoun Z., 2010. "Climate change and Australia’s comparative advantage in broadacre agriculture," 2010 Conference, August 26-27, 2010, Nelson, New Zealand 96493, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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