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Perspectives On Assessing The Impacts Of Improved Agricultural Technologies In Developing Countries


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  • J. Brian Hardaker
  • Jock R. Anderson
  • John L. Dillon


While the role of technical change in agriculture is seen differently by protagonists of different theories of development, the processes of technology generation and uptake are widely seen as progressive. In this vein, agricultural technology assessment is seen as contributing to research policy and management and also to the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of broader rural development policies and programs. A need for both farm-level and aggregate-level assessments is identified, and methods applied at each level are reviewed. At the farm level, some insights are provided by the farming systems research approach leading to recognition of a changed role for economists in farm-level impact assessment. At the aggregate level, the problems of tracing out all the important consequences of a technical innovation can be severe. Analysts will generally need to account for general equilibrium effects, distorted prices and welfare considerations, as well as the dynamic interaction between technology and institutions. In the light of the discussion, an agenda of unfinished business for agricultural economists is suggested.

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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): 28 (1984)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (08-12)
Pages: 87-108

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:28:y:1984:i:2-3:p:87-108

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  1. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Scobie, Grant M., 1976. "Who Benefits From Agricultural Research?," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(04), December.
  3. McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
  4. Currie, John Martin & Murphy, John A & Schmitz, Andrew, 1971. "The Concept of Economic Surplus and its Use in Economic Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 81(324), pages 741-99, December.
  5. Edwards, Geoff W. & Freebairn, John W., 1982. "The Social Benefits from an Increase in Productivity in a Part of an Industry," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(02), August.
  6. Menz, K. M. & Knioscheer, H. C., 1981. "The location specificity problem in farming systems research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 95-103, September.
  7. Feder, Gershon & O'Mara, Gerald T, 1981. "Farm Size and the Diffusion of Green Revolution Technology," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 59-76, October.
  8. A. Meltzer & Peter Ordeshook & Thomas Romer, 1982. "Introduction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 1-3, January.
  9. Wicks, John A. & Crellin, Ian R., 1979. "Interactions of Technological Change in Australian Agriculture: An Aggregative Programming Analysis," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(01), April.
  10. Shumway, C. Richard, 1980. "Subjectivity in Ex Ante Research Evaluation," Evaluation of Agricultural Research, Proceedings of a Workshop, Minneapolis, MN, May 12-13, 1980, Miscellaneous Publication 8 49058, University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment Station.
  11. Yotopoulos, Pan A & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "A Test for Relative Economic Efficiency: Some Further Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 214-23, March.
  12. Miller, Thomas A., 1966. "Sufficient Conditions for Exact Aggregation in Linear Programming Models," Agricultural Economics Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, issue 2.
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Cited by:
  1. Tauer, Loren W., 1990. "Ex-ante Economic Assessment of Agriculture Biotechnology," Staff Papers 121528, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  2. Ryan, James G., 1984. "Efficiency And Equity Considerations In The Design Of Agricultural Technology In Developing Countries," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 28(02-03).
  3. Torkamani, Javad, 2005. "Using a whole-farm modelling approach to assess prospective technologies under uncertainty," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 138-154, August.


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