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The Economic Returns to U.S. Public Agricultural Research

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  • Julian M. Alston
  • Matthew A. Andersen
  • Jennifer S. James
  • Philip G. Pardey

Abstract

We use newly constructed state-specific data to explore the implications of common modeling choices for measures of research returns. Our results indicate that state-to-state spillover effects are important, that the research and development lag is longer than many studies have allowed, and that misspecification can give rise to significant biases. Across states, the average of the own-state benefit-cost ratios is 21:1, or 32:1 when the spillover benefits to other states are included. These ratios correspond to real internal rates of return of 9% or 10% per annum, much smaller than those typically reported in the literature, partly because we have corrected for a methodological flaw in computing rates of return. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1257-1277

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:93:y:2011:i:5:p:1257-1277

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Cited by:
  1. Alston, Julian M. & Okrent, Abigail M. & Parks, Joanna, 2013. "Effects of U.S. Public Agricultural R&D on U.S. Obesity and its Social Costs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149796, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Rao, Xudong & Hurley, Terrance M. & Pardey, Philip G., 2012. "Recalibrating the Reported Rates of Return to Food and Agricultural R&D," Staff Papers 135018, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
  3. Bervejillo, José E. & Alston, Julian M. & Tumber, Kabir P., 2011. "The Economic Returns to Public Agricultural Research in Uruguay," Working Papers 162518, Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics.
  4. repec:ags:remeag:163036 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G., 2014. "Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty and Malnutrition Redux," Staff Papers 162413, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
  6. repec:ags:remeag:163038 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Kamanda, Josey & Birner, Regina & Bantilan, Cynthia, 2013. "Strategic positioning of international agricultural research centres: Comparative advantage and trade-offs from a transaction cost economics perspective," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152160, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  8. repec:ags:remeag:163037 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:ags:remeag:163039 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Jin, Yu & Huffman, Wallace E., 2013. "Reduced U.S. Funding of Public Agricultural Research and Extension Risks Lowering Future Agricultural Productivity Growth Prospects," Staff General Research Papers 36796, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  11. Alston, Julian M. & Okrent, Abigail M. & Parks, Joanna, 2013. "Effects of U.S. Public Agricultural R&D on U.S. Obesity and its Social Costs- Revised," Working Papers 162530, Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics.
  12. Esposti, Roberto, 0. "Knowledge, Technology and Innovations for a Bio-based Economy: Lessons from the Past, Challenges for the Future," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 3.

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