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Setting Efficient Incentives for Agricultural Research: Lessons from Principal-Agent Theory

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  • Huffman, Wallace
  • Just, Richard E.

Abstract

A conceptual analysis of important issues in the organization and management of academic research is presented. Principal-agent theory is applied to derive optimal compensation schemes for scientists when they differ in ability, risk aversion, cost of effort, and reservation utility, and to show the optimal trade-off between institutional risk and scientists' abilities. Implications for an efficient organization of research are derived, including how scientists' incentives should be structured to elicit optimal research efforts and direction, whether research direction should be centralized or decentralized, and whether the organization of research should be through external competitive grants or program and institutional funding.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 5040.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2000
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Publication status: Published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, November 2000, vol. 82, pp. 828-841
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:5040

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Cited by:
  1. Ekboir, Javier M. & de Herrera, Adys Pereira & Becerra, Franklin, 2003. "Analisis del sistema panameno de investigacion agropecuaria," Economics Working Papers, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center 7679, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  2. Just, Richard E. & Huffman, Wallace E., 2009. "The economics of universities in a new age of funding options," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1102-1116, September.
  3. Debertin, David L., 2001. "Are American Farmers Better Off As A Result Of Technology Gains?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(02), August.
  4. Ekboir, Javier, 2003. "Why impact analysis should not be used for research evaluation and what the alternatives are," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 166-184, November.
  5. Kremer, Michael & Zwane, Alix Peterson, 2005. "Encouraging Private Sector Research for Tropical Agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 87-105, January.
  6. Day-Rubenstein, Kelly A. & Heisey, Paul W. & Klotz-Ingram, Cassandra & Frisvold, George B., 2000. "Competitive Grants And The Funding Of Agricultural Research In The U.S," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21863, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. Olmos, Marta Fernández & Grazia, Cristina & Perito, Maria Angela, 2011. "Quality and Double Sided Moral Hazard in Share Contracts," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 12(1), January.
  8. Olmos, Marta Fernandez & Martinez, Jorge Rosell, 2010. "The Quality-Quantity Trade-off in the Principal-Agent Framework," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(1), January.
  9. Foltz, Jeremy D. & Barham, Bradford L., 2008. "The Productivity Effects of Extension Appointments in Land Grant Colleges," Staff Paper Series 527, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  10. Dana G. Dalrymple, 2008. "International agricultural research as a global public good: concepts, the CGIAR experience and policy issues," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 347-379.
  11. 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.
  12. Ekboir, Javier M. & Espinosa Garcia, Jose Antonio & Espinoza Arellano, Jose de Jesus & Moctezuma Lopez, Georgel & Naranjo, Alfredo Tapia, 2003. "Analisis del sistema Mexicano de investigacion agropecuaria," Economics Working Papers, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center 7684, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  13. Huffman, Wallace, 2009. "Does Information Change Behavior?," Staff General Research Papers 13128, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. Valentina Cristiana MATERIA & Roberto ESPOSTI, 2010. "Modelling Agricultural Public R&D Cofinancing Within A Principal-Agent Framework. The case of an Italian region," Working Papers 347, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  15. Huffman, Wallace, 2005. "Developments in the Organization and Finance of Public Agricultural Research in the United States, 1988-1999," Staff General Research Papers 12485, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  16. Oscar Alfranca, 2005. "Private R&D and Spillovers in European Agriculture," International Advances in Economic Research, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 201-213, May.
  17. Parellada, Gabriel H. & Ekboir, Javier M., 2003. "Analisis del sistema argentino de investigacion agropecuaria," Economics Working Papers, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center 7694, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.

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