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The Santaniello theorem of irreversible benefits

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  • Wesseler, Justus

Abstract

Irreversible benefits favor an earlier introduction of GM crops versus a later one. A non-trivial question is if they also weigh more than reversible benefits similar to irreversible costs but in the opposite direction. In this contribution, I will show that indeed irreversible benefits do weigh more than reversible ones and indeed result in an irreversibility effect, albeit a positive one. The problem can be summarized by the following theorem: “Irreversible benefits justify the immediate introduction of transgenic crops, even if future uncertainty about reversible benefits include negative benefits and traditional cost-benefit analysis, and treating all benefits and costs as reversible would reject the introduction.” I call this theorem—in honor of Vittorio Santaniello—the “The Santaniello Theorem of Irreversible Benefits.”

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25602.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Publication status: Published in AgBioForum 12.1(2009): pp. 8-13
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25602

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Keywords: GMOs; irreversible benefits; real option; uncertainty;

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  1. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  2. Pindyck, Robert S., 2000. "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 233-259, July.
  3. Demont, Matty & Wesseler, Justus & Tollens, Eric, 2002. "Biodiversity Versus Transgenic Sugar Beet: The One Euro Question," Working Papers 31859, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.
  4. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  5. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
  6. Soregaroli, Claudio & Wesseler, Justus, 2005. "Minimum Distance Requirements and Liability: Implications for Co-Existence," MPRA Paper 33230, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Merton, Robert C, 1998. "Applications of Option-Pricing Theory: Twenty-Five Years Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 323-49, June.
  8. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
  9. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  10. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Wesseler, Justus & Scatasta, Sara, 2009. "Editor’s introduction. the future of agricultural biotechnology: creative destruction, adoption, or irrelevance?–in honor of Prof. Vittorio Santaniello," MPRA Paper 25603, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Xianlei Ma & Justus Wesseler & Nico Heerink & Futian Qu, 2013. "Land Tenure Reforms and Land Conservation Investments in China ¨C What Does Real Option Value Theory Tell Us?," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 3, pages 19-33, August.
  3. Kikulwe, Enoch & Birol, Ekin & Wesseler, Justus & Falck-Zepeda, José, 2009. "A latent class approach to investigating consumer demand for genetically modified staple food in a developing country: The case of GM bananas in Uganda," IFPRI discussion papers 938, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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