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

  • Mullen, John D.
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    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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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/118518
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    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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    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. 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.
    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. 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.
    5. Dean Parham, 2004. "Sources of Australia's Productivity Revival," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 239-257, 06.
    6. Grant M. Scobie & John D. Mullen & Julian M. Alston, 1991. "The Returns To Investment In Research On Australian Wool Production," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 35(2), pages 179-195, 08.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    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. 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.
    12. 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.
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