Public investment in agricultural research and development in Australia remains a sensible policy option
There is evidence that productivity in Australiaâ€™s broadacre agriculture (extensive cropping and livestock industries) has been slowing in the past decade. A series of poor seasons has been partly responsible, but an econometric analysis of structural changes in the trend of total factor productivity (TFP) indicates that stagnant public investment in agricultural R&D has also made a significant contribution to this slowdown in TFP. Related econometric analysis of the returns to public investment in agricultural R&D in the broadacre sector confirms that the rate of return to investment remains high. Despite these findings, a recent enquiry by Australiaâ€™s Productivity Commission into the financing of rural research suggests that the public sector may be â€˜crowding outâ€™ private sector investment in agricultural R&D and recommends a reduction in public support. In this paper I briefly review the econometric analyses to date and the trends in TFP and public R&D investment. While I have not been able to conclusively test the â€˜crowding outâ€™ hypothesis, there seems to be little empirical evidence to prefer this hypothesis to a more traditional â€˜market failureâ€™ hypothesis. Clearly, stakeholders in agricultural R&D in Australia have to do a better job in communicating the case for public investment in agricultural R&D. Other developed countries are experiencing the same phenomenon and it may become an issue in the future for developing countries in Asia.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sheng, Yu & Mullen, John D. & Zhao, Shiji, 2010. "Has growth in productivity in Australian broadacre agriculture slowed?," 2010 Conference (54th), February 10-12, 2010, Adelaide, Australia 59266, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
- Christopher J. O'Donnell, 2010.
"Measuring and decomposing agricultural productivity and profitability change ,"
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), pages 527-560, October.
- O'Donnell, Christopher J., 2010. "Measuring and decomposing agricultural productivity and profitability change," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), December.
- O'Donnell, Christopher J., 2009. "Measuring And Decomposing Agricultural Productivity And Profitability Change," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47625, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
- Sheng, Yu & Gray, Emily M. & Mullen, John D., 2011. "Public investment in R&D and extension and productivity in Australian broadacre agriculture," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100712, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
- Hughes, Neal & Lawson, Kenton & Davidson, Alistair & Jackson, Tom & Sheng, Yu, 2011. "Productivity pathways: climate-adjusted production frontiers for the Australian broadacre cropping industry," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100563, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:afbmau:122896. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.