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Economic Incentives And Resource Allocation In U.S. Public And Private Plant Breeding


  • Fuglie, Keith O.
  • Walker, Thomas S.


Private investment in plant breeding has been increasing while public plant breeding has stagnated or declined. Moreover, research investment among crop commodities is uneven. Using a comprehensive survey of U.S. plant breeders from 1994, we use a simultaneous equations model to examine incentives and public-private tradeoffs in plant breeding research among 84 crop commodities. Allocation of private breeders among crops is strongly influenced by market size, hybrid seed technology, and ease of breeding improvement. In general, the allocation of public breeders does not appear to "crowd out" private breeders, but some competition may occur in applied breeding. Public breeding declines as private breeding increases on a commodity. Public breeding is also affected by market size, ease of breeding improvement, and political influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuglie, Keith O. & Walker, Thomas S., 2001. "Economic Incentives And Resource Allocation In U.S. Public And Private Plant Breeding," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1-15, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:15453

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1998. "Financing agricultural research: International investment patterns and policy perspectives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1057-1071, June.
    2. Vernon Ruttan, 1980. "Bureaucratic productivity: The case of agricultural research," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 529-547, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kingwell, Ross S., 2005. "Institutional Change and Plant Variety Provisions in Australia," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 13.
    2. King, John L. & Toole, Andrew A. & Fuglie, Keith O., 2012. "The Complementary Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in U.S. Agricultural Research and Development," Economic Brief 138925, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Anwar Naseem & David J. Spielman & Steven Were Omamo, 2010. "Private-sector investment in R&D: a review of policy options to promote its growth in developing-country agriculture," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 143-173.
    4. Hu, Ruifa & Liang, Qin & Pray, Carl E. & Huang, Jikun & Jin, Yanhong H., 2011. "Privatization, Public R&D Policy, and Private R&D Investment in China's Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 1-17, August.
    5. Kingwell, Ross S., 2003. "Institutional change and plant variety provision in Australia," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 57905, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    6. Claire H. Luby & Alexandra H. Lyon & Adrienne C. Shelton, 2013. "A New Generation of Plant Breeders Discovers Fertile Ground in Organic Agriculture," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(6), pages 1-5, June.
    7. Barkley, Andrew P. & Chumley, Forrest G., 2012. "A Doubled Haploid Laboratory for Kansas Wheat Breeding: An Economic Analysis of Biotechnology Adoption," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 15(2), pages 1-22, May.
    8. Heisey, Paul W. & Wang, Sun Ling & Fuglie, Keith O., 2011. "Public Agricultural Research Spending and Future U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth: Scenarios for 2010-2050," Economic Brief 138919, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.


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