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Returns to public sector plant breeding in the presence of spill-ins and private goods: the case of bean research in Michigan

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  • Mywish K. Maredia
  • Richard Bernsten
  • Catherine Ragasa

Abstract

This article illustrates a methodology for assessing economic returns to a publicly funded breeding program in the presence of private sector investments, and spill-ins from other contemporary public institutions and past research efforts. The approach consists of determining yield gains from bean improvement research; applying these yield gain estimates to measure benefits attributable to different institutional players and time periods; and then assessing the benefit-cost ratios of investments in a bean improvement program since 1980 by Michigan State University (MSU). The results indicate that investments in MSU's bean breeding program have yielded benefits to costs ratio in the range of 0.7 to 2.2, depending on the attribution rule used to estimate the benefits. The estimated benefit/cost ratios reported in this study are lower-bound estimates, as they do not account for potential benefits from area planted to MSU varieties outside of Michigan (spillover effects), which was 1.5 times greater than the area planted to MSU-bred varieties within Michigan in the period 1998-2002. The implications of the increasingly privatized bean seed markets for the role of public sector research in bean improvement research are discussed. Copyright (c) 2010 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Mywish K. Maredia & Richard Bernsten & Catherine Ragasa, 2010. "Returns to public sector plant breeding in the presence of spill-ins and private goods: the case of bean research in Michigan," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(5), pages 425-442, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:41:y:2010:i:5:p:425-442
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    2. Philip G. Pardey & Julian M. Alston & Connie Chan-Kang & Eduardo C. Magalhães & Stephen A. Vosti, 2006. "International and Institutional R&D Spillovers: Attribution of Benefits among Sources for Brazil's New Crop Varieties," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 104-123.
    3. Alston, Julian M. & Wyatt, T. J. & Pardey, Philip G. & Marra, Michele C. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2000. "A meta-analysis of rates of return to agricultural R & D: ex pede Herculem?," Research reports 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Stavroula Malla & Richard Gray & Peter Phillips, 2004. "Gains to Research in the Presence of Intellectual Property Rights and Research Subsidies," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(1), pages 63-81.
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    7. Alston, Julian M. & Marra, Michele C. & Pardey, Philip G. & Wyatt, T.J., 2000. "Research returns redux: a meta-analysis of the returns to agricultural R&D," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(2), June.
    8. Morris, M. L. & Heisey, P. W., 2003. "Estimating the benefits of plant breeding research: methodological issues and practical challenges," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 241-252, December.
    9. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G., 2001. "Attribution and other problems in assessing the returns to agricultural R&D," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 25(2-3), pages 141-152, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reyes, Byron A. & Maredia, Mywish K. & Bernsten, Richard H. & Rosas, Juan Carlos, 2016. "Opportunities Seized, Opportunities Missed: Differences in the Economic Impact of Bean Research in Five Latin American Countries," Food Security International Development Working Papers 251850, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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