IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Transgenic crops and the environment: missing markets and public roles


  • Batie, Sandra S.
  • Ervin, David E.


The rapidity of change has left scant opportunity for investigation of the consequences of adoption of transgenic crops on long-term ecosystem or economic system functioning. Economic theory suggests that, if the “Biotechnology Revolution†is left to market forces alone, there will be neglected public goods. Theory and limited empirical evidence suggests that there are significant incentives for private firms to discount and neglect certain environmental impacts and to develop products that meet mainly the needs of those able and willing to pay. Negative distributional impacts on rural societies and economies will not normally enter the private calculus nor will the long-term problems of insect and plant resistance. Thus, there is a strong case for enhanced public roles with respect to the use of transgenic crops. The adoption of the precautionary approach in public policies addressing transgenic crops is one alternative to better reflect public concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Batie, Sandra S. & Ervin, David E., 2001. "Transgenic crops and the environment: missing markets and public roles," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 435-457, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:6:y:2001:i:04:p:435-457_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aslaksen, Iulie & Ingeborg Myhr, Anne, 2007. ""The worth of a wildflower": Precautionary perspectives on the environmental risk of GMOs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 489-497, January.
    2. Kazumi Kondoh & Raymond Jussaume, 2006. "Contextualizing farmers’ attitudes towards genetically modified crops," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(3), pages 341-352, October.
    3. Iulie Aslaksen & Anne Ingeborg Myhr, 2006. ""The worth of a wildflower" Precautionary perspectives on the environmental risk of GMOs," Discussion Papers 476, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. Schmid, A. Allan, 2002. "The Spartan School Of Institutional Economics At Michigan State University," Staff Paper Series 11596, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    5. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Zilberman, David & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "Transgenic technology adoption and on-farm varietal diversity," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51750, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Belcher, Ken & Nolan, James & Phillips, Peter W.B., 2005. "Genetically modified crops and agricultural landscapes: spatial patterns of contamination," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 387-401, May.
    7. Iulie Aslaksen & Bent Natvig & Inger Nordal, 2004. "Environmental risk and the precautionary principle. "Late lessons from early warnings" applied to genetically modified plants," Discussion Papers 398, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Clem Tisdell, 2013. "Economics, ecology and GMOs: sustainability, precaution and related issues," Chapters, in: M. A. Quaddus & M. A.B. Siddique (ed.),Handbook of Sustainable Development Planning, chapter 5, pages 91-118, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Gray, Emily M. & Ahmadi-Esfahani, Fredoun Z., 2008. "Uncertainty aversion in Australian regulation of agricultural gene technology," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6045, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    10. Frank Ackerman & Timothy A. Wise & Kevin P. Gallagher & Luke Ney & Regina Flores, "undated". "Free Trade, Corn, and the Environment: Environmental Impacts of US – Mexico Corn Trade Under NAFTA," GDAE Working Papers 03-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
    11. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Zilberman, David & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "GM Technology Adoption, Production Risk and On-farm Varietal Diversity," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49173, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:6:y:2001:i:04:p:435-457_00. 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: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.