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Efficiency of research investments in the presence of international spillovers: wheat research in developing countries


  • Maredia, Mywish K.
  • Byerlee, Derek


Expenditures on agricultural research in the public sector, including the International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs) have stagnated and in some cases, declined sharply in recent years. This has focused attention on issues of efficiency of agricultural research systems, especially the number, size, scope, type, and locations of their programs. This paper examines the issue of research efficiency through a case study of wheat improvement research in developing countries. The basic premise of this study is that the optimal level of research investment should be determined in a global model that incorporates direct research spill-ins. An analytical framework is developed to determine the threshold levels of crop production in a country (or a region within a country) needed to justify crop improvement research programs of different sizes in the presence of spill-ins from abroad. Spill-in coefficients are estimated from yield performance of varieties of different origins grown across a range of environments. The model is then applied to analyze the efficiency of current investments in 69 wheat improvement research programs in 35 developing countries. A major conclusion of the paper is that given the magnitude of potential spill-ins from the international research system, many wheat research programs could significantly increase the efficiency of resource use by reducing the size of their wheat research programs and focusing on the screening of varieties developed elsewhere. ©2000 Elsevier Science B. V. All rights reserved.
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  • Maredia, Mywish K. & Byerlee, Derek, 2000. "Efficiency of research investments in the presence of international spillovers: wheat research in developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:22:y:2000:i:1:p:1-16

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Evenson, Robert & da Cruz, Elmar R., 1992. "Economic Impacts of the PROCISUR Programme: An International Study," Occasional Paper Series No. 6 197729, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Maredia, Mywish K. & Ward, Richard & Byerlee, Derek R., 1996. "Econometric estimation of a global spillover matrix for wheat varietal technology," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 14(3), August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Namara, Regassa E. & Manig, Winfried, 2004. "Returns to Alternative Organisational Models of Wheat Breeding Research: Simulation Results from Ethiopia," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 59(2).
    2. Johnson, M., 2014. "Exploring strategic priorities for regional agricultural research and development investments in Southern Africa," IWMI Working Papers H046297, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Maredia, Mywish K. & Eicher, Carl K., 1995. "The economics of wheat research in developing countries: The one hundred million dollar puzzle," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 401-412, March.
    4. Brennan, John P. & Quade, Kathryn J., 2004. "Genetics of, and Breeding for, Rust Resistance in Wheat in India and Pakistan," Impact Assessment Series (IAS) 113224, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
    5. Brennan, John P. & Quade, Kathryn J., 2006. "Towards the measurement of the impacts of improving research capacity: an economic evaluation of training in wheat disease resistance," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(2), June.
    6. Liangzhi You & Michael Johnson, 2010. "Exploring strategic priorities for regional agricultural R&D investments in East and Central Africa," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 177-190, March.
    7. Roberto ESPOSTI, 2000. "Public R&D Design and Technological Spill-Ins. A Dynamic Model," Working Papers 136, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    8. Johnson, Michael E. & Benin, Samuel & You, Liangzhi & Diao, Xinshen & Chilonda, Pius & Kennedy, Adam, 2014. "Exploring strategic priorities for regional agricultural research and development investments in southern Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1318, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Esposti, Roberto, 2002. "Public agricultural R&D design and technological spill-ins: A dynamic model," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 693-717, July.
    10. Renkow, Mitch & Byerlee, Derek, 2010. "The impacts of CGIAR research: A review of recent evidence," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 391-402, October.
    11. Maredia, Mywish K. & Byerlee, Derek & Pee, Peter, 2000. "Impacts of food crop improvement research: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 531-559, October.
    12. Traxler, Greg & Pingali, Prabhu L., 1999. "International Collaboration in Crop Improvement Research: Current Status and Future Prospects," Economics Working Papers 7668, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    13. Heisey, Paul W. & King, John L. & Day-Rubenstein, Kelly A. & Bucks, Dale A. & Welsh, Rick, 2010. "Assessing the Benefits of Public Research Within an Economic Framework: The Case of USDA's Agricultural Research Service," Economic Research Report 94852, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:spr:scient:v:114:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2585-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alston, Julian M., 2002. "Spillovers," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(3), September.
    17. Omuru, Eric & Kingwell, Ross S., 2005. "Funding and Managing Agricultural Research in a Developing Country: a Papua New Guinea case study," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137938, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    18. 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.
    19. Brennan, John P. & Quade, Kathryn J., 2004. "Measuring the Impacts of Improving Research Capacity: The Case of Training in Wheat Disease Resistance," 2004 Conference (48th), February 11-13, 2004, Melbourne, Australia 58379, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    20. Griffith, Garry R. & Vere, David T. & Jones, Randall E., 2006. "Sheep CRC Renewal Proposal: Economic Evaluation of the Proposed Scientific Themes," Research Reports 42656, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Research Economists.

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