IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Structure of public support for national agricultural research systems: A political economy perspective


  • Pardey, Philip G.
  • Sandra Kang, M.
  • Elliott, Howard


This paper initiates development of a set of stylized facts concerning the structure of public support for national agricultural research systems (NARS) within a neoclassical political economy framework. The aim is to place public funding of NARS in the broader context of the overall level of direct government assistance to agriculture. Using a newly constructed data set on NARS expenditures over the 1970‐85 period, we observe a growing disparity in agricultural research intensity ratios, which measure the level of public support for NARS in relation to agricultural gross domestic production (Aggdp) between low and high‐income countries. This growing disparity appears to be driven by much larger increases in support for agricultural research by high‐income countries, coupled with a significantly slower growth in the size of their agricultural sector, despite the propensity of low and middle‐income countries to increase real support to agricultural research. As per‐capita incomes rise the public agricultural expenditure ratio, which measures public expenditures on agriculture relative to the size of the agricultural sector, Aggdp, increases substantially. Public expenditures on agriculture were indexed on agricultural and non‐agricultural populations to give a rough indication of the increasing incentives for rural 'distributional coalitions' to seek a redistribution of public expenditures in their favor. A relative research expenditure (rre) ratio is developed, which measures the proportion of total public expenditure on agriculture spent on agricultural research. It provides an indication of the relative importance given to research on agriculture within the constraints imposed by overall public spending on agriculture. In contrast to the agricultural research intensity ratios, the rre ratios suggest that agricultural research appears to command as large a share of the public purse devoted to agriculture in low and middle‐income countries as it does in high‐income
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Pardey, Philip G. & Sandra Kang, M. & Elliott, Howard, 1989. "Structure of public support for national agricultural research systems: A political economy perspective," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 261-278, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:3:y:1989:i:4:p:261-278

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:


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

    Cited by:

    1. Peterson, Willis L., 1989. "Public Support Of Experiment Stations," Staff Papers 14229, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    2. Lee, David R. & Rausser, Gordon C., 1992. "The Structure of Research and Transfer Policies in International Agriculture: Evidence and Implications," 1992 Occasional Paper Series No. 6 197731, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Peterson, Willis L., 1991. "Is The Demand For Agricultural Experiment Station Personnel Declining?," Staff Papers 13246, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    4. Mohinder S. Mudahar & Raisuddin Ahmed, 2010. "Government and Rural Transformation : Role of Public Spending and Policies in Bangladesh," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 16356.
    5. Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2008. "Institutionalizing end-user demand steering in agricultural R&D: Farmer levy funding of R&D in The Netherlands," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 460-472, April.
    6. Pardey, Philip G. & Alston, Julian M. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2012. "Agricultural Production, Productivity and R&D over the Past Half Century: An Emerging New World Order," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 131824, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    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:eee:agecon:v:3:y:1989:i:4:p:261-278. 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: (Dana Niculescu). 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.