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Valuing Pre-Commercial Genetic Resources: A Maximum Entropy Approach


  • Armineh Zohrabian
  • Greg Traxler
  • Steven Caudill
  • Melinda Smale


Genetic improvement has been a major contributor to agricultural productivity in the United States, but many questions about the economics of crop breeding, such as the value of pre-commercial germplasm, remain unanswered. This study estimates the marginal value of poorly characterized materials contained in the U.S. national germplasm system. Within the search theoretic framework, we apply a maximum entropy method to estimate the probability and the expected level of improvement in pest susceptibility relative to its best previously observed level. The results indicate that the lower-bound estimate of benefit is significantly higher than the upper-bound cost of conserving an accession. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Armineh Zohrabian & Greg Traxler & Steven Caudill & Melinda Smale, 2003. "Valuing Pre-Commercial Genetic Resources: A Maximum Entropy Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 429-436.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:85:y:2003:i:2:p:429-436

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    Cited by:

    1. Musselwhite, Gary & Herath, Gamini, 2007. "Chaos theory and assessment of forest stakeholder attitudes towards Australian forest policy," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(8), pages 947-964, May.
    2. Anastasios Xepapadeas & Eva Kougea & Parthenopi Ralli & Sofia Spyrou & Nicolaos Stavropoulos & Vasiliki Tsiaousi & Athanasios Tsivelikas, "undated". "Valuing Services Emerging from a Gene Bank: The Case of the Greek Gene Bank," DEOS Working Papers 1307, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    3. Xepapadeas, Anastasios & Ralli, Parthenopi & Kougea, Eva & Spyrou, Sofia & Stavropoulos, Nikolaos & Tsiaousi, Vasiliki & Tsivelikas, Athanasios, 2014. "Valuing insurance services emerging from a gene bank: The case of the Greek Gene Bank," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 140-149.

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