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Agricultural Biotechnology's Complementary Intellectual Assets


  • Gregory D. Graff

    (University of California, Berkeley;)

  • Gordon C. Rausser

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Arthur A. Small

    (Columbia University)


We formulate and test a hypothesis for the dramatic restructuring that the plant breeding and seed industry has recently undergone: the reorganization can be explained in part by the desire to exploit complementarities between intellectual assets needed to create genetically modified organisms. This hypothesis is tested using data on agricultural biotechnology patents, notices for field tests of genetically modified organisms, and firm characteristics. The presence of complementarities is identified with a positive covariance in the unexplained variation of asset holdings. Results indicate that coordination of complementary assets has increased under the consolidation of the industry. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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  • Gregory D. Graff & Gordon C. Rausser & Arthur A. Small, 2003. "Agricultural Biotechnology's Complementary Intellectual Assets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 349-363, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:85:y:2003:i:2:p:349-363

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos J. Serrano, 2010. "The dynamics of the transfer and renewal of patents," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(4), pages 686-708.
    2. C.S. Srinivasan, 2005. "The International Trends In Plant Variety Protection," The Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, vol. 2(2), pages 182-220.
    3. Christoph Grimpe & Katrin Hussinger, 2014. "Resource complementarity and value capture in firm acquisitions: The role of intellectual property rights," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(12), pages 1762-1780, December.
    4. Srinivasan, C. S., 2003. "Concentration in ownership of plant variety rights: some implications for developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 519-546.
    5. Graff, Gregory & Roland-Holst, David & Zilberman, David, 2005. "Biotechnology and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 027, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:3:p:566-587 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rousselière, Samira & Rousselière, Damien & Ramani, Shyama, 2016. "Innovation Led Alliances: Theory and application to the GM Plant Industry," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244949, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Shi, Guanming & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Stiegert, Kyle, 2008. "An Analysis of Bundle Pricing: The Case of the Corn Seed Market," Staff Paper Series 529, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    9. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2008. "Building and Blocking: The Two Faces of Technology Acquisition," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Grimpe, Christoph & Hussinger, Katrin, 2014. "Pre-empted patents, infringed patents and firms’ participation in markets for technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 543-554.
    11. Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis, 2004. "Don't Fence Me In: Fragmented Markets for Technology and the Patent Acquisition Strategies of Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 804-820, June.
    12. Eran Binenbaum, 2005. "Towards a Relational Economics: Methodological Comments on Intellectual Property Strategy, Industrial Organisation, and Economics," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0502001, EconWPA.
    13. Roberto ESPOSTI, 2003. "Complementarita' innovative e tragedia degli anticommons. Il caso delle agrobiotecnologie," Working Papers 198, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    14. Chondrakis, George, 2016. "Unique synergies in technology acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1873-1889.
    15. Graff, Gregory & Roland-Holst, David & Zilberman, David, 2006. "Agricultural biotechnology and poverty reduction in low-income countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1430-1445, August.
    16. Holm-Muller, Karin, 2008. "Der Internationale Vertrag über pflanzengenetische Ressourcen für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft – ein Meilenstein zur Erleichterung der Pflanzenzüchtung?," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 57(2).
    17. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Does fragmented or heterogeneous IP ownership stifle investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    18. Sheldon, Ian M., 2008. "The Biotechnology Sector: "Bounds" to Market Structure," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6078, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    19. Cédric Schneider, 2011. "The battle for patent rights in plant biotechnology: evidence from opposition fillings," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(5), pages 565-579, October.
    20. Shi, Guanming, 2004. "Bundling And Licensing Of Genes In Agricultural Biotechnology," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19913, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    21. Blakeney, Michael, 2011. "Recent developments in intellectual property and power in the private sector related to food and agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(S1), pages 109-113.

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