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Local Effects of Land Grant Colleges on Agricultural Innovation and Output

In: Economics of Research and Innovation in Agriculture

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  • Michael J. Andrews

Abstract

To estimate the local effect of establishing land grant colleges, I compare locations that receive a land grant college to “runner-up” counties that were in contention to receive the land grant but did not for as-good-as-random reasons. I find that establishing a land grant college causes an increase in local invention, including in particular agricultural inventions, in college counties relative to the runner-up counties. But land grant college counties see only small and imprecisely estimated improvements in agricultural performance, measured by yield and output, relative to runner-up counties. I discuss several alternative interpretations of these findings. By comparing the establishment of land grant colleges to non-land grant colleges, I show that land grants appear to cause smaller increases in local invention, population, and agricultural output, but larger increases in agricultural yields and new crop varieties. The effect of land grant colleges on local innovations is largest, even relative to non-land grant colleges, following the passage of legislation that increases funding to agricultural research.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Andrews, 2020. "Local Effects of Land Grant Colleges on Agricultural Innovation and Output," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Research and Innovation in Agriculture, pages 139-175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:14292
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrews, Michael J. & Whalley, Alexander, 2022. "150 years of the geography of innovation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    2. William F Maloney & Felipe Valencia Caicedo, 2022. "Engineering Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1554-1594.
    3. Pierri, Nicola & Timmer, Yannick, 2022. "The importance of technology in banking during a crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 88-104.
    4. Lee, Jongkwan, 2021. "The Role of a University in Cluster Formation: Evidence from a National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    5. Kong, Dongmin & Zhang, Bohui & Zhang, Jian, 2022. "Higher education and corporate innovation," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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