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Research Prizes: A Mechanism To Reward Innovation In African Agriculture


  • Masters, William J.


This paper identifies market failures that limit agricultural R&D for Africa and other resource-poor environments, and proposes a mechanism to help circumvent them with cash prizes for the dissemination of successful innovations. The proposed prize institution would use ex-post experiments and farm surveys to document the value of innovations after their initial diffusion, to avoid pre-specification of technologies. Prizes would be offered in proportion to estimated social benefits, and would buy innovations into the public domain so that innovators with marketable technologies would choose not to apply for prizes. A governance structure to ensure credibility and financial sustainability is proposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Masters, William J., 2003. "Research Prizes: A Mechanism To Reward Innovation In African Agriculture," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22162, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea03:22162

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    Cited by:

    1. Newell, Richard G. & Wilson, Nathan E., 2005. "Technology Prizes for Climate Change Mitigation," Discussion Papers 10698, Resources for the Future.


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