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Size And Distribution Of Market Benefits From Adopting Biotech Crops


  • Price, Gregory K.
  • Lin, William W.
  • Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin
  • Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge


This study estimates the total benefit arising from the adoption of agricultural biotechnology in one year (1997) and its distribution among key stakeholders along the production and marketing chain. The analysis focuses on three biotech crops: herbicide-tolerant soybeans, insect-resistant (Bt) cotton, and herbicide-tolerant cotton. Adoption of these crops resulted in estimated market benefits of $212.5-$300.7 million for Bt cotton, $231.8 million for herbicide-tolerant cotton, and $307.5 million for herbicide-tolerant soybeans. These benefits accounted for small shares of crop production value, ranging from 2 percent to 5 percent. U.S. farmers captured a much larger share (about a third) of the benefits for Bt cotton than with herbicide-tolerant soybeans (20 percent) and herbicide-tolerant cotton (4 percent). Innovators' share ranged from 30 percent for Bt cotton to 68 percent for herbicide-tolerant soybeans. For herbicide-tolerant cotton, U.S. consumers and the rest of the world (including both producers and consumers) received the bulk of the estimated benefits in 1997. Estimated benefits and their distribution depend on the specification of the analytical framework, supply and demand elasticity assumptions, the inclusion of market and nonmarket benefits, crops considered, and year-specific factors (such as weather and pest infestation levels).

Suggested Citation

  • Price, Gregory K. & Lin, William W. & Falck-Zepeda, Jose Benjamin & Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge, 2003. "Size And Distribution Of Market Benefits From Adopting Biotech Crops," Technical Bulletins 33562, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uerstb:33562

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giancarlo Moschini & Harvey Lapan, 1997. "Intellectual Property Rights and the Welfare Effects of Agricultural R&D," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(4), pages 1229-1242.
    2. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Torre Ugarte, Daniel de la & Sanford, Scott & Skinner, Robert A. & Westcott, Paul C. & Lin, William W., 2000. "Supply Response Under The 1996 Farm Act And Implications For The U.S. Field Crops Sector," Technical Bulletins 33568, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antoine Bouët & Guillaume P. Gruère, 2011. "Refining Opportunity Cost Estimates of Not Adopting GM Cotton: An Application in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 260-279.
    2. Ramasundaram, P. & Suresh, A. & Samuel, Josily & Wankhade, Shwetal, 2014. "Welfare Gains from Application of First Generation Biotechnology in Indian Agriculture: The Case of Bt Cotton," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(1).
    3. Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2011. "Distribution of welfare gains from GM cassava in Uganda across different population groups and market margins," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 6(1), March.
    4. Lin, William W. & Somwaru, Agapi & Tuan, Francis C. & Huang, Jikun & Bai, Junfei, 2005. "Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Biotech Foods in China," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19569, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Run Yu & Ping Leung, 2012. "The economic implication of rising transport cost for a small open economy: a case study of Hawaii’s vegetable sector," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(3), pages 855-875, June.
    6. Frisvold, George B. & Reeves, Jeanne M., 2008. "The costs and benefits of refuge requirements: The case of Bt cotton," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 87-97, March.
    7. Smyth, Stuart J. & Falck-Zepeda, Jose & Ludlow, Karinne, 2016. "The Costs of Regulatory Delays for Genetically Modified Crops," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 17(2).
    8. Robert Finger & Nadja El Benni & Timo Kaphengst & Clive Evans & Sophie Herbert & Bernard Lehmann & Stephen Morse & Nataliya Stupak, 2011. "A Meta Analysis on Farm-Level Costs and Benefits of GM Crops," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(5), pages 1-20, May.


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