The Roles of Economic Research in the Evolution of International Agricultural Biotechnology

  • Gregory Graff
  • David Zilberman
  • Cherisa Yarkin


This paper identifies several areas where economic research can make a difference in agricultural biotechnology’s evolution and suggests fields of related research emphasis. Also, methodologies are identified that need improvement to provide guidance for managing biotechnology policies. First of all, recent trends in biotechnology research that may affect agriculture in developing countries are discussed. The paper then outlines several types of economic research on biotechnology, including technology adoption, ex ante analysis of biotechnology’s economic impacts and institutional and policy designs. It is argued and shown that economic analysis can help to improve (i) the allocation of research resources, (ii) intellectual property rights arrangements, (iii) technology transfer, (iv) the structure of private and public research, (v) the conservation of genetic materials, (vi) the farm-level adoption of biotechnology innovations and (vii) the direct and indirect impact of biotechnologies on farmers and consumers.


Economic Research Technology Adoption Agricultural Biotechnology Biotechnology Product General Equilibrium Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antle, J., and R. Just (1991): Effects of Commodity Program Structure on Resource Use and the Environment. In: R. Just, and N. Bockstael (eds.). Commodity and Resource Policies in Agricultural Systems. Agricultural Management and Economics Series, Springer, New York, pp. 97–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Binswanger, H. (1974): A Microeconomic Approach to Induced Innovation. Economic Journal 84 (336), pp. 940–958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Castillo, F., D. Parker, and D. Zilberman (1999): The Performance of Offices of Technology Transfer. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  4. Collender, R., and D. Zilberman (1985): Land Allocation Under Uncertainty for Alternative Specifications of Return Distributions. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 67 (4), pp. 779–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. David, P., B. Hall, and A. Toole (1999): Is Public RandD a Complement or Substitute for Private RandD? A Review of the Econometric Evidence. Working Paper 7373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  6. Encaoua, D. (1998): The Economics and Econometrics of Innovation. Annales D’Economie et de Statistique 49 /50, pp. 27–51.Google Scholar
  7. Feder, G., R. Just, and D. Zilberman (1985): Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey. Economic Development and Cultural Change 32 (2), pp. 255–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foltz, J., J. Lee, M. Martin, and P. Preckel (1995): Multiattribute Assessment of Alternative Cropping Systems. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 77 (2), pp. 408–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Graff, G., G. Rausser, and A. Small (1999): Agricultural Biotechnology’s Complementary Intellectual Assets. Paper presented at the conference “The Shape of the Coming Agricultural Biotechnology Transformation” 17–19 June, Tor Vergata University, Rome.Google Scholar
  10. Green, G., and D. Sunding (1997): Land Allocation, Soil Quality, and the Demand for Irrigation Technology. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 22 (2), pp. 367–375.Google Scholar
  11. Griliches, Z., B. Hall, and A. Pakes (1987): The Value of Patents as Indicators of Inventive Activity. In: P. Dasgupta, and P. Stoneman (eds.). Economic Policy and Technological Performance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 97–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hayami, Y., and V. Ruttan (1985): Agricultural Development: An International Perspective. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  13. Heiman A, D. Just, and D. Zilberman (1999): The Role of Socio-Economic Factors and Lifestyle Variables on Attitude Toward and Demand for Genetically Modified Foods. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  14. Hochman, E., and D. Zilberman (1978): Examination of Environmental Policies Using Production and Pollution Microparameter Distributions. Econometrica 46 (4), pp. 739–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Howitt, R. (1995): A Calibration Method for Agricultural Economic Production Models. Journal of Agricultural Economics 46 (2), pp. 147–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. James, C. (1998): Global Review of Commercialized Transgenic Crops. ISAAA Briefs, No. 8, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
  17. de Janvry, A., G. Graff, E. Sadoulet, and D. Zilberman (1999): Agricultural Biotechnology and Poverty: Can the Potential Be Made a Reality? Paper presented at the conference “The Shape of the Coming Agricultural Biotechnology Transformation”, 17–19 June, Tor Vergata University, Rome.Google Scholar
  18. de Janvry, A. and E. Sadoulet (1992): Agricultural Trade Liberalization and Low Income Countries: A General Equilibrium-Multimarket Approach. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 74 (2), pp. 268–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Just, R., and D. Zilberman (1983): Stochastic Structure, Farm Size, and Technology Adoption in Developing Agriculture. Oxford Economic Papers 35 (2), pp. 307328.Google Scholar
  20. Lancaster, K. (1991): A New Approach to Consumer Theory. In: K. Lancaster (ed.). Modern Consumer Theory. Elgar, Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, Vt. pp. 11–43, (previously published in 1966 ).Google Scholar
  21. Mansfield, E. (1961): Technical Change and the Rate of Imitation. Econometrica 29 (4), pp. 741–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mowery, D., and N. Rosenberg (1979): The Influence of Market Demand Upon Innovation: A Critical Review of Some Recent Empirical Studies. Research Policy 8, pp. 102–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Osgood, D. (1999): Information, Precision, and Waste. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  24. Parker, D., and D. Zilberman (1993): University Technology Transfers: Impacts on Local and U.S. Economies. Contemporary Policy Issues XI, pp. 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pisano, G. (1988): Innovation Through Markets, Hierarchies, and Joint Ventures: Technology Strategy and Collaborative Arrangements in the Biotechnology Industry. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, School of Business, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  26. Postlewait A., D. Parker, and D. Zilberman (1993): The Advent of Biotechnology and Technology Transfer in Agriculture. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 43, pp. 271–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rausser, G. (1999): Public-Private Alliances. AgBioForum 2 (1), pp. 5–10.Google Scholar
  28. Rausser, G., and A. Small (1996): The Economic Value of Patents, Licenses, and Plant Variety Protection. Working Paper No. 797, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  29. Rosen, S. (1974): Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition. Journal of Political Economy 82 (1), pp. 34–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Scherer, F. (1965): Firm Size, Market Structure, Opportunity, and the Output of Patented Inventions. American Economic Review 55, pp. 1097–1123.Google Scholar
  31. Shah, F., D. Zilberman, and U. Chakravorty (1995): Technology Adoption in the Presence of an Exhaustible Resource: The Case of Groundwater Extraction. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 77 (2), pp. 291–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Spence, A. (1975): Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation. Bell Journal of Economics 6 (2), pp. 417–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sunding, D., and D. Zilberman (2000): The Agricultural Innovation Process: Research and Technology Adoption in a Changing Agricultural Sector. In:.B. Gardner, and G. Rausser (eds.). The Handbook of Agricultural Economics. Elsevier, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  34. Taylor, R., and R. Howitt (1993): Aggregate Evaluation Concepts and Models. In: Carlson, D. Zilberman, and Miranowski (eds.). Agricultural and Environmental Resource Economics. Biological Resource Management Series, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 142–74.Google Scholar
  35. Teece, D. (1986): Profiting from Technological Innovation: Implications for Integration, Collaboration, Licensing, and Public Policy. Research Policy 15, pp. 285–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Williams, J.R., P.T. Dyke, and C.A. Jones (1983): EPIC — A Model for Assessing the Effects of Erosion on Soil Productivity. In: W.K. Lauenroth, G.V. Skogerboe, and M. Flug (eds.). Analysis of Ecological Systems: State-of-the-Art in Ecological Modeling. Elsevier, New York, pp. 553–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wright, B. (1983): The Economics of Invention Incentives: Patents, Prizes, and Research Contracts. American Economic Review 73 (4), pp. 691–707.Google Scholar
  38. Wright, B., and B. Koo (1999): The Effects of Advances in Biotechnology on the Optimality of Ex-Ante Evaluation of Genebank Material. Presented at the conference “The Shape of the Coming Agricultural Biotechnology Transformation”, 17–19 June, Tor Vergata University, Rome.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Graff
  • David Zilberman
  • Cherisa Yarkin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations