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Economics of Research and Innovation in Agriculture

Feeding the world’s growing population is a critical policy challenge for the twenty-first century. With constraints on water, arable land, and other natural resources, agricultural innovation is a promising path to meeting the nutrient needs for future generations. At the same time, potential increases in the variability of the world’s climate may intensify the need for developing new crops that can tolerate extreme weather. Despite the key role for scientific breakthroughs, there is an active discussion on the returns to public and private spending in agricultural R&D, and many of the world’s wealthier countries have scaled back the share of GDP that they devote to agricultural R&D. Dwindling public support leaves universities, which historically have been a major source of agricultural innovation, increasingly dependent on industry funding, with uncertain effects on the nature and direction of agricultural research. All of these factors create an urgent need for systematic empirical evidence on the forces that drive research and innovation in agriculture. This book aims to provide such evidence through economic analyses of the sources of agricultural innovation, the challenges of measuring agricultural productivity, the role of universities and their interactions with industry, and emerging mechanisms that can fund agricultural R&D. 

Table of Contents

Petra Moser
1. The Roots of Agricultural Innovation: Patent Evidence of Knowledge Spillovers
Matthew Clancy, Paul Heisey, Yongjie Ji, and GianCarlo Moschini
Comment: Alberto Galasso
2. Quantifying Heterogeneous Returns to Genetic Selection: Evidence from Wisconsin Dairies
Jared Hutchins, Brent Hueth, and Guilherme Rosa
3. Yield Performance of Corn under Heat Stress: A Comparison of Hybrid and Open-Pollinated Seeds during a Period of Technological Transformation, 1933–55
Keith Meyers and Paul W. Rhode
Comment: Michael J. Roberts
4. Local Effects of Land Grant Colleges on Agricultural Innovation and Output
Michael J. Andrews
Comment: Bhaven N. Sampat
5. Academic Engagement, Commercialization, and Scholarship: Empirical Evidence from Agricultural and Life Scientists at US Land Grant Universities
Bradford Barham, Jeremy Foltz, and Ana Paula Melo
Comment: Nicola Bianchi
6. Venture Capital and the Transformation of Private R&D for Agriculture
Gregory D. Graff, Felipe de Figueiredo Silva, and David Zilberman
Comment: Michael Ewens
Author Index
Subject Index

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