Journal Article

Intellectual Property Rights and the Welfare Effects of Agricultural R&D

Giancarlo Moschini and Harvey Lapan

in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 79, issue 4, pages 1229-1242
Published in print November 1997 | ISSN: 0002-9092
Published online November 1997 | e-ISSN: 1467-8276 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1244280
Intellectual Property Rights and the Welfare Effects of Agricultural R&D

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development
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We review intellectual property rights in agriculture and outline a modeling framework that accounts for relevant institutional features of agricultural R&D. The analysis emphasizes vertical market linkages whereby agricultural innovations adopted by farmers are produced upstream by input suppliers. It is argued that the conventional assumption of competitive pricing cannot hold when new technologies are produced by private firms because such innovations are typically protected by intellectual property rights (such as patents) that confer (limited) monopoly rights to discoverers. The implications of intellectual property rights for the welfare evaluation of agricultural R&D are derived, and it is shown that conventional methods usually overestimate the welfare gains from agricultural innovations.

Keywords: agricultural innovations; consumer surplus; input markets; patents; producer surplus; O340; Q160

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development ; Agricultural Economics

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