International and Institutional R&D Spillovers: Attribution of Benefits Among Sources for Brazil's New Crop Varieties
Posted: 8 May 2006
Date Written: 2005-04
Reported rates of return to agricultural R&D are generally high, but they are likely to be biased, particularly because of attribution problemsmismatching research benefits with costs. The importance of attribution biases is illustrated here with new evidence for Brazil. During 19812003, varietal improvements in upland rice, edible beans, and soybeans yielded benefits of $14.8 billion in present value (1999 prices) terms. Attributing all of the benefits to Embrapa, a public research corporation accounting for more than half of Brazil`s agricultural R&D spending, the benefit-cost ratio would be 78:1. Under alternative attribution rules, the ratio drops to 16:1.
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