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Rates of Return to Public Agricultural Research in 48 U.S. States

By Alejandro S. Plastina and Lilyan E. Fulginiti


The present study provides a quantitative assessment of the benefits from public agricultural research and development (R&D) for each continental state of the U.S. for 1949-1991, explicitly acknowledging for spillover effects. The novelty of this study resides in the use of spatial econometric techniques to account for stochastic spatial dependency generated by knowledge spillovers. The estimated national average own state internal rate of return (IRR) to investments in public agricultural R&D is 15.69%; while the estimated national average social IRR is 27%. Failing to account for the indirect effects of knowledge spillovers results in estimates that are, on average, 11% and 13% higher.R&D, Agricultural Technology, Agricultural Extension Services, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Q16,

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