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Measuring public agricultural research and extension and estimating their impacts on agricultural productivity: new insights from U.S. evidence

Jin, Yu, Huffman, Wallace E.
Agricultural economics 2016 v.47 no.1 pp. 15-31
agricultural education, agricultural research, econometric models, extension education, public research, United States
This article provides new estimates of the marginal product of public agricultural research and extension on state agricultural productivity for the U.S., using updated data and definitions, and forecasts of future agricultural productivity growth by state. The underlying rationale for a number of important decisions that underlie the data used in cost‐return estimates for public agricultural research and extension are presented. The parameters of the state productivity model are estimated from a panel of contiguous U.S. 48 states from 1970 to 2004. Public research and extension are shown to be substitutes rather than complements. The econometric model of state agricultural TFP predicts growth rates of TFP for two‐thirds of states that is less than the past trend rate. The results and data indicate a real social rate of return to public investments in agricultural research of 67% and to agricultural extension of 100+%. The article concludes with guidance for TFP analyses in other countries.