Sanjeev Misra

Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance


Christopher Fawson


A vast literature has investigated the returns to investment in agriculture research and generally found extremely high rates of return. These results suggest policymakers would do well to maintain or increase resource allocation to public agricultural research. Remarkably little attention has been paid, however, to the issue of how best to allocate public agricultural research funding between competing research areas and organizations. This paper considers the relative returns to alternative uses of public agricultural research funds committed to the agricultural experiment stations of 10 western states of the United States over the years 1967-91. A model of expected utility maximization subject to risk is presented with comparative analysis. After establishing empirically that the mean variance analysis would be an inappropriate method to solving the problem, a stochastic dominance testing method is employed to identify dominated and undominated research categories and state agricultural experiment stations. The mean variance analysis also is used to evaluate whether research productivity has been increasing or decreasing over time, and to establish which among the western states hold absolute advantage in particular research areas.



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