- Elgar original reference
Edited by Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle
Chapter 45: The size and distribution of the benefits from the adoption of biotech soybean varieties
Economists have estimated the annual social benefits from genetically modified (GM) crops to be in the billions of dollars (Brookes et al., 2010; Carpenter, 2010; Falck-Zepeda et al., 2000b; Qaim, 2009; Sobolevsky et al., 2005; Konduru et al., 2008). These measures are generally partial, in that they leave out some elements of costs and benefits, including non-pecuniary benefits to adopting farmers and environmental benefits to others. In addition, they are incomplete in the sense that they represent the 'initial incidence' of benefits from the adoption of the technology, rather than the 'final incidence', which accounts for the shifting of the benefits from farmers to consumers and among different types of farmers as prices are induced to change. In this chapter we estimate the global benefits from the adoption of biotech soybean varieties, and the distribution of those benefits among technology suppliers, farmers and consumers in a large number of countries, some of which have adopted soybean biotechnologies and some that have not. Our analysis is backward looking, in the sense that we estimate the benefits from the adoption of soybean biotechnologies over the period 1996-2009, based on data of actual adoption. The size of the innovation-induced shift in supply depends on the impact of the innovation on yields and costs. We use information from a comprehensive review of previous studies combined with extensive data from producer surveys to derive estimates of the farm-level consequences of adoption.
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