New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2005‒06‒27
four papers chosen by

  1. Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to Improve the Present Patent System By Ignazio Musu
  2. Feeding and the Equilibrium Feeder Animal Price-Weight Schedule By Hennessy, David A.
  3. Informed Control Over Inputs and Extent of Industrial Processing By Hennessy, David A.
  4. The Economic Impact of a Possible Irrigation-Water Shortage in Odessa Sub-Basin: Potato Production & Processing By Sanjoy Bhattacharjee; David Holland

  1. By: Ignazio Musu (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the problems related to assigning or denying intellectual property rights to biotechnological innovation, with particular reference to agro-biotechnologies and the relations between developed and developing countries. There are two types of problems to consider. First, the aim of protecting property rights on innovations is to create incentives towards research and innovation in general, which in some cases may be beneficial to society, in others not so. If the assignment of an intellectual property right does not guarantee the potential beneficial use of new knowledge, not assigning rights would not prevent its potentially dangerous utilization. Secondly, the holder of an intellectual property right has a power of exclusion which limits access by others to the newly produced knowledge. However, the production of new knowledge is very often a process which starts from a base of existing knowledge. Hence, discouraging access to existing knowledge also means discouraging the process of producing new knowledge. Paradoxically then, in protecting intellectual property we obtain the opposite result to the one expected and desired. Moreover, the holder of an intellectual property right may end up with excessive market power when commercializing the innovation. This paper will try to show that these problems cannot be solved, as sometimes is suggested, by denying protection of property rights on innovations, but by improving the procedures for awarding these rights and accompanying them with other measures such as liability rules governing potential damage and also antitrust measures.
    Keywords: Intellectual property rights, Biotechnology, Patent system
    JEL: O30 O33 O34
    Date: 2005–06
  2. By: Hennessy, David A.
    Abstract: The feeder animal price is a derivative in the sense that its value depends upon the price of animals for the consumption market. It also depends upon the biological growth technology and feed costs. Daily maintenance costs are of particular interest to the husbander because they can be avoided through accelerated feeding. In this paper, the optimal feeding path under equilibrium feeder animal prices is established. This analysis is used to gain a better understanding of feeding decisions, regulation in feedstuff markets, and the consequences of genetic innovations. It is shown that days on feed can increase or decrease with a genetic innovation or other improvement in feed conversion efficiency. The structure of comparative prices for feeder animals at different weights, the early slaughter decision, and equilibrium in feeder animal markets are also developed. Feeder animal prices can increase over a weight interval if biological feed efficiency parameters are low over the interval.
    Date: 2005–06–15
  3. By: Hennessy, David A.
    Abstract: Stylized facts regarding the industrial process include emphases on obtaining information about and control over the quality of raw materials. We provide a model that establishes conditions under which informed control involves ensuring uniformity in inputs and increased uniformity encourages more extensive processing. We show when the Boltzmann-Shannon entropy statistic is an appropriate measure of uniformity.
    Date: 2005–06–22
  4. By: Sanjoy Bhattacharjee (Washington State University); David Holland (Washington State University)
    Abstract: The Columbia Basin Project (CBP) was one of the single largest projects undertaken by the Bureau of Reclamation. The venture, which started in the 1930s in Central Washington, did not entirely turn out as expected. In fact, almost half of the proposed irrigable area, located mainly in the northeastern portion of the original plan, doesn’t have any water supply from the project for irrigation purposes. The Odessa Sub-area is one of those areas. The land in this area is fertile and produces very high quality potatoes. Over the last couple of decades, potato production in this Odessa sub-region has been possible primarily because of irrigation based on deep wells. However, the underground water is drawing down and potato production may shut down as a result. Therefore, an economic threat on the economy of the Columbia Basin is in the offing, unless alternative water sources are negotiated. In this paper, we will mainly explore the regional economic impacts of the possible losses of potato production and its associated processing in the Odessa Sub-area. In section A, we briefly discuss the current status of the Columbia Basin Project. In section B, we discuss ground water level decline issues. In section C, we enumerate the economic impacts of the possible losses in potato production in the Odessa Sub-area and associated loss of potato processing. Summary and conclusions are in the final section.
    Keywords: potato production, potato processing, regional economic impact, input-output models
    JEL: R1
    Date: 2005–06–15

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