Publishing Details

Publication Type: 
Report
Authored by:
Alston, Julian M.; Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Phillip G.
Publisher: 
University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics, International Science & Technology Practice & Policy Center (InSTePP)
Publication Date: 
September, 2009
Series: 
Staff Paper P09-1; InSTePP Paper 09-01
Pages: 
42
Publication Place: 
St. Paul, MN

Abstract

Over the past 50 years and longer, the supply of food commodities has grown faster than the effective market demand, in spite of increasing population and per capita incomes. Consequently, the real (deflated) prices of food commodities have steadily trended down. The past increases in agricultural productivity and production, and the resulting real price trends, are attributable in large part to technological changes enabled by investments in agricultural R&D. Evidence is beginning to emerge of a slowdown in the long-term path of agricultural productivity growth. These productivity patterns mirror a progressive slowing down in the growth rate of total spending on agricultural R&D and a redirection of the funds away from farm productivity that began 20-30 years ago.

Citation

Alston, Julian M.; Beddow, Jason M.; Pardey, Phillip G. (2009) "Mendel versus Malthus: Research, Productivity and Food Prices in the Long Run," Staff Paper P09-1; InSTePP Paper 09-01, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics, International Science & Technology Practice & Policy Center (InSTePP).

Additional Attributes

Primary Contact: Julian Alston
Keywords: Agricultural Productivity, Agricultural Research, Crop Yields, Food Prices, Labor Productivity, Land Productivity, Prices, Productivity, Research, Research Investment