Public R&D and European agriculture: impact on productivity and return on R&D expenditure
- public R&D investments,
- agricultural productivity,
- rate of return,
Copyright (c) 2021 Michele Vollaro, Meri Raggi, Davide Viaggi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
While higher effort in research is advocated for agriculture, there continues to be a lack of measurement of its impact in economic terms, at least in Europe. This paper seeks to assess the economic impact of public agricultural R&D investments in Europe. Different panel models are applied on 16 European countries, by employing productivity and investment data. Results show positive impacts with returns on public R&D investments on agricultural productivity of between 6.5% and 15.2%, varying according to model specifications and computation techniques. These values confirm that research expenditure in agriculture is well justified in economic terms. However, the results are highly dependent on the analytical approach and limited by the paucity of expenditure data. Further research is recommended to take into account the role of other important determinants of impact, such as climate, spill overs and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). However, a proper consideration of these variables will first require a major improvement of data availability.