The "Efficient Boundaries" of International Agricultural Research: A Conceptual Framework with Empirical Illustrations

The role of international agricultural research centers (IARCs) has long been a subject of discussion, often with emphasis that they should conduct research that produces international public goods (IPGs). However, centers still face a dilemma on how to balance between IPGs and location-specific work. This paper contributes to the development of principles by which they should position themselves. Transaction cost economics was applied to develop a framework, which is then illustrated with an empirical case study of legume research at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. A participatory mapping technique (Net-Map) was combined with key informant interviews in India, Malawi and Ethiopia. We find that IARCS play an important role in germplasm improvement, the field in which they have a comparative advantage. However, due to insufficient capacity of national systems, they also engage in downstream activities. This reduces incentives for governments and donors to overcome governance challenges.


Issue Date:
2015
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/211826
Total Pages:
39
JEL Codes:
Q16




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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