Saturday, February 22, 2003


I have done a series of entries on ICTs, economic growth and poverty reduction. In this Blog entry, I will begin to look on some resources relating to science and technology, economic growth, and poverty reduction. I think it is clear that agricultural research is the most mature field of modern knowledge creation in developing countries (followed by bio-medical research, and then perhaps by environmental research), and it is also the field most fully studied by social scientists, including economists.

Strategy Working Paper: Science and Technology in the World Bank
In this paper, I included a section on rates of return to research and experimental development. (2000)

Impact of Agricultural Research on Poverty (IARP)
This is the site of a major project of the International Food Policy Research Institute on the impact of agricultural research on poverty in developing nations. The site provides links to publications. These links are relatively few in number, but they include very important publications resulting from huge amounts of work. These include the two following publications.

A Meta-Analysis of Rates of Return to Agricultural R&D: Ex Pede Herculem?
This study, based on 292 publications reporting 1,886 observations, demonstrates the high rates of return found to agricultural research, but also provides some cautions about naïve use of rates-of-return studies. Julian M. Alston, Connie Chan-Kang, Michele C. Marra, Philip G. Pardey, and TJ Wyatt, October, 2000. This site provides links to the individual chapters of the report which may be downloaded as individual PDF files.

Assessing The Impact Of Agricultural Research On Poverty Using The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework
From the Abstract: “As the goals of international agricultural research move beyond increasing food production to the broader aims of reducing poverty, both agricultural research and studies of its impact become more complex. Yet examining the magnitude and mechanisms through which different types of agricultural research are able to help the poor is essential, not only to evaluate claims for continued funding of such research, but more importantly, to guide future research in ways that will make the greatest contribution to poverty reduction. This paper reports on the approach used in a multicountry study of the poverty impact of research programs under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).” By Michelle Adato and Ruth Meinzen-Dick, March 2002. (PDF, 130KB)

Research and Development
This brief entry by David M. Levy in “The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics” usefully summarize information on rates of return to R&D in the U.S. Research on research is usually done in rich countries, and while the transfer of findings to developing countries may be questioned, it is often done.

Benefits Of The Research And Development Tax Credit
This brief note cites U.S. studies suggesting that the U.S. tax credit on R&D did in fact significantly stimulate private sector R&D spending in the 1990’s, and cites a study suggesting that in the long term, the economic growth resulting from the R&D generated enough new taxes to cover most of the tax revenue lost due to the R&D tax credit.

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