Genetic improvements in major US crops: The size and distribution of benefits

George B. Frisvold, John Sullivan, Anton Raneses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The distribution of welfare gains of genetic improvements in major US crops is estimated using a world agricultural trade model. Multi-market welfare estimates were 75% larger than estimates based on the price-exogenous 'change in revenue' method frequently used by plant breeders. Annual benefits of these genetic improvements range from US$ 400-600 million depending on the supply shift specification. Of this, 44-60% accrues to the US, 24-34% accrues to other developed countries. Developing and transitional economies capture 16-22% of the welfare gain. The global benefits of a one-time permanent increase in US yields are US$ 8.1 billion (discounted at 10%) and US$ 15.4 billion (discounted at 5%). Gains to consumers in developing and transitional economies range from US$ 6.1 billion (10% discount rate) to US$ 11.6 billion (5% discount rate).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalAgricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Genetic resources
  • Plant breeding
  • Returns to research
  • Supply shift
  • Yields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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