Who gains from genetic improvements in U.S. crops?

George Frisvold, John Sullivan, Anton Raneses

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The distribution of gains of plant breeding and plant genetic resource exchange has been the source of heated North-South debates in meetings of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. We report results of a study using a world agricultural trade model to estimate the size and distribution of economic gains from yield increases in major United States (U.S.) crops attributable to genetic improvements. The net global economic benefits of a onetime, permanent increase in U.S. yields are about $8.1 billion (discounted at 10%) and $15.4 billion (discounted at 5%). The United States captures 50-60% of these net gains. Gains to consumers in developing and transitional economies range from 6.1 billion (10% discount rate) to $11.6 billion (5% discount rate).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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