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Valuing Pre-Commercial Genetic Resources: A Maximum Entropy Approach

Armineh Zohrabian, Greg Traxler, Steven Caudill and Melinda Smale
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Vol. 85, No. 2 (May, 2003), pp. 429-436
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1245138
Page Count: 8
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Valuing Pre-Commercial Genetic Resources: A Maximum Entropy Approach
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Abstract

Genetic improvement has been a major contributor to agricultural productivity in the United States, but many questions about the economics of crop breeding, such as the value of pre-commercial germplasm, remain unanswered. This study estimates the marginal value of poorly characterized materials contained in the U.S. national germplasm system. Within the search theoretic framework, we apply a maximum entropy method to estimate the probability and the expected level of improvement in pest susceptibility relative to its best previously observed level. The results indicate that the lower-bound estimate of benefit is significantly higher than the upper-bound cost of conserving an accession.

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