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Title: The economics of genetic resources, biotechnology and growth
Author: Göschl, T.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
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This dissertation explores the complex linkages that exist between the conservation and management of genetic resources, biotechnological research and development, and economic growth. These areas are linked through different biological and economic processes, but a common element is they are subject to economic choices by individual decision-makers at various levels of aggregation. Chapter 3 presents a survey of the economic literature dealing with the management of pathogens in human health and agriculture. It then develops an application of this literature in the context of R&D. The R&D processes in the life-science industries are focused on providing solution concepts to the problems that arise in the contexts of evolving biological systems of pathogens and their hosts. The chapter looks into the specific incentives that pathogen evolution creates for R&D in the biotechnology industry in a two-sector economy with an intermediate goods sector that is intensive in R&D and a final good sector. The results show that incentives for industry to eradicate pathogens, even if technologically feasible, do not exist under the current patent system. The fourth chapter analytically and empirically investigates the link between innovation in the biotechnological industry, regimes of protecting intellectual property and the rate of diffusion of innovations to developing countries in the context of agriculture. The relative performance of three current types of regimes with respect to the overarching social objective of stimulating an optimal amount of R&D and ensuring optimal diffusion of the resulting innovations is examined in a panel study of diffusion of crop yield gains to developing countries. The last chapter establishes the social and private value of genetic resources for R&D based on an extension of Aghion and Howitt's (1992) model of creative destruction by allowing got "adaptive" destruction by pathogens. By doing so, it creates the search process that has been the subject of much of the literature on biodiversity valuation as one of its implications. but demonstrates the much more significant differences between the socially optimal amount of conservation and the private solution under the perspective of growth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available