Scott Rozelle


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Institution: University of California, Davis



Scott Rozelle is an associate professor in the department of agricultural and resource economics, University of California, Davis. He teach course in development economics. Most of Scott's work is focused on understanding agricultural policy and the process of economic transition in China. Scott is the chair of the international advisory board of the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy and heads the AAEA committee on professional relations with the People's Republic of China.

Title: "Impact of CG and NARS research and extension expenditures on total factor productivity in China’s favorable and unfavorable regions." Co-authors: Jikun Huang, Songqing Jin.

Theme: 3A


China’s policy makers, with the assistance of its partners in the CG system, have expended a tremendous amount of effort and financial resources to foster one of the premiere agricultural research systems in the developing world. Work by economists inside and outside of China have shown that investment in agricultural R&D has contributed significantly to the robust growth in the supply of food during the past 20 years. The increase in TFP in wheat, rice, and maize that has risen at more than 2 percent per year since 1980 also is attributable in a large degree to investments made by the international and domestic leaders in agricultural technology.

During this same time, China has experienced a dramatic fall in poverty, from 220 million people below the poverty line in 1980 to less than 60 million currently. There were many reasons for the rapid fall in the poverty head count – rising migration, grain marketing liberalization, and land policy. It is less clear, however, how important of a roll agricultural technology has played in China’s poor regions during the reform era. It is also not clear if the 60 million people that remain in China’s poor rural areas are benefiting from the investments by national and international agricultural research community.

The overall goal of our paper will be to document the past, current, and future role that investment in research and development and extension by China’s own national research system and by the CG system has had on China’s poverty alleviation effort. Specifically, we will generate a detailed set of TFP indices for rice, wheat, and maize for each year and for each province, allowing us to compare the improvements in productivity that have been realized in favorable and unfavorable regions of China during the reform era. We will then examine trends in provincial research expenditure, the extent of improvement each region has experienced in yield potential increases, the average age of varieties in poor and rich areas, and the effort put into extension. These measures will then be used in a determinants of TFP analysis; we will attempt to understand how the nation’s R and D policy has affected TFP in rich and poor areas. We will also use a unique data set that we have put together documenting the amount of CG genetic material in Chinese varieties to assess whether or not access to CG material has had a larger impact on rice, wheat, and maize TFP in rich or poor areas.

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