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Essays on innovations in the agriculture and food industry sectors

Alejandro S Plastina, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation studies different aspects of technological and regulatory innovations in the agriculture and food industry sectors. The market and welfare effects of the introduction of genetically modified (GM) products into the food system of small open economies under alternative labeling regimes are analyzed in Chapter 1. Analytical results show that these effects are case-specific and dependent on the labeling regime(s) in the world and the domestic markets, the attitudes of domestic consumers towards GM products, the segregation costs and the marketing margins under the different labeling scenarios, the price premium enjoyed by the non-GM crops in the world market, the relative cost effectiveness of GM crops under local production conditions, and the market power of GM seed suppliers. ^ Chapter 2 provides a quantitative assessment of the benefits from public agricultural research and development (R&D) for each continental state of the U.S. for 1949-1991, explicitly acknowledging for spillover effects. The novelty of this study resides in the use of spatial econometric techniques to account for stochastic spatial dependency generated by knowledge spillovers. The estimated national average own state internal rate of return (IRR) to investments in public agricultural R&D is 15.69%; while the estimated national average social IRR is 27%. Failing to account for the indirect effects of knowledge spillovers results in estimates that are, on average, 11% and 13% higher. ^ Chapter 3 analyzes the potential market and welfare effects of mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for fruits and vegetables in the U.S. These are shown to be case-specific and dependent on the labeling costs at the farm and retail levels, the strength of consumer preference for domestic products, the market power of retailers, the marketing margin along the supply chain, and the relative costs of imported and domestic products. Simulation results indicate that the demand for domestic apples (tomatoes) would need to increase by 2.6% to 7.0% (8.2% to 22.4%) for the MCOOL regulation to increase total economic welfare, depending on retailer market power and labeling costs.^

Subject Area

Economics, Agricultural

Recommended Citation

Plastina, Alejandro S, "Essays on innovations in the agriculture and food industry sectors" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3258775.