Agricultural Economics Department



Richard K. Perrin

Date of this Version



Paper prepared for the 5th International Conference on Biotechnology, Science and Modern Agriculture, Ravello, Italy, June 2001. In The Governance of Agricultural Biotechnology, R. E. Evenson and V. Santaniello, Eds., CABI, 2004, in press.


The issue considered here is the retail pricing of patented crop traits such as Roundup Ready herbicide resistance or Bt insect resistance. Our concern is not with the price of the seeds in which the traits are embodied, but rather with the implicit or explicit price for the traits themselves. Intellectual property rights are now available for traits, and while monopoly pricing of them has received some limited consideration in the economics literature1, no one has yet examined the possible implications of the durability of these traits as a factor in determining such monopolists' pricing behavior.