Business, College of


First Advisor

Hendrik Van Den Berg

Date of this Version

Summer 8-5-2013


Konou, C.M. (2013) Agricultural Biotechnology, International Trade, General Equilibrium and Efficiency, PhD Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Economics, Under the Supervision of Professor Hendrik Van Den Berg. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Comlanvi M. Konou


Ongoing debates about the adoption of the agricultural biotechnology in the developing countries and EU have dominated the literature in development economics and biosciences. This dissertation considers some environmental, economic and social consequences of the technology from three perspectives: 1) the impact of the ongoing pest density on the performance of the agricultural biotechnology in India; 2) trade consequences of EU restrictive trade policies towards biotech products; and 3) the adoption decision of the technology in the EU and the developing economies.

Agricultural biotechnology appears to be successful in increasing yield and reducing the use of pesticides. However, most studies fail to consider the dynamic effect of the pest population. Pests are getting more resistant to the biotech seeds. I use a stochastic production function to capture the impacts of inputs on the mean of the output and the effect of pest density on the variability of the output. The results show that, due to the presence of new pests, the productivity of the damage control inputs such as biotech seeds and the insecticides decreases.

The ban on the agricultural biotechnology products by the European countries has affected trade flows between EU and its trading partners. I use the international-trade-gravity-model to assess the trade impacts of EU policies towards agricultural biotechnology products. The results show trade creation in the Food and Live Animals category. However trade diversion was found in the Beverages and Tobacco and Animal and Vegetable Oils and Fats categories.

Using a general equilibrium and comparative statics analyses, I determine the impact of the enforcement of the Intellectual Property Rights, consumers’ preferences and externalities on the production of biotech crops. The results show that efficient production of biotech crops under the influence of these three factors is contingent upon the output elasticity of capital in both biotech and non-biotech productions, total factor productivity in biotech production, and the ratio of the proportions of the biotech and non-biotech products consumed by each consumer.

Advisor: Hendrik Van Den Berg