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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Privatization and the Roles of Public and Private Institutions in Agricultural Research in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Echeverria, Ruben G.
Periodical:Food Policy
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:agricultural research
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Abstract:Privatization has become a popular panacea for solving the organizational problems of LDC governments. This paper considers the role of the private sector in agricultural research, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The first section provides a brief background by stating the main arguments for market failure in the allocation of resources to research, followed by the reasoning behind the reaction against public intervention. The arguments for intervention are then applied to the different areas of agricultural research activity to show that the level of public intervention should depend on the type of research. The authors suggest that there are several criteria for defining public and private activities and that there are few research activities that can be easily classified as purely public or purely private. This implies that the appropriate split between public and private research has several dimensions and that efficient institutional arrangements will be specific to particular activities. The evidence suggests that there are sound economic arguments for changing the domains of the public and private sectors, which should not be static. Both economic development and technical innovations, such as biotechnology, will move the boundary in favour of increased private activity, but the public and private contributions should be viewed as complementary investments rather than substitutes. Bibliogr., sum.