Bales and Balance: A Review of the Methods Used to Assess the Economic Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers in Developing Economies

AgBioForum, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 195-212, 2006

Posted: 26 Feb 2007

See all articles by Melinda Smale

Melinda Smale

Bioversity International; International Maize And Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Patricia Zambrano

IFPRI

Mélodie Cartel

French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Agronomie de Montpellier (ENSAM)

Abstract

We assess 47 peer-reviewed articles that have applied stated economics methods to measure the farm-level impacts of Bt cotton in developing agriculture from 1996. We focus on methods, although findings are also contrasted and compared in qualitative terms. The central research question assessed by the articles reviewed is: what are the current and potential advantages of transgenic cotton with respect to yield, pesticide use, input cost, revenue and/or profits at the farm-level, by farm type, and geographical region? We find that, while the evidence is promising, the balance sheet remains inconclusive - in part because of some methodological limitations and in part because institutional and political context, which is mutable and often ignored, shapes economic impacts, especially over the longer-term. Most often, the contextual factors that influence whether a new variety succeeds or fails are more critical than whether yield advantages can be demonstrated in on-farm trials.

Keywords: Bt cotton, developing economies, economic impact, literature review

JEL Classification: Q10, Q12, Q16, Q18, Q19

Suggested Citation

Smale, Melinda and Zambrano, Patricia and Cartel, Mélodie, Bales and Balance: A Review of the Methods Used to Assess the Economic Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers in Developing Economies. AgBioForum, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 195-212, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=964999

Melinda Smale (Contact Author)

Bioversity International ( email )

Via dei Tre Denari 427/a
Maccarese, 00057
Italy

International Maize And Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Apdo. Postal 6-641
Texcoco, El Batan 06600
Mexico

Patricia Zambrano

IFPRI ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Mélodie Cartel

French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) - Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Agronomie de Montpellier (ENSAM) ( email )

Montpellier
France

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,125
PlumX Metrics