Induced innovation and agricultural development

Vernon R. Ruttan is President of the Agricultural Development Council, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019 and Room 705, RELC Int. House, 30 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 10.
Food Policy (Impact Factor: 1.8). 08/1977; 2(3):196-216. DOI: 10.1016/0306-9192(77)90080-X


Dr Ruttan reviews the five general models in the literature on agricultural development: the frontier, conservation, urban- industrial impact, diffusion and high pay-off input models, and finds them lacking. He outlines a model of agricultural development which treats technical change as endogenous to the development process, rather than as an exogenous factor operating independently of it. This leads to an emphasis on the strong relationship between technological and institutional change and a call for institutional innovation that will result in a more effective realisation of the new technical potential.

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    • "Basically , the scarcity of land relative to labor and/or capital induces investment in additional labor/capital inputs to maintain or increase agricultural production. By the 1970s induced innovation theory was applied to a wide range of new agricultural technologies to explain the impact of population and markets on the diffusion of innovations in both subsistence and commercial agriculture (Binswanger and Ruttan 1978; Ruttan and Hayami 1984; Pingali et al. 1987 "
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    • "a dramatic example of the induced innovation process. . . " (Ruttan, 1977, p. 210). The sources of innovation for endogenous growth will vary with the type of enterprise. "
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