Three essays on the competitiveness of the US corn seed industry
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This dissertation provides an analysis of various aspects of the competitivity of the US corn seed industry. In the first essay I develop a price depend model of seed demand which provides a measure of the degree of market power in the corn seed industry. The degree of market power is moderate given the large fixed cost that seed production and the development of biotechnologies necessitates. In the second essay I provide an analysis of the determinants and implications of shortening life cycles of corn hybrids varieties over the last ten years. I use duration analysis to show that the shortening of the life cycles of hybrids is linked to successive waves of introduction of biotech traits. The last essay addresses the issue of product proliferation. I develop a theoretical model to analyze the implications of proliferation for seed demand and cost. The empirical model that I subsequently specify supports the hypothesis that proliferation, which have been observed in the last ten years, occurred because of the introduction of biotech traits.
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