Innovation of innovation a personal and partial appreciation of the contributions of bob evenson
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Innovation of Innovation: A (Personal and Partial) Appreciation of the Contributions of Bob Evenson. Brian Wright Agricultural and Resource Economics UC Berkeley 17 th Annual ICABR Robert Evenson Memorial Ravello Italy June 19, 2013. Focus: Innovation of Innovation.

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Innovation of innovation a personal and partial appreciation of the contributions of bob evenson

Innovation of Innovation:A (Personal and Partial) Appreciation of the Contributions of Bob Evenson

Brian Wright

Agricultural and Resource Economics

UC Berkeley

17th Annual ICABR

Robert Evenson Memorial

Ravello Italy June 19, 2013


Focus innovation of innovation

Focus:Innovation of Innovation

The Challenge: How to ensure

  • Innovation that is consistent with societal goals

  • Innovation that optimally exploits scientific advances

  • Diffusion and adoption of such innovations at optimal speed

  • Sustained performance of such innovation and adoption over generations


Agriculture as the model

Agriculture as the Model

Advantages:

  • Data availability

  • Relevance

  • My personal window on Bob Evenson’s contributions


Background

Background

  • Earlier studies (including crucial contributions of Schultz and Griliches, Evenson’s mentor)

  • Application of economics to sociology of diffusion of innovation established:

    • Response to incentives

    • Role of education

    • Region-specificity

    • Demise of the myth of the “unresponsive peasantry”


Background1

Background

  • Earlier studies (including important contributions of Griliches, Evenson’s mentor)

  • Economic evaluation of rates of return to research

    • Agriculture as the example

    • Importance of data availability

    • Remarkable rates of return


Background2

Background

Hayami, Ruttan, Binswanger

  • Response of direction of research to economic returns:

    • Empirical evidence

    • Theoretical rationalization


Prior achievements

Prior Achievements

  • Empirical verification of economic responsiveness of farmers to incentives including innovation opportunities

  • Establishment of high rates of return on US agricultural research

  • Verification of theory that research can be an effective, (if under-supplied ), public good


Unanswered challenges

Unanswered challenges:

How to conceptualize a system of agricultural innovation of an appropriate global scale?

How to design and implement it


Key challenges for innovation of agricultural innovation systems

Key challenges for Innovation of Agricultural Innovation Systems:

Design

Funding

Implementation

Evaluation


Evensons s focus

Evensons’s Focus:

Design of innovation missions and their global integration

Implementation: national and international

Evaluation: private and social


1 the design of innovation missions

1. The Design of Innovation Missions

Innovation as an economically guided activity

Farmers and Blacksmiths as pioneers of “open source” innovation

International research centers as upstream research providers with an evolving role

Established importance of local adaptive research capacity

Dependence of extension on innovation supply

Emphasized and evaluated empirically the complementarity of national and international innovations


The design of innovation systems

The Design of Innovation Systems

The supply of basic research

Pioneering modeling of innovation as search using extreme value distributions (with Kislev)

Empirical verification

Emphasized development of capacities for local research, and research management


The design of innovation systems1

The Design of Innovation Systems

3. The design and role of patent systems

- used citations

- constructed concordance


Implementation of innovation of innovation institutions

Implementation of Innovation of Innovation Institutions

Worldwide efforts


Brian wright agricultural and resource economics uc berkeley 17 th annual icabr

(a sample of)Evensons’s Contributions:(my personal experience)Implementation of Innovation of Innovation Institutions

Philippines work at IRRI

Applied econometrics to questions from crop breeding to nutrition

Mentored many leaders in the area


Brian wright agricultural and resource economics uc berkeley 17 th annual icabr

(a sample of)Evensons’s Contributions:(my personal experience)Implementation of Innovation of Innovation Institutions

2. EMBRAPA Brazil in the 1980s

Followed Ed Schuh’s lead

Project evaluation courses

International education as sustained EMBRAPA policy

Sustained leadership in institutional development

Big and sustained payoffs


Evensons s contributions implementation of innovation of innovation institutions

Evensons’s Contributions:Implementation of Innovation of Innovation Institutions

3. Construction and analysis of new patent and citation data sets

Anticipated later widespread interest

Farmer and Blacksmith agricultural innovations

Famous “concordance” with Jon Putnam


Evensons s contributions implementation of innovation of innovation institutions1

Evensons’s Contributions:Implementation of Innovation of Innovation Institutions

4. Founding leader (with Vittorio Santaniello) of the Ravello meetings on the economics of agricultural biotechnology and the “gene revolution”

Pasquale Scandizzo as the “Godfather” of the initiative

David Zilberman and Carl Pray as carriers of the torch

from a few dozen to hundreds of participants in a few years

Created an international community of researchers


Evensons s contributions implementation of innovation institutions

Evensons’s Contributions:Implementation of Innovation Institutions

5. Evenson as teacher and mentor of researchers who became key elements of all parts of the global innovation system

In agricultural and development economics (look around you today!)

AND beyond


Influence beyond agriculture

Influence beyond agriculture

  • Found complementarity of domestic and foreign patenting in Indian Industry (with Anil Deolalikar)

  • Anticipated TRIPS discussions on effects on LDCs.


Influence beyond agriculture1

Influence beyond agriculture

Evenson emphasized and demonstrated empirically the complementarity of national and international innovations:

Influenced fundamental, highly cited papers in Business. For example:

  • Teece 1986

  • Cohen and Leventhal


David teece profiting from technological innovation research policy 15 6 1986

David Teece:“Profiting from Technological Innovation”Research Policy 15 (6) 1986

  • Emphasized role of complementary assets in determining the success of firm innovation

  • Ability to adapt to (mainly demand side) features of the market

  • Importance of interaction with local manufacturing

  • Anecdotal post-hoc reasoning

  • Unclear prescriptive content


Wesley cohen and david leventhal

Wesley Cohen and David Leventhal

  • “Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D.”Economic Journal 99, 1989

  • “Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation.”Administrative Science Quarterly 35 No. 1, 1990

  • Importance of scientifically informed “gatekeeper”

  • Importance of local research

  • Cohen was a Yale student when Evenson was a professor


Summary evenson as intellectual leader

Summary:Evenson as Intellectual leader

  • History of science for agriculture in US

  • Design and performance of global and local agricultural research institutions

  • Analysis of economics of agricultural research

  • Construction and analysis of patent and citation data

  • Precursor of leading literature on innovation strategy in industry

  • Rare example of an economist whose contributions have had undisputable effect on the welfare of people.


Summary evenson as a human being

SummaryEvenson as a human being

  • Visionary with his feet in the dirt, his hands on the data, and his heart in the right place

  • Exemplary human being

  • Wonderful mentor

  • Had a wonderful asset in his wife Judy

  • A friend forever


Thanks bob

Thanks, Bob!


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