How productive are academic researchers in agriculture-related sciences? The Mexican case

René Rivera, José Luis Sampedro, Gabriela Dutrenit, Javier Mario Ekboir & Alexandre Vera Cruz


This paper explores the effect of commercial farmers-academic researchers linkages on research productivity in fields related to agriculture. Using original data and econometric analysis, our findings show a positive and significant relationship between intensive linkages with a small number of commercial farmers and research productivity, when this is defined as publications in ISI journals. This evidence seems contrary to other contributions that argue that strong ties with the business sector reduce research productivity and distort the original purposes of university, i.e., conducting basic research and preparing highly-trained professionals. When research productivity is defined more broadly adding other types of research outputs, the relationship is also positive and significant confirming the argument that close ties between public research institutions and businesses foster the emergence of new ideas that can be translated into innovations with commercial and/or social value. Another important finding is that researchers in public institutions produce several types of research outputs; therefore, measuring research productivity only by published ISI papers misses important dimensions of research activities.

Keywords: agriculture sector, research productivity, university-business sector interaction

JEL codes: 031, 032, Q16, Q18

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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