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Local Effects of Land Grant Colleges on Agricultural Innovation and Output

Michael Andrews


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Economics of Research and Innovation in Agriculture, Petra Moser, editor
Conference held May 17, 2019
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

To estimate the local effect of establishing land grant colleges, I compare locations that receive a land grant college to "runner-up" counties that were in contention to receive the land grant but did not for as-good-as-random reasons. I find that establishing a land grant college causes an increase in local invention, including in particular agricultural inventions, in college counties relative to the runner-up counties. But land grant college counties see only small and imprecisely estimated improvements in agricultural performance, measured by yield and output, relative to runner-up counties. I discuss

several alternative interpretations of these findings. By comparing the establishment of land grant colleges to non-land grant colleges, I show that land grants appear to cause smaller increases in local invention, population, and agricultural output, but larger increases in agricultural yields and new crop varieties. The effect of land grant colleges on local innovations is largest, even relative to non-land grant colleges, following the passage of legislation that increases funding to agricultural research.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w26235, Local Effects of Land Grant Colleges on Agricultural Innovation and Output, Michael J. Andrews
 
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