New plant engineering techniques, R&D investment and international trade

Stéphan Marette, Anne Célia Disdier, Anastasia Bodnar, John Beghin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


New plant engineering techniques (NPETs) may significantly improve both production and quality of foods. Some consumers and regulators around the world might be reluctant to accept such products and the global market penetration of these products may remain low. We develop a parsimonious economic model for R&D investment in food innovations to identify conditions under which NPET technology emerges in the context of international trade. The framework integrates consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for the new food, the uncertainty of R&D processes, the associated regulatory cost of approval, and the competition between domestic and foreign products. With generic applicability, the model enables the quantitative analysis of new foods that could be introduced in markets and then traded across borders. We apply the framework to a hypothetical case of apples improved with NPETs. Simulation results suggest that import bans and high values of sunk cost can reduce R&D investment in NPETs to suboptimal levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-368
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • apple
  • food innovation
  • genome editing
  • new plant engineering techniques
  • trade
  • willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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