مسائل مربوط به حقوق مالکیت شامل منابع ژنتیکی گیاهی: مفاهیم مالکیت برای کارایی اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19367||2000||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 32, Issue 1, January 2000, Pages 75–92
The economic theory of property rights is applied to the issue of the conservation of plant genetic diversity, an issue often discussed in terms of benefit sharing, in order to demonstrate that the assignment of property rights is important for reasons of efficiency as well as for equity. Given the existence of transaction costs within an industry, the location of a property rights assignment is a crucial factor determining the incentives for efficient levels of investment at various levels of that industry. In the context of plant genetic resources, this means that property rights that are located at the retail end of the pharmaceutical and plant breeding industries may not have sufficient effect to generate the incentives to supply adequate amounts of plant genetic resources to the research and development sectors at the base of these industries.
This article applies some of the economic theory of property rights and industrial structure to the issues concerning the conservation of plant genetic resources. First it outlines the role of property rights in the determination of the incentives for the continuing supply of plant germ plasm to the industries which rely upon it. It assesses the adequacy of the current system of rights in providing these incentives. There is an already-existing literature examining the issues of property rights and plant genetic resource, many of these analyses primarily concerned with the important issues of benefit sharing and community/farmers rights (see e.g. Shiva, 1991 and Posey and Dutfield, 1996). This article takes a different approach to the same issue. If it is agreed that one of the primary functions of plant genetic resources is to supply the informational inputs required by basic human industries such as agriculture, then there are important efficiency, as well as equity, considerations involved in the specification of property rights in these resources. This article focuses upon the need for efficiently constructed property right regimes, so that society will receive the appropriate levels of investment in the resource base that supports some of its most fundamental industries. It then examines the current system of property rights in regard to plant genetic resources in light of this theory, in order to assess the efficiency of that system. By efficiency here we mean allocative efficiency within two specific sectors of the economy, namely the plant breeding and the pharmaceutical industry.1 It is the capacity of the economic system for allocating resources between activities in proportion to their marginal social values in these activities. Specifically, we are interested in whether the existing system of property rights is able to attract the appropriate quantities of inputs required to sustain R&D in agriculture. The article proceeds as follows. In Section 2 it reviews some of the basic economies of property rights, and some of the economics of industry and research and development (R&D). In Section 3 it begins to apply this theory to the area of plant genetic resources by discussing the nature of the R&D processes that are most reliant upon these resources. In Section 4 the role of property right regimes as instruments for providing incentives for investing in R&D is discussed, and the nature of intellectual property right systems is described. In Section 5, the impact of such property right regimes on investments in the supply of genetic resources is surveyed. In Section 6 the efficiency of the existing regime is analysed. In Section 7 the scale of the problem is indicated. Section 8 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Ownership is important for purposes of efficiency. Property rights systems are important mechanisms for creating incentives for obtaining the efficient levels of investment within society. For that reason, it is important to consider the efficiency aspects of property rights in plant genetic resources, in addition to the equity aspects. This analysis of the role of property rights systems in managing the supply of genetic resources to the plant breeding industries indicates that the current system is in need of reform, and that the scale of the resulting inefficiency probably warrants careful consideration of the nature of those reforms. Genetic resources clearly play an important role in the plant breeding industry and it is essential that investments are made now to provide for their continuing availability for future societies. The existing property rights mechanism was analysed here, and found to be inefficient on account of high transactions costs. It is when reassignments within a vertical industry are difficult to achieve that the public reallocation of property rights must be considered. There are two further points that should be emphasised as interesting implications from this analysis and points for further study and research. One is that the monetary values flowing into a resource under a poorly constructed property rights system are no indicator of the value of that resource. If the property rights are misallocated, and there exist frictions that prevent their realignment, then the flow of value into supplying that resource may be minimal when the actual value is enormous. The existing studies on the private valuation of biodiversity as inputs into R&D may reflect nothing more than this inefficiency within the property rights system. The second point is that this will always be the case when a resource is systemic in nature, such as an environmental or informational system. These resources are very difficult to break down into discrete commodities that fit neatly into a property rights system, and then alternative forms of provision must be considered. It will be important in the context of resources such as biodiversity to recognise that a wide range of supply mechanisms must be taken into consideration, but that each existing supply mechanism (such as property rights regimes) must be analysed for its own efficiency implications.