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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technology adoption and disadoption: Recombinant bovine somatotropin and the United States dairy industry
by An, Henry, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2009, 134; 3396899
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the adoption and disadoption of recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), a genetically engineered hormone used to increase milk production, in the U.S. dairy industry, through three distinct analyses.

In chapter two, I use limited dependent variable models to identify the factors correlated with the adoption and disadoption of rbST, and non-parametric and parametric duration models to identify the underlying dynamics of the technology choice decisions. Using 2005 national data, I find that rbST use appears to have plateaued; further, over 29 percent of producers who have ever used rbST had disadopted it by 2005. More importantly, my results suggest that there are differences between the adoption and disadoption decision and that the two processes are not mirror images of one another.

Chapter three focuses on two recent events industry members and observers hypothesized had major effects on rbST use: a shortage of rbST in 2004 and a ban on the sale of milk from cows treated with rbST by several large retailers in California in 2007. I use discrete-time duration analysis to estimate the effect of the two shocks on the probability of rbST disadoption using survey data I collected in California in 2008. The results suggest that the shortage in 2004 had a negligible effect on disadoption while the ban in 2007 had a major effect on the decision to disadopt rbST in 2008.

In chapter four, I consider the case where the use of a new technology leads to perceived differences in product quality, and construct a theoretical model of technology choice that considers a market with differentiated goods. I model the producer’s decision to adopt and disadopt an agricultural technology and integrate it into a market-level analysis that links the industry’s use of the technology to the structure of consumer demand. My analytical results suggest that the perception of product differentiation reduces the intensity of adoption when consumers perceive the new product to be weakly inferior. Moreover, producers take longer to learn about the true profitability of a new technology when consumers’ perceive differentiated products.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goodhue, Rachael E.
Commitee: Butler, Leslie J., Jarvis, Lovell S.
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Agricultural and Resource Economics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Animal sciences, Agricultural economics
Keywords: Agricultural biotechnology, Dairy industry, Disadoption, Growth hormones, RBST, Recombinant bovine somatotropin, Technology adoption
Publication Number: 3396899
ISBN: 978-1-109-66283-2
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