Centre for International Environmental Studies
03 March 2021

The diffusion of modern crop varieties during the Green Revolution

Nicholas Tyack, PhD Candidate in Development Economics and CIES affiliated researcher 

Nicholas Tyack, PhD candidate in Development Economics at the Graduate Institute and CIES affiliated researcher, is currently working on two projects focusing on the diffusion of crop diversity in the context of his Doc.Mobility grant. He is currently visiting the research group of Professor Timo Goeschl, Director of the Research Centre for Environmental Economics at the University of Heidelberg.
For the first project, Nicholas Tyack is investigating whether the diffusion of modern crop varieties during the Green Revolution helped yields in the developing world converge towards the technological frontier, using a panel including 77 countries with data between 1960 and 2005. He additionally explores whether the diffusion of modern varieties occurred strictly through imitation, or whether the strength of developing country institutions and adaptive capacity also mattered for the success of modern variety adoption.
For the second project, he addresses issues of diffusion at a micro-level, focusing on the adoption behaviour of smallholder rice farmers in Vallée du Bandama. Nicholas is collaborating with two economists at the AfricaRice Center to implement a field experiment in the district in which they facilitate farmers’ experimentation with either advanced rice varieties, or farmers’ or landrace varieties of African rice through a rematriation/patriation program of genetic material from the AfricaRice genebank.
He has had the opportunity to present in both the Internal Seminar at the Department of Economics at the University of Heidelberg as well as in the Environmental Economics Brown Bag Seminar, which is held jointly with the University of Mannheim and ZEW.